Hatboro-Horsham School District

Be a Part of the Conversation was originally conceived as an initiative in the spring of 2011 in the Hatboro-Horsham School District. With the support of community members and area professionals, school and community leaders came together to explore opportunities for open conversations about substance use. At a time when addiction to prescribed opioids was rapidly leading to increased heroin use, the Hatboro-Horsham School District boldly acknowledged that students were being impacted, and their leaders determined that it was important to shine a light on substance use. Families, educators, students, treatment professionals, clergy, and members of law enforcement and the business community would all have a voice, with the shared goal of raising awareness and understanding about substance use, misuse and addiction.

Recognizing the potential to expand this initiative into other communities, Hatboro-Horsham School District administrators transferred the intellectual property known as Be a Part of the Conversation to our current organization. Today, we are recognized as a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, serving multiple counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. With support from the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation, HHSD schools and community remain vital partners in pursuing our mission.

Accepting the award on behalf of Hatboro-Horsham School District:

Monica J. Taylor, Ed.D.

A servant leader with close to four decades of experience in urban and suburban education, Dr. Monica J. Taylor recently retired from her position as Assistant Superintendent in the Hatboro- Horsham School District located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education at Arcadia University, located in Glenside, PA.

An active participant in many national and local educational, professional, and service organizations in the area, Dr. Taylor is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way; Montgomery County; serves on the Philadelphia Area Office Leadership Council of the UNCF; is a member of the Rotary Club International; Horsham, PA Chapter, and consults with the Delaware Valley Consortium for Equity and Excellence. A Golden Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Dr. Taylor is the Immediate Past President of the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter, and the current Pennsylvania (East) State Coordinator. She is also a member of The Links, Incorporated, Delaware Valley (PA) Chapter. Dr. Taylor was recognized with the Dr. Norman K. Miller Scholarship for Educational Leadership from Arcadia University in 2013. For four consecutive years beginning in 2016, Dr. Taylor was named one of Philadelphia’s Most Influential African Americans by The Philadelphia Tribune. In 2018, she was named recipient of the Leonard C. Ferguson Youth Advocate
Award by College Settlement.

Dennis M. Williams, Jr., Ed.D.

Dr. Dennis M. Williams, Jr., has spent 26 years in education, with nineteen years as a building-level administrator. He became the first African American male to serve as a building principal in the history of his school district at 29 years of age. He currently serves as the principal at Hatboro-Horsham High School. His leadership has helped lead to national recognition while embracing successful high school reform initiatives. He has presented at local, regional, national, and international conferences and is skilled in educational leadership and family engagement practices.

He also contracts with districts as a consultant to support and train leaders and school personnel on various topics in leadership. He has been featured in U.S. Department of Education Journals as well as numerous national podcasts and has published works for Pennsylvania Administrator magazine, Learning Forward, and Education Week. He challenges leaders to redefine their roles and responsibilities in the ever-changing landscape of public education.

Dr. Williams is the President-Elect of the Pennsylvania Association of Supervision Curriculum & Development. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Muhlenberg College, his alma mater, is the Pennsylvania Coalition for Family Involvement Vice-President, and serves on the Board of Directors of Be a Part of the Conversation.

Dr. Williams holds his B.A. in History and Secondary Education from Muhlenberg College, an M.Ed. from Gratz College, a K-12 Principal Certification from Gwynedd-Mercy University, and a Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University. In 2023, he earned his doctorate in education from Gwynedd-Mercy University.