Commencement caps
Image: Tim Cimperman

Sharon Superintendent Michael Calla to give Shenango commencement address

Penn State Shenango Advisory Board Member and Superintendent of Sharon School District Michael J. Calla will give the commencement address at the 2019 Penn State Shenango Fall Commencement Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, in the campus auditorium. Jo Anne Carrick, campus director and chief academic officer, will confer baccalaureate and associate degrees on the graduating students.

Calla has been with the Sharon School District for more than 30 years. Before his appointment as superintendent, he served as the district’s supervisor of curriculum and instruction from July 2002 until June 2013. In addition, Calla has over 40 years of working in all levels of public and parochial education—as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and central office administrator.

Calla has made numerous presentations to state professional groups, most recently on the importance of peer coaching in elementary schools at the Pennsylvania Association of Federal Program Coordinators conference. He also serves on the advisory boards for Butler County Community College, (LindenPointe), Mercer County Career Center, and Penn State Shenango.

One capstone of his tenure as superintendent for the Sharon City Schools was his participation in the Secretary of Education’s Superintendent’s Academy as a member of the initial cohort of 88 invited superintendents from across the commonwealth. The two-year academy involved training provided by both national and international educational experts.

This year’s graduating student address will be given by Miranda Hayes of Masury, Ohio, who will be receiving her bachelor of science degree in human development and family studies. She is currently completing her senior capstone in the campus’ Student Affairs Office.

Hayes started her higher education journey directly after graduating from high school in 2002. After completing one year at Penn State Shenango, she withdrew. In fall 2015, Hayes returned to the Shenango campus as a nontraditional student and a mother of one, declaring her major as human development and family studies (HDFS). Once again, she completed one year but had to take a personal leave of absence due to the death of her father. In the fall of 2017, she returned to the Shenango campus to complete her degree.

Now, at the end of two difficult years both personally and academically, Hayes will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in HDFS with a minor in psychology.

A few of Hayes’ accomplishments while at Shenango include being named to the Dean’s List each semester since her return in 2015, receiving the Osher Re-entry Scholarship, and spending her last semester helping Shenango’s on-campus food pantry, the Nittany Nook, survive and thrive!

“I owe my success to God and to the amazing faculty and staff at Shenango who have shared in my journey,” said Hayes. Her future plans include furthering her education to obtain a master’s in social work and continuing to raise her two young children.

The fall commencement ceremony will conclude with the induction of the graduates into the Penn State Alumni Society by Shenango Alumni Society President Carl Aaron Sizer III.

For more information about this year’s commencement ceremony, contact the Registrar’s Office at 724-983-2856.