When representing the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) it is important to have an understanding of its history. The CCIU is one of 29 regional educational agencies established by law in Pennsylvania in 1971. But its history actually begins well before then.
On May 8, 1854, the office of County Superintendent of Schools was established via state law. Incumbents were selected by voice vote of the county’s school directors, those who served on the school board in Chester County’s municipalities and of which each operated its own schools. County Superintendents served 3-year terms and were responsible for examining and awarding certificates for teachers, visiting all schools in the county, delivering frequent lectures, holding regular “institutes” for teachers, directors and friends of the public school system, and issuing an “Annual Hand-Book of the Public Schools of Chester County.” From 1854 to 1971, thirteen County Superintendents held office including:
- Agnew Futhey (1854-1857)
- Franklin Taylor (1857-1860)
- William W. Woodruff (1860-1869)
- George L. Maris (1869-1872)
- Hiram F. Pierce (1872-1876; died during 2nd term)
- Jacob W. Harvey (1877-1887)
- Joseph S. Walton (1887-1896)
- Frank P. Bye (1896-1900; resigned during 2nd term)
- George W. Moore (1900-1914; term changed by law from 3 to 4 years but Mr. Moore resigned early)
- Thomas A. Bock (1914-1920)
- Clyde T. Saylor (1920-1955; resigned early)
- Webster C. Herzog (1955-1965)
- Stanley K. Landis (1965-1971)
In 1971, the state abolished the county superintendency and created intermediate units. After facing a state mandate of creating jointures by July 1, 1966, Mr. Stanley Landis completed the process of joining 69 county school districts into the 12 school districts that exist today; thus earning himself the title as the very first Executive Director of the CCIU. Additional notable actions of Mr. Landis include the development of countywide programs such as expanded psychological and special education services, the opening of the Central Chester County Vocational-Technical School in Caln in 1967 and the Northern Technical School in Phoenixville in 1969, the opening of the Child Development Center in Caln in 1971 and the opening of the first CCIU administrative building in Caln in 1972. Mr. Landis’ terms ended in 1977.
Mr. Landis set the precedence for the mission and service of the CCIU and he has been followed by Executive Directors equally driven, including:
- Linford A. Werkheiser (1977-1979)
- Finalized plans to open the Career Development Center in Caln. Previously secondary school children with special needs were served at the South Coatesville Elementary School.
- Charles R. Keim, Jr. (1979-1982)
- Dedicated to children with special needs, Mr. Keim served as Assistant Executive Director under Mr. Landis and was heralded as the driver for the opening of the Child Development Center.
- Keim called districts to utilize the IU’s services to build efficiency in in-service training, communications and data processing.
- John K. Baillie, Ed.D. (1982-2007)
- Baillie oversaw major growth in the size and services of the IU, in essence turning it into the thriving educational center it is today.
- As part of the growth, Dr. Baillie oversaw two administrative building moves – the first in 1989 to Oaklands Corporate Center and the second in 2003 to the current Boot Road location.
- Baillie helped coordinate major renovation and expansion to the Child & Career Development Center, and approved ground breaking for the brand new Technical College High School Pennock’s Bridge Campus (first of its kind in the commonwealth and later opened in 2008).
- Joseph J. O’Brien, Ed.D. (2007-present)
- O’Brien has led continued expansion of the CCIU and its multitude of services, including a comprehensive superintendent search offering for districts in and around the county.
- The Technical College High School (TCHS) brand has been expanded and strengthened through the rebranding and expansive renovations of CAT Pickering to TCHS Pickering Campus and the rebranding and movement to a new high-end building for CAT Brandywine, now TCHS Brandywine Campus.
Today, the CCIU’s over 1,500 employees provide service to the 12 school districts in Chester County. This includes services to nearly 86,000 public and non-public school students and over 6,000 educators. CCIU's major services include: special education and compensatory education programs; career, technical and customized education; mentor training and staff development; technology initiatives; consortia for school business operations; and curriculum services.