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Dr. Jill Jacoby Recognized as Distinguished Woman in Education

Photos of Dr. Jacoby with award and during acceptance remarks
Photo credit: John Altdorfer

Photo: Dr. Jill Jacoby (left) with Dr. Tracy Vitale, superintendent of Seneca Valley School District and executive committee member of the Tri-State Area School Study Council. 

Dr. Jill Jacoby Recognized as Distinguished Woman in Education

Congratulations to Jill Jacoby, Ed.D., on receiving the 2024 Dr. Jean E. Winsand Distinguished Woman in Education Award for her exemplary leadership and a lifetime of dedication and service to the school children of Pennsylvania.

A seasoned educator, Dr. Jacoby served for 13 years as elementary school principal at Fort Cherry School District in McDonald, Pennsylvania, before rising to serve as the district’s superintendent for nearly eight years prior to joining the Executive Leadership Team at the AIU in August 2021 as the assistant executive director of Teaching & Learning.

"Since joining the AIU, Dr. Jacoby has played a pivotal role in building and strengthening programming to better meet the diverse needs of member school districts," said AIU Executive Director Dr. Robert Scherrer. "Her proactive approach and continuous efforts to collaborate with area organizations and school leaders have significantly contributed to the success of educational initiatives."

One standout aspect of Dr. Jacoby's leadership is her unwavering commitment to the development of aspiring leaders, particularly females in educational leadership roles. Serving as the secretary, conference chair, and regional representative for the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators' Women’s Caucus, she actively works towards improving the status, rights, and opportunities for women in educational leadership.

"Her dedication to fostering leadership development within this demographic is truly commendable and is at the heart of the Jean Winsand Award," Dr. Scherrer said.

Dr. Jacoby accepted the honor on April 11 at the Annual Jean E. Winsand Workshop for Women in School Leadership, hosted by the Tri State Area School Study Council, which is part of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading. In her acceptance remarks, Dr. Jacoby said the award is a reflection of the collective efforts of remarkable women who support and empower each other. Excerpts follow below.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Jean E. Winsand Distinguished Woman in Education Award, but I must stress that this recognition is not about me as an individual. Rather, it symbolizes the collective efforts of a group of remarkable leaders … who have supported, encouraged, and inspired each other to become better versions of themselves. […] Together, we have embraced the courage to challenge the status quo, empowered one another to speak up and advocate for change, and fostered environments where various voices are encouraged and valued.”

- Dr. Jill Jacoby