New Castle News

Closer Look

April 22, 2014

Union principal receives award

NEW CASTLE — Union Area School District’s elementary principal will receive the 2014 Distinguished Female Educator Award.

The award from the Tri-State Area School Study Council is to be presented April 24 to Linda J. O’Neill during the 12th annual Dr. Jean Winsand International Institute for Women in School Leadership at the Edgewood Country Club in Penn Hills.

The award recognizes honorees for their leadership within their school districts and communities, and their mentorship and assistance extended to others.

O’Neill, who was nominated by Union Area Superintendent, Dr. Alfonso Angelucci, was praised as a leader, mentor and innovator.

“Union is extremely fortunate to have an exemplary leader like Linda O’Neill working in our elementary school,” Angelucci said. “She is a kids-first leader who is committed to making her school the very best it can be.

“She truly views her leadership as service to her students, her staff, and her community.”

O’Neill was promoted to the elementary principal post at Union on July 1, 1996, after serving as a first-grade teacher in the district for 25 years. For many of those years, she worked side by side with her sister, Betty Ann Sylvester, a recently retired first-grade teacher.

O’Neill also serves as the school district’s curriculum coordinator, federal programs coordinator, transportation coordinator, and new teacher induction specialist, and is on several leadership committees in the school district. 

In 2012, she was one of three state finalists for Pennsylvania’s representative in the National Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals National Distinguished Principal program. In 2013, she was named “Woman of Distinction” by the Delta Kappa Gamma, an international society for key female educators. 

O’Neill has a bachelor’s degree in education from Franciscan University and a master’s degree in education from Westminster College. In 1971, she took a first-grade teaching job at the school she attended as a child. She received her principal’s certification in 1980,.

She lives in Boardman with her husband, Bob. She has three children and two grandchildren. 


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