WISSAHICKON -- The Wissahickon School Board has announced the appointment of Mwenyewe Dawan as the new assistant superintendent effective Feb. 1, 2021. Dr. Dawan will replace Dr. Gary Abbamont who is retiring after serving the district since March 2009.

Dr. Dawan has 22 years of experience in K-12 education with specialization in curriculum and instruction design, implementation and assessment as well as classroom teaching and building leadership. She will join Wissahickon from the Phoenixville Area School District where she currently serves as an elementary principal, and as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader. From 2012-2015, she was supervisor for student supports and curriculum. Notable accomplishments include extensive revision of the K-12 language arts curriculum to emphasize the teaching of reading in all grade levels and subjects, and the development of a year-long professional development program focused on equity.

Dr. Dawan has also worked as an instructional support specialist and first grade teacher at Perkiomen Valley School District, a grades 2-4 teacher at the Islamic Day School of Philadelphia, and an adjunct professor at Arcadia University and Saint Joseph’s University.

Dr. Dawan earned her B.S., Early Childhood and Elementary Education, from Temple University, an M.S. in Special Education and Reading Specialist, from Saint Joseph’s University and her Ed.D. in Special Education (along with her principal certification) from Arcadia University. She earned her Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility from Saint Joseph’s University.

“Dr. Dawan’s academic background, work experience and demeanor all fit the demands of the assistant superintendent’s position and our school district. I am very excited to welcome Dr. Dawan to our leadership team, and am 100% confident she is going to excel and inspire once she gets here in February,” said Dr. James Crisfield, WSD Superintendent.

The board also appointed Susan Kanopka as the new principal of Lower Gwynedd Elementary effective Jan. 4, 2021.

A 1994 alumna of Wissahickon High School, Kanopka has served as a K-5 teacher in the district for 17 years, teaching all six grades, as well as an instructional coach at the K-5 level for the past five years.

“Ms. Kanopka knows K-5 teaching and learning like the back of her hand, and is universally welcome into classrooms across the district by her colleagues and our students. We are thrilled to have her take the helm at Lower Gwynedd,” said Dr. Crisfield.

 Kanopka earned her B.S. in elementary education from Pennsylvania State University, her M.A. Ed. from Arcadia University and her Principal Certification from Gwynedd Mercy University.

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