Award Year: 2013

Whitemarsh Elementary School

4120 Joshua Road
Lafayette Hill, PA, 19444-1213

(610) 828-9092

Donna Drizin, Principal at time of Nomination


School Website


Whitemarsh Elementary School provides a foundation for lifelong learning by partnering with the community to promote a culture of collaboration, innovation, inspiration, diversity and service.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 3%
  • White: 83%
  • Hispanic: 3%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 7%
  • Two or more races: 3%
  • ELL: 2%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

Each student who enters Whitemarsh Elementary School (WES) passes the sign that reads “Welcome to Someplace Special.” Once inside, the K-3 students find themselves in a safe, welcoming environment where diversity and differences are respected and celebrated.

“Our hallways and classrooms are filled with lively peer and teacher conversations and proud faces of students who are actively engaged in cutting edge, relevant and rigorous curriculum,” says Principal Donna Drizin. “Ours is a culture of collaboration, inspiration and innovation where a personalized learning environment leads to high expectations for everyone.”

Understanding that all students learn differently and at varying paces, the highly skilled and motivated WES teachers work diligently to meet their students’ individual learning styles.

"Every student enters our classrooms with a litany of experiences, talents, and goals,” said Master Teacher Kristen Gamble. “Our duty is to provide multi-dimensional differentiated instruction that meets our learners where they are and sees them through successes beyond their imagination."

Pre-assessments determine students’ strengths and weaknesses, while ongoing formative assessments monitor progress and growth. Teachers use this data to tailor instruction for each student, thereby ensuring all students achieve at high levels. This is evidenced by the 95-100 percent of students scoring at or above Proficient in Reading and Mathematics on the Pennsylvania System of Schools Assessment over the past five years.

“The success of our students, including those with special needs, is a result of this educational philosophy and a strong collaboration between our parents, teachers, staff and community,” said Mrs. Drizin.