Ron Cowell has announced that he will retire as Executive Director of The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) on December 31, 2022. He formed EPLC in late 1998 following 24 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and has led EPLC for the past 24 years. He will continue to provide support to EPLC and its leadership programs as a Senior Fellow.
Before forming EPLC, Cowell served in the PA House of Representatives from 1974 until 1998, and served as Education Committee chair and member of the State Board of Education for twelve years.
“I have been privileged to work with important education policy issues for the past 48 years,” Cowell said. “I am proud that work on behalf of students of all ages, and especially our youngest children, has been the focus of my career in state government and with EPLC. I am especially grateful for the exceptionally talented legislative and EPLC staff with whom I have worked and learned from for the past five decades, the dedicated leaders who have served on the EPLC board of directors, and the literally thousands of educators, policy leaders, advocates, and other partners with whom I have been privileged to work.”
During the past 24 years, EPLC has produced policy reports on a variety of topics ranging from school governance to arts education to career and technical education. It has conducted more than 100 public forums, for several years hosted “Focus on Education” on PCN, provided training programs for school board candidates and education advocates, and sponsored the PA Education Policy Fellowship Program with more than 650 graduates since 1999. For much of this time, EPLC has been in the forefront of efforts to improve the state’s K-12 funding system.
The EPLC Board of Directors has selected Amy Morton to become Executive Director effective January 1, 2023.
Amy Morton is an education leader whose career started as a high school social studies teacher in the Carlisle Area School District. She has held multiple leadership positions in the Pennsylvania Department of Education under Republican and Democrat administrations. Her service as executive director for the Capital Area Intermediate Unit connected her with higher education and early childhood leaders as well as career and technical education centers. More recently she has been working with Pennsylvania educators in her role as PA state director and system design specialist for the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). Since 2019, she also has been a co-coordinator of EPLC’s Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellowship Program.