PA CAPE supports and advocates quality nonpublic education for its affiliated schools.

Senator Pat Toomey Named School Choice Champion!

PACAPE was pleased to have the opportunity to present Senator Pat Toomey with this year's School Choice Champion award! The Senator was unable to be there for the ceremony, so Larissa Bailey, the senator’s Regional Manager for Central Pennsylvania, accepted the award on his behalf. Thank you Senator Toomey for your leadership in the area of school choice and advancing private education.

School Choice Champion Awards to Mark Pennsylvania School Choice Week

“Clarification: Senator Toomey is unable to join us tomorrow in Lancaster, as he has obvious obligations in Washington D.C. Accepting the award on Senator Toomey’s behalf will be Larissa Bailey who serves as the senator’s Regional Manager for Central Pennsylvania.”
LANCASTER (Jan. 15, 2020) – Hundreds of private school administrators and community leaders will attend the Pennsylvania Affiliate of the Council on Private Education’s (PACAPE) presentation of the 2019 School Choice Champion Award at 9 a.m. on Jan. 24.

The award event will take place at the Association of Christian Schools International’s Administrators Conference at the Doubletree Resort by Hilton Lancaster Willow Valley. The ceremony will honor Sen. Pat Toomer for his leadership at the national level in the area of school choice and advancing private education. The event will feature remarks by leaders of PACAPE.

This event is planned to coincide with the history-making celebration of National School Choice Week 2020, which will feature more than 50,000 school choice events across all 50 states.

“We are excited to present this year’s award to Sen. Toomey and celebrate a school choice hero,” said Dr. D. Merle Skinner, executive director of PACAPE. “This award recognizes how the senator, along with many other leaders in the Commonwealth, have promoted programs that support families who are best served by a diversity of quality education options, each of which brings unique gifts to the table.”

The Doubletree Resort by Hilton Lancaster Willow Valley is located at 2400 Willow Street Pike.

PACAPE promotes the vital role of private schools in Pennsylvania education and their significant contributions to educating the public and promoting the common good.

For more information, contact Dr. D. Merle Skinner at or (724) 557-2675, or visit

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As a nonpartisan, nonpolitical public awareness effort, National School Choice Week shines a positive spotlight on effective education options for students, families, and communities around the country. From January 26 through February 1, 2020, more than 50,000 independently-planned events will be held in celebration of the Week. For more information, visit

2019 Teacher & Administrator Award Winners

The Pennsylvania affiliate of the Council on American Private Education (PACAPE) is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 PACAPE Private School Teacher, Administrator and School Awards. As the representative of approximately 85 percent of the students in private schools in Pennsylvania, PA-CAPE established the awards ceremony to elevate the status of private education in the eyes of the communities they serve as well as the Pennsylvania legislature. There were many excellent candidates nominated for these awards, all of whom provide an outstanding example of how Pennsylvania Private Schools are changing the lives of students both in and out of the classroom. We would like to recognize and congratulate the following individuals for winning this year’s Teacher/Administrator Awards.

Matthew Sullivan - Early Education Teacher (Gladwyne Montessori School)
Cheryl Kestner - Elementary Teacher (Mary Queen of Apostles School)
Donald Militzer - Early Childhood & Elementary Administrator (St Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin School)
Debbie Azevedo - Secondary Education Teacher (Cedar Grove Christian Academy)
Kristen Lloyd - Music Education Teacher (Johnstown Christian School)
Mary Claire Kasunic - Secondary Education Administrator (Oakland Catholic High School)

These teachers and administrators have a personal testimony that reinforces the overall significance of private school educators and leaders; we congratulate and thank them for the impact they make in their classrooms, schools, and in the lives of each of their students.

Award Recipients and PA CAPE Leaders at the awards ceremony in Harrisburg.

Speaker of the House Mike Turzai - 2018 School Choice Champion!

LANCASTER (Jan. 19, 2018) – The Honorable, Mike Turzai, PA Speaker of the House and Candidate for Governor will be awarded the PACAPE School Choice Champion award at a ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26 at the Willow Valley Resort in Lancaster. Speaking at the event will be leaders from the Pennsylvania affiliate of the Council on American Private Education, in addition to the awardee. About 350 private school administrators are expected to attend.

Senator Mike Folmer - 2017 School Choice Champion!

LANCASTER (January 20, 2017) – Private School leaders in Pennsylvania honor Pennsylvania Senator Mike Folmer for his support of school choice on Friday, January 27. The Pennsylvania Council for Private Education (PA CAPE) will present the School Choice Champion Award to Senator Mike Folmer on behalf of Pennsylvania Private Schools. The event will be held at the Willow Valley Double Tree Resort in Lancaster on January 27 at 9:00 am during the Association of Christian Schools International Northeast Regional Administrator Board Conference.

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