Awards & Recognitions
The AIU is extremely proud of the accomplishments of its employees, programs and divisions. Below are just a few of the recognitions and awards that our caring and compassionate staff have recently received.
2018 Annie Sullivan Award
MICHELLE HOLSOPPLE, a materials handling teacher at Mon Valley School, is the recipient of the 2018 Annie Sullivan Award. A passionate and caring professional, Ms. Holsopple focuses on helping young adults with disabilities learn the skills they need to be successful and active members of their communities. She teaches her students to dream about what is possible and helps them prepare by mastering hands-on activities in materials handling classes. An educator for 28 years, Ms. Holsopple earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Slippery Rock University in 1989.
2018 Apple Award
TIMOTHY DONOVAN, a school counselor with the AIU’s Non-Public Schools Program, is the recipient of the 2018 Apple Award. Mr. Donovan began his career as a mental health professional and later transitioned to the position of school counselor. Throughout his career, Mr. Donovan has always had the desire to work in a field that allowed him to help others. A dedicated educator, he has the ability to help children believe in themselves, regardless of the circumstances. Mr. Donovan holds a master’s degree in school counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University.
2018 Award of Excellence
HOPE MCGEE, a language arts/English/reading specialist with the AIU’s Alternative Education Program, is the recipient of the 2018 Award of Excellence. Ms. McGee has served the AIU for 20 years and has been assigned to a variety of classrooms including those at the Allegheny County Jail, Shuman Center and most currently, Community School East. As a leader who embraces adversity, she is best known for her patience and kindness that contributes to the culture and efficiency of her classrooms. According to her colleagues, Ms. McGee has “an almost superhuman ability to communicate with students and make them feel safe enough to let their guards down and succeed.” Ms. McGee holds degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania as well as Duquesne University.
2018 World of Gratitude Award
JENNA ROBINSON, a teacher in the AIU’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Program, is the recipient of the 2018 World of Gratitude Award. Ms. Robinson’s career as an ESL teacher at the AIU began in 2011. Throughout the years, she has addressed the needs of English learners of all ages from countries and cultures throughout the world. A passionate educator with a keen curiosity, Ms. Robinson loves to learn about her students’ stories – their cultures, languages and backgrounds. Ms. Robinson holds a bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock University and student taught in Dublin, Ireland.
2018 Award of Excellence
DEBORA DUNN, an educational interpreter/communication support specialist, is the recipient of the 2018 Helping Hands Award. Hired in 1991, Ms. Dunn has served the children at Sunrise School throughout her entire career with the AIU. She serves children with hearing loss, and helps non-verbal children effectively communicate. As an interpreter, Ms. Dunn is a passionate advocate for children and youth with disabilities and has dedicated her career to helping students realize their potential. She holds an associate’s degree from the Community College of Allegheny County.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Linda B. Hippert
DR. LINDA B. HIPPERT, the executive director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, is being honored for her distinguished career in public education. Throughout her 41-year journey, Dr. Hippert has been a leader, a partner, a colleague and most importantly, a teacher to students of all ages. During the past four decades, she has served as a high school mathematics teacher, a junior-senior high school associate principal, a junior-senior high school principal, a school superintendent and most recently as the executive director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Dr. Hippert holds her doctorate from Duquesne University, a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Intermediate Unit would like to thank Dr. Hippert for her 41 years of dedicated service to the students and educators in Allegheny County.