Superintendent's Initiatives

As Superintendent, Dr. Knight-Burney is focused on the critical work of improving student achievement and district performance, preparing students for college and careers, expanding access to early childhood education, supporting educator effectiveness, and engaging parents in the educational process. Known for her personable style and unwavering commitment to students, Dr. Knight-Burney has successfully spearheaded various initiatives including, but not limited to -- restoring full-day kindergarten, developing the district’s first Cyber Learning School, and launching a STEM/STEAM education division, as well as an innovative, standards-aligned Aquaponics and "School to Table" program in partnership with Zoetic Global and The WheelHouse. 


Harrisburg School District Superintendent, Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney believes that highly skilled and passionate teachers and school leadership are key for student learning, academic achievement, educational equity and school transformation. To support the development of effective instructional leaders, the District offers the following professional development opportunities.

HBGSD Teacher Leadership Academy (TLA) provides outstanding learning experiences, resources and support for teacher leaders who are committed to improving the performance of all learners within the systems they work. The TLA focuses on teachers who want to enhance their teaching and learning; engage, inspire and support struggling students; and who want to learn and implement best practices and strategies that improve student achievement. The Teacher Leadership Academy was created by Superintendent Knight-Burney and is inspired by the Harrisburg Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.

HBGSD Administrators Summer Leadership Academy (SLA) is an annual, week-long leadership training that builds professional capacity of administrators and instructional leaders in our District. SLA provides opportunities for reflection, new and evidenced-based learning, information sharing and strategic processes that help support student achievement, positive school climate and increased teacher effectiveness. Our 2016-2017 theme was “Growing Greatness One Leader, One Teacher, One Student at a Time.” This theme will serve as the foundation and goal for the work of every school and District administrator. SLA strives to help leaders further develop their ability to transform education systems and drive meaningful change within their respective school.

HBGSD Aspiring Urban Leaders Program is a partnership between HBGSD and Shippensburg University, seeks visionary, entrepreneurial and passionate leaders who are eager to assume educational administrative leadership roles and dramatically improve outcomes for Harrisburg students, families and schools. This innovative course will provide a framework for participants to learn three major components of becoming highly effective school leaders. A selective cohort will advance their skills in change management and instructional leadership through intensive experiential learning. 

HBGSD’s STEM Education - With a focus on the future and a strong commitment to best practices in 21st Century Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, HBGSD has implemented innovative K-12 STEM teaching and learning solutions that inspire and promote a highly rigorous and purposefully integrated STEM culture district-wide. The educational mission of HBGSD’s STEM Division is to build and implement rigorous, relevant and real world STEM focused experiential and career focused learning opportunities where students are taught and challenged to reach their full academic potential. 

Superintendent's Teacher and Leadership Initiatives

Superintendent's STEM-STEAM Initiative

Superintendent's Together for Tomorrow Partnership