University of Pittsburgh Honors PA Cyber Founder Dr. Nick Trombetta

Mar 21, 2012, 17:27 ET from PA Cyber Charter School

PITTSBURGH, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Pittsburgh School of Education is to honor Dr. Nick Trombetta, founder and CEO of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and former superintendent of the Midland Borough School District, for his achievements in the field of education.

He is to be presented with the PreK-12 Educator Award for 2012 at a dinner in Pittsburgh this Friday, March 23. His is one of the major awards presented to alumni of the School of Education in the annual Alumni Awards Program.

Dean Alan M. Lesgold, professor and dean of the School of Education, announced the honor.

The presentation is to be made at a dinner for about 200 people at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, an iconic venue in the heart of Oakland's cultural and educational district.

The PreK-12 Educator Award "recognizes a PreK-12 educator for his or her outstanding accomplishments in the classroom, administration, support services, and/or extracurricular activities and programs." Criteria for the award include professional achievement, public service to the advancement of the educational field, and a commitment to the continued success of the School of Education and the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Trombetta's doctoral dissertation (2000) dealt with the decline and resurgence of the Midland Borough School District. As superintendent from 1995 to 2007, he led the successful transformation of the academically struggling K-8 school into one named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Trombetta was chief architect of PA Cyber, the commonwealth's largest and most successful public K-12 online school. He founded the National Network of Digital Schools (NNDS), an educational management foundation which provides online K-12 curriculum to more than 400 schools in 20 states.

Dr. Trombetta founded the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, a $30 million western Pennsylvania regional cultural and performance asset, and its tenant, the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, which draws 550 students from 58 surrounding districts for a state-approved academic education with training in the performing arts.

A nationally recognized leader in the reform and innovation of public education, Dr. Trombetta frequently is called upon to speak at conferences and present testimony to legislative committees.


A native of Aliquippa, Pa., and son of Italian immigrants, Nick Trombetta was graduated from Quigley Catholic High School. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Slippery Rock State University and his Master's Degree from the University of Dayton.

He began his career first as a coach and teacher at Quigley, then at East Liverpool High School in Ohio as a teacher of at-risk students and coach of the most successful high school wrestling program in the school's history.

Dr. Trombetta advanced his career as a principal in his Aliquippa hometown before being tapped as superintendent of the Midland Borough School District. The closure of the town's main employer, Crucible Steel, in the 1980s had forced Midland to shutter its high school. When he became superintendent in 1995, Midland had begun busing its high school students to Ohio because neighboring Pennsylvania school districts had rejected merger offers and long-term tuition arrangements.

A committee led by Dr. Trombetta searched for some way to ensure an educational future for these students. Acting upon a clause about technology in the state's newly enacted 1997 charter school law, and funded with a $25,000 state grant, Dr. Trombetta persuaded his school board to sponsor a K-12 charter school that would allow students to go to school from home by utilizing the Internet and new computer technology.

Expecting 50 students from the region, PA Cyber Charter School drew more than 500 from across the state when it opened in 2000. Enrollment doubled the next year and has climbed every year to a current enrollment of 11,000. The success of PA Cyber re-drew the educational map in Pennsylvania, making school choice an option for every family in the state.

PA Cyber has made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) under the No Child Left Behind Act for three consecutive years. In 2011 PA Cyber earned full accreditation from the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, the nation's most prestigious accrediting organization.

Dr. Trombetta served on Gov. Edward Rendell's Advisory Council for Special Education, and is a founding board member of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, an advocacy group for the commonwealth's 140 charter and 13 cyber charter schools.

In 2011 PA Cyber was named Top Workplace in the Pittsburgh Region by the Post-Gazette newspaper, and Dr. Trombetta was named Top Executive for organizations of 500 or more employees.

Contact: Fred Miller, 724.777.5918

SOURCE PA Cyber Charter School