Bart Rocco / photo: John Altdorfer

Dr. Bart Rocco has worked in public education for 36 years as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and a superintendent of schools. He recently retired as the Superintendent of the Elizabeth Forward School District in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. Currently, he is a Fellow with the Grable Foundation. 

Dr. Rocco was instrumental in transforming the culture of education in the Elizabeth Forward School District and continually shared the district’s success with other educators throughout the country who are interested in transforming education for their students. 

Under Dr. Rocco’s leadership, Elizabeth Forward School District was involved with numerous learning initiatives. He worked to establish partnerships with local universities; such as Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Pittsburgh, and California University of Pennsylvania. The district partnered with Pittsburgh based technology companies to implement game design courses at the Elizabeth Forward High School. He established MIT Certified Maker spaces at the High School and Middle School and instituted a district-wide maker curriculum in the elementary schools as well as a computational thinking program. With the help of grant funding, an Energy Lab was created with arcade-like games to teach students about energy. Dr. Rocco and his administrative team also redesigned the libraries within the school district to create learning environments where students are introduced to many different types of media as well as making. The district was also one of the first districts in the country to have a 1- 1 iPad initiative were all children had exposure to personalized learning using this technology. Transforming learning spaces and using technology to engage students in learning has been a hallmark of Dr. Rocco’s work. 

Dr. Rocco was awarded the Distinguished Pre K-12 Educator Award from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018, He was awarded the Champions of Learning Award in Leadership from the Consortium for Public Education in 2018, and he was also awarded the Distinguished Educator Award from the Tri-State Study Council and the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. He was the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Educator from the Elizabeth Forward Alumni Association. Dr. Rocco received his BA and M.Ed. from Duquesne University and he earned his Ed.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. 

He is married to Valerie who is a nurse at Jefferson Regional Medical Center. They have a son, Dr. Philip Rocco, who is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Marquette University. 

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