The MITCS family is deeply saddened by the recent passing of two of its leaders: Jerry Hodge and Paul Pennington.
Jerry served as president of the Board of Trustees and was essential to the founding of the school. He began his distinguished career working for Hall China in East Liverpool, later worked for Jones & Laughlin Steel in Aliquippa, and then served as District Director for Congressman Joe Kolter in Beaver Falls. In 2018, he retired from his position as a Regional Director for the National Association of Manufacturers. In addition to his service to MITCS, Jerry held positions on several boards, including the Drug & Alcohol Commission, the Beaver County Transit Authority, PA Housing Finance Authority, the Beaver County Labor Council, and the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. Paul served as a member of the MITCS Board of Trustees since 2018. He graduated from Western Kentucky University with a Civil Engineering degree, and he had a career as an engineer until his retirement from Gannett Fleming in 2022. He was a dedicated member of the First Baptist Church, where he served as Chairman of the Deacon Board and Planning Board. Paul also served on the board of the Women's Center of Beaver County and played an instrumental role in the founding of MITCS.
The Hodge/Pennington Fund for the MITCS Welding Lab
Both Jerry and Paul were committed to MITCS’s mission to offer authentic, hands-on learning opportunities to a diverse population of students, and they saw the school as a place that encouraged innovative thinking, deep learning, and collaborative engagement. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers will grow by 8% by 2030. This means skilled welders will continue to enjoy a positive employment outlook, with nearly 50,000 job openings expected each year.
To honor Jerry and Paul, MITCS has established The Hodge/Pennington Fund for an MITCS Welding Lab. Jerry and Paul were already committed to this project, with initial plans to establish a Welding Career Pathway and to build a lab with six new welding tables, machine booths, and dust collectors. Ultimately, the plan calls for building a separate Welding Lab facility next to MITCS, housing 15-20 welding tables and a full ventilation system.
If you and/or your organization would like to support this effort with a monetary donation, please send your check to:
Midland Innovation + Technology Charter School
7 South 12th Street
Midland, PA 15059
Please make checks payable to "Midland Innovation + Technology Charter School” and note "The Hodge/Pennington Fund” on the check’s memo line.