Emilie Lonardi was recognized as the Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year Friday for her "innovative leadership" in the West York Area School District for the past 16 years.

The award was given by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, or PASA, an organization for superintendents, assistant superintendents and other administrators across the state.

Lonardi said she was nominated by the elementary team in her district, and went to a luncheon Friday given by the organization.

"I was thrilled to go," Lonardi said.

A release from PASA said Lonardi was chosen by a panel of school administrators because of several programs she has started in the district, including the "West York Way" campaign that helps to identify cost-savings across the district. That campaign has netted over $3 million in savings over the past two years, according to the organization.

Lonardi was also chosen for multiple initiatives that encourage academic improvement within the district, including programs that encourage students to take responsibility for their growth and improve scores for struggling students.

Lonardi said those programs will continue forward, in large part because of the staff in the district.

"It's all the teachers," Lonardi said. "They make it happen."

Lonardi is a representative to PASA's Board of Governors and has served as the organization's representative on the board of the PIAA.

She is also an adjunct professor in the education leadership departments of Penn State Harrisburg and York College.

Lonardi will also be honored in February with honorees from each state in the nation during a conference in Nashville.

- Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.