September 23, 2008

DVIRC and U.S. Navy Science and Math Education Partnership Places First Teacher in Region’s K-12 School System

Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC) today announced it has placed its first science teacher from its Military Education Corps program in Montgomery County's Springfield Township School District. Captain (Retired) Richard Colonna, recently retired from the United States Navy, kicked off the start of the new academic year teaching science in Springfield Township High School. DVIRC's Military Education Corps, a project funded by a $500,000 grant from the Lenfest Foundation, places former U.S. Navy personnel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics classrooms in the Philadelphia region.

A goal of the Military Education Corps is to enhance the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching in the region's K-16 education system by recruiting and placing former Naval instructors geared with extensive backgrounds in science and math in the region's secondary and post secondary schools. DVIRC plans to place 12 former U.S. Navy personnel in K-16 schools in five counties throughout the Philadelphia region by September 2010. The long term objective is to supplement the entire region's education community with experienced military personnel and educators.

"The placement of Captain Colonna in Montgomery County school system is an important first step in our effort to support the region's pool of professional educators," says Tony Girifalco, DVIRC's Executive Vice President. "We believe veterans from the US Navy provide a unique educational asset that will meet a growing demand for STEM teachers in the Philadelphia Region. Our goal is to build a pipeline of experienced instructors that can be quickly placed into local school systems to support the growing emphasis on science and math education."

The DVIRC's Military Education Corps project is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education--a key project partner. Teaching candidates are available to any K-12 school district in the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia and Montgomery.

For additional information on DVIRC's STEM initiatives and its goal to provide high quality science and math teachers to the region's K-16 educational institutions, contact John Dixon @ 215-464-8550 or visit

About DVIRC - DVIRC is an economic development organization established in 1988 to serve the needs of nearly 5,000 Small to Midsized advanced manufacturing Enterprises (SME) in five counties throughout the Philadelphia region. The organization's primary focus is to grow business value for clients through consulting services, talent development and corporate finance / growth capital, helping to establish the region as an internationally recognized leader in manufacturing competitiveness. We believe growing business value improves the standard of living and quality of life for those that live and / or work in the region. A diverse board of directors comprised of executives from the manufacturing, banking, legal and economic development communities govern the DVIRC.