Ken Weir

Ken Weir


Ken Weir, former North Penn School District Director of School and Community Relations, is a cornerstone of the district we have today. He founded and initiated countless programs that are quintessential to the North Penn identity, from the Community Education Program to the NPSD Educational Foundation. As a communicator, Weir turned North Penn into an example for school districts across the country to follow, constantly bringing the spirit of innovation into his work. Ken Weir has left an indelible mark on the North Penn School District and the programs and procedures that are still in effect today.

Weir began his career in the North Penn School District in 1959 as a social studies and English teacher at North Penn High School. He served as a senior class advisor for the Class of 1963, and took great pride in the accomplishments and success of his students. In 1969, Weir was selected to become the district’s first Coordinator of School & Community Relations, later becoming the Executive Director, a position he held until 1996. During his time as Director, he ran the Community Education Program, providing a variety of learning and recreational experiences for people of all ages. Under his leadership, the program expanded into new endeavors, including the Gold Card Program, making schools and their programs accessible to senior citizens. Under Weir, the district was at the forefront of communication and technology, serving as a model to schools across the nation. From the school calendar to internal publications to media outreach, Weir utilized every opportunity to share the excellence of North Penn with the community.

In 1961, Ken, along with his wife Carol Weir, founded the International Friendship Committee (IFC). That school year, North Penn High School made a partnership with the Kranich Gymnasium in Salzgitter-Lebenstedt, West Germany to exchange correspondence, exhibits, and students. The committee began to facilitate the process of interviewing students who wished to go abroad, identifying host families for those who wished to come to North Penn, raising scholarship funds, and publicizing the program as a whole. As of 2024, the IFC has sent more than 350 exchange students to 40 different nations and hosted more than 350 foreign students to attend North Penn High School. The IFC also provides scholarships, including the Kenneth L. Weir Scholar Award, given to a student seeking a career in International Affairs. 

Ken and Carol Weir also began the North Penn Craft Show in 1983 as a means of supporting the IFC. The show attracts nearly 100 artists each year, featuring fine and unusual pottery, jewelry, fiber, dried flowers, fraktur, tinware, baskets, folk art, theorem, quilts, appliqués, furniture, and so much more. Only artists who exhibit original art may participate in the show. 67 shows later, the craft show has become one of the most well-respected craft shows in the Mid Atlantic region. The show continues to fund the International Friendship Committee and support North Penn students in their endeavors of international understanding.

In 1988, alongside former Superintendent Dr. Frances Rhodes, Weir founded the North Penn School District Educational Foundation. The foundation served as a partnership between the school district and local businesses to support students in new and innovative ways. One of the largest ways the Foundation supports students is through grant funding, applied for by teachers, and funding projects from classroom libraries to spatial computing. 

Outside of the school district, Weir was involved in several community groups, including the American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts of America, North Penn YMCA, and so much more. He was also involved heavily with the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association (PenSPRA) and held leadership positions for both organizations. Weir is a veteran of the United States Army, serving as a military policeman.

Weir retired from the North Penn School District in 1997 after 38 years. In an internal newsletter, his assistant, Gail Tatum, wrote “For all of these impressive professional accomplishments, Ken is probably best known for his true commitment to North Penn. North Penn was family to him, and he gave his heart as well as his talents to all he did. He pushed people to expect more of themselves, challenged us, and then helped us to achieve.” Ken Weir joins the Knights of Honor, Class of 2024, as a former staff member, and a foundational part of the North Penn community.