Riverview IU6 Recognizes Matthew LaVerde As Policy Leader in STEM Education

| February 28, 2019

CLARION, Pa. – Matthew LaVerde, Assistant Executive Director of Riverview Intermediate Unit 6, has been accepted as one of 31 ambassadors in the Pennsylvania STEM Ambassador Program.

The STEM Program aims to shape the future of STEM education in the Commonwealth by targeting vital policy conversations to legislative leaders in the areas of STEM Learning ecosystems, computer science, state, and federal policy for formal and informal education, and workforce needs. 

PA STEM Ambassadors met for an inaugural training session today at the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), a statewide training and professional development organization through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Special Education.

The Riverview Intermediate Unit 6 is committed to building a STEM Ecosystem in our region through the integration of project-based-learning using technology with industry, workforce, and economic development while building positive symbiotic relationships with local industry.  From the “Rust Belt” to the “Smart Belt” is the theme as RIU6 supports the PA Rural Robotics Initiative, Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathways, and Computer Science for All curricular development. 

After serving as a Math Teacher, Principal, and Curriculum Coordinator in the Franklin and Valley Grove Districts, Matt joined the IU Team in the middle of last school year and continues to advocate for supporting all students with the 40 Developmental Assets philosophy as the team continuously advance the curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices with 21st Century Learning and Leadership.

Representing leaders and emerging leaders in corporate, PreK-12 and higher education, and afterschool programs from 22 counties, PA STEM Ambassadors have agreed to invest the next nine months in training and policy development to share expertise and content knowledge with influential stakeholders to help develop a stronger voice in shaping STEM education policy issues. 

“In order for Pennsylvania to lead in STEM policy, we need to develop leaders across the state to advocate for bipartisan support in advancing STEM Education policies and to have the respect and influence to affect change,” said Laura Saccente, director of Pennsylvania Statewide afterschool and Youth Development Network (PSAYDN). 

“PA STEM Ambassadors have been a vital part in shaping STEM education and workforce policies.”

PSAYDN collaborated with the Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC), the national STEM Education Coalition, the Afterschool Alliance, 2018 National STEM Ambassador Jeff Remington and staff from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, through the PA STEM Education Coalition, to provide training support to the ambassadors.

In response to being selected, Matt expressed, “I am very excited to be part of the program and to represent Riverview IU6 and the schools in our region in Harrisburg as the conversation of advancing education and policy to meet the needs of Industry and Workforce Development continues to be vital to the economic stability of our great country and state, as well as our little corners of the world.”

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