Fellow Profiles

School Type


Grade Levels


Student Enrollment





Administrative Certification Program,
Philadelphia Pathway to Leadership in Urban Schools


B.A. Political Science,
Pennsylvania State University

Robert Berretta

Principal, William H. Ziegler Elementary School
School District of Philadelphia
2019 Neubauer Fellow

“I serve as a principal because as a teacher I needed to be equally challenged and respected by my boss to be successful. Teachers and support staff at schools do life-changing work every-day. It’s my responsibility to support them in doing so.”

Robert has served as the principal of William H. Ziegler Elementary since 2016. In collaboration with his amazing staff, Ziegler achieved some of the highest benchmark growth in the district (top 20 in reading and math) in 2018. Additionally, since 2018, Ziegler has achieved Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment Scores (PVAAS) in the top quartile in the state and district. From 2016-17 to 2018-19 the Ziegler School Progress Report (SPR) score improved from 14% to 51%, moving the school from Intervene to Reinforce. Under Robert’s leadership, Ziegler received a $50,000 Good to Great Grant to improve the K-3 literacy program, a Blended Learning grant, a WHYY Media Lab grant, a Climate Transition Award, and the Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports grant. Despite all these accomplishments, Robert still believes Ziegler has a lot of work to do to become the Blue Ribbon school its students and families deserve.


Robert has been an educator since 2004.  Prior to becoming a principal, Robert served as a 2nd and 5th grade bilingual teacher, a 6th and 7th grade English/Language Arts teacher, and a literacy director.  In 2019 Robert began serving on the Principal Advisory Board. Robert grew up in Philadelphia and attended Hatboro-Horsham High School.

2019 Neubauer Fellows Page