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Our People

Allie Arendas

Due to the multifaceted nature of her position as Head of Lower School, you’d think that Allie Arendas would be tough to track down. At any given moment she might be supporting faculty in their classrooms, planning a school-wide event, welcoming a new family to campus, playing recess games with first-graders, covering a lunch table, or guiding students through conflict-resolution techniques. But—as busy as she may be—Allie exudes approachability, and our students and teachers have no trouble finding her. Her office is welcoming—bright and colorful, and adorned with inspiring quotes and fresh cut flowers from her garden. It’s the kind of space that invites pop-ins and open dialogue.

At Valley School, Allie is a go-to mentor for students and teachers alike, but her passion for leadership extends into the local community as well. For the last 12 years, she has taught in the Graduate School of Education at her alma mater, Saint Vincent College. Leadership and the professional development of teachers have been her focus, and her favorite course is a practicum in which students seeking their PK-12 Instructional Technologist Certification have the opportunity to experience technology administration and leadership. Through observation and mentorships in various educational settings, students create portfolios that demonstrate that they have mastered the competencies set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.    

Allie enjoys supporting Valley School teachers in their development, too. She’s a lifelong learner, and is grateful to have colleagues who strive to stay abreast of pedagogical best practices. She has full confidence in our Valley School teachers’ intuition and expertise. She empowers faculty by giving them autonomy in their classrooms, and she assists however she can when approached with ideas for progressive teaching strategies. For Allie, watching talented colleagues at work is an opportunity to continue learning and realize the everlasting gift of education that she fosters at Valley School.

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  • Fun Facts

    • Colleagues hail Allie as the Martha Stewart of Valley School. She loves to sew, garden, and cook. An accomplished baker, she regularly spoils Lower School with muffins, her famous Mexican wedding cookies and pecan pie bars. She’s also a crafter extraordinaire!
    • The Velveteen Rabbit is one of Allie’s favorite children’s books.  She recently enjoyed reading When You Wonder, You're Learning: Mister Rogers' Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids, which is based on a concept that could serve as her personal motto.
  • Uncommon Knowledge

    One of Allie’s proudest accomplishments has been inspired by her son, Nate (Valley School ’06), who lives with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Together with family, they established Nate’s Mates to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to raising money for CF research and drug development.


  • B.A., Psychology, Elementary Education Certification - St. Vincent College
  • M.Ed, Technology Enhanced Learning & Instructional Design, PK-12 Instructional Technology Specialist Certification - Seton Hill University
  • PK-12 Principal Certification - Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Valley School of Ligonier

Address: 153 Lupine Lane, Rector PA 15677
Mail: PO Box 616 Ligonier, PA 15658
Phone: (724) 238-6652  Fax: (724) 238-6838
In an environment that is safe, challenging, nurturing, and disciplined, Valley School provides a balanced and strong program of study for a diverse group of children. Our goal is to stimulate in each young person lifelong habits of moral behavior, seeking wisdom, and doing good works for others.
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