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“Educating Students in the Heart of Grape Country.”









Student artwork freeport beach photograph

Welcome Dr. Michele S. Hartzell to the North East School District!

On behalf of the North East School District, I would like to welcome you to our school district’s webpage. The community of North East Borough and North East Township has a population of about 11,000. The students are, for the most part, evenly divided geographically between the two municipalities.

Our community is classified as agricultural as most of the available land is planted with grape vineyards or cherry orchards. Many of the harvested grapes are used by Welch’s, one of our local companies, for products such as jelly and juice products. Some of the grapes are used by local wineries to produce exceptionally fine wine that is marketed and sold locally, nationally and internationally.

Despite our agricultural designation, the community supports several manufacturers including The Electric Materials Company, Ridg-U-Rak, Bay Valley Foods, and Better Baked Foods.  A branch campus of Mercyhurst University, Mercyhurst North East, is also located in North East where two-year degree programs in nursing, culinary arts, municipal police training, and agricultural studies are offered.

The downtown area of North East consists of many locally owned and unique shops that thousands of people enjoy. Additionally, the local parks add a special feeling of belonging and togetherness that add to the character and charm of the area.

The local police and fire departments are proud to serve their community and give countless hours to their community to ensure that families are safe and secure. The local 4-NINE organization, “For Neighbors in North East”, further exemplifies this spirit of the family by providing assistance wherever it is needed and for whoever it is needed.

Historically, the North East School District began with one borough public school and thirteen schoolhouses within the township.  It has evolved into one high school, one middle school and one intermediate and primary school housed in one building.  Our mascot, the “Grape-Picker” uniquely represents our community as one of the major industries.

Our school district continues to represent its rich tradition of academic success as well as success in extracurricular activities and the arts.  Just a few short years ago, North East High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education- an accomplishment that very few high schools in the state can ever say that they have achieved. The state assessment scores in the district continue to be impressive. Our schools continue to rank near the top in the county and in IU5 in state achievement and growth.

Our sports and extracurricular programs focus on integrity, class, and character that has led to several region and district championships. Examples of this can be found in the school’s cross country program who has won the state championship seven times since 1971. Our marching band has been crowned the LMBA champions for the past seven out of the past eight years.         

The musicals and productions that the school produces and performs are, without a doubt, the best in the region. If you have not been to a production, you need to take advantage of this priceless treasure.

The district also sends academic teams to compete at the local, regional and state level in PJAS, Science Olympics and Envirothon where our students consistently bring home first and second place medals and awards. The school’s robotics team also represents the school with pride with their ingenious creations as they compete in the regional yearly robotics competition.

The school district also sponsors a very active and successful community education program providing numerous educational, personally enriching and recreational opportunities. Courses include yoga, self-defense, various computer application opportunities, quilting, golf, arts and crafts, and culinary arts. If there is an interest or need, the district will find a way to offer opportunities in it.

The entire school district community continues to demonstrate a strong sense of pride and appreciation for their schools and work hard to return that thanks back to the community by embracing community values and representing the community with pride in everything that takes place within the district.

We hope that you find our web pages and school’s Facebook page useful and fulfilling as these communication tools truly help you to feel the way that we all do about the things that happen within our school district and community. We also hope that they will help you to grasp a sense of the tremendous pride that comes from being a “Grape-Picker”.


“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” —Ryunosuke Satoro

District School Administration

Please use the list below for contact information to the corresponding North East School Building.Your communications are welcome and appreciated.

To contact, dial the mainline at (814)725-8671

Dr. Michele Hartzell, Superintendent ext. 3906

Mr. Jeff Fox, Business Manager ext. 3905

Mrs. Brianne Hodges, Special Education ext. 3018

Mrs. Robin Hedlund, Food Service Director ext. 1009

Mrs. Patty Schultz, Transportation ext. 1288  

Mr. Bill Wingerter, Grounds/Maintenance ext. 1283

Mr. Tyler Wilson, Technology Coordinator ext. 2020

Dr. Bill Renne, High School Principal ext. 1001

Mr. Nathan Otis, HS Assnt. to the Principal ext. 1002

Mr. Greg Beardsley, Middle School Principal ext. 2001

Dr. Steve Karns, MS Assnt. Principal ext. 2002

Mr. Brian Emick, Intermediate Principal ext. 3001

Dr. Jennifer Ritter, Earle C. Davis Principal ext. 3052

Superintendent Dr. Frank McClard Superintendent's Evaluation