Governor Corbett Officially Nominates William Harner as Secretary of Education

May 23, 2013, 16:20 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett on Wednesday officially nominated Dr. William E. Harner to be Pennsylvania's Secretary of Education.

Harner was named last week as the replacement for Ron Tomalis, who has been named Special Adviser to the Governor on Higher Education.

Originally from Montgomery County, Harner serves as superintendent of the Cumberland Valley School District in Mechanicsburg. He will begin working as acting education secretary on June 3.

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Harner has a doctorate in educational leadership and master's degrees in education supervision and human resources from the University of South Carolina.

Harner currently serves on the Board of Directors at the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center Foundation, the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, and the PA Network for Dropout Prevention.

Following Governor Corbett's announcement of his intention to nominate Dr. Harner, some of the people who have worked with Harner in the past had these things to say about the nominee:

"I thought he had enthusiasm and wanted to make Cumberland Valley the best around and I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. He's supportive of the kids."

Senator Pat Vance, 31st Senatorial District

"He was very capable, very knowledgeable, very process-oriented, very well organized. He also had a good understanding of instruction…[he was] my troubleshooter.  He'll be a solid choice."

Paul Vallas, Former CEO of the School District of Philadelphia

"Dr. Harner is a strong, visionary leader who has demonstrated his willingness to take on the difficult challenges that face our public schools. Throughout his career as a school system leader, he has demonstrated his commitment to institute reforms necessary to improve educational opportunities and student achievement. 

"PASA applauds Governor Corbett for his selection of an experienced school administrator to serve as Pennsylvania Secretary of Education."

Jim Buckheit, Executive Director of the PA Association of School Administrators  

"His energy and enthusiasm for education and the students of Pennsylvania are contagious.  Dr. Harner is a respected leader in Pennsylvania's education community with the ability to foster open dialog with school districts, career and technology centers, intermediate units and other school entities in the commonwealth. The association members and leadership look forward to working with Dr. Harner in his new role as nominee for secretary of education."

Stuart Knade, Interim Executive Director of the PA School Boards Association

"In his five years with Cumberland Valley School District, Dr. Harner has successfully endeavored to raise rigor amongst our students.  His overarching goal was to challenge all students to the best of their individual abilities."

-  Barbara Gleim, President of the Cumberland Valley School District Board of Directors

"Bill epitomizes the servant leader. Whether he's in a U.S. Army uniform, a coat and tie or in a T-shirt supporting a local charity or a school project, Bill Harner's commitment and dedication to improving his community is to be admired.  Harrisburg is far cry from South Korea where we first met, but I'm glad he and his family have claimed Cumberland County as home. Bill has my sincere best wishes for continued success,"

-  Commissioner Barbara Cross, Cumberland County Board of Commissioners

"During my 4 years as a Cumberland Valley School Board Director, I had the pleasure of getting to know Dr. Harner as a professional, a friend, and a family man.  The most outstanding characteristic about Dr. Harner that shines through in all three roles is his compassion for children.  

"For me, that's a very strong statement to make because he is also the most outstanding leader I worked with in over 30 years of working in the private sector.  His ability to motivate and lead is exemplary.  These qualities will allow Dr. Harner to excel at leading the Pennsylvania State of Education to be a leader in public education."

-  Kevin Moyer, Former Cumberland Valley School District Director

"Dr. Harner is a true leader who supports student achievement in our schools.  He is committed to community involvement and student success. He encourages further education for staff and administrative personnel. He supports student initiatives and has the ability to help them fulfill their potential as participants and future leaders in our world."

-  Donald Snyder, Principal of Middlesex Elementary School

"As a teacher in a school with many needs, he continually looks for ways to inspire students about all the educational opportunities that life has to offer. Dr. Harner has visited students in my classroom weekly, and he has been a positive role model in their lives."   

-  Lisa Anstine,  Fifth-grade teacher in the Cumberland Valley School District

"Dr. Harner has been a champion for student achievement as evidenced by the importance he places on the need for strategic leadership throughout his district.  The involvement of Dr. Harner and his administrative staff in the Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Program has been exemplary."

-  Dr. Michael Clemens, Team Leader-Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Program

Media contactKevin Harley, 717-783-1116
Tim Eller, Dept. of Education, 717-783-9802

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor