The members of Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team were appointed this week with one of them being juvenile probation officer Stephanie Bellini Serapiglia who was selected to join his task force on corrections. Serapiglia has worked with at-risk youth for more than 25 years with sixteen of those being spent working as a school-based officer in the Steel Valley of Pittsburgh. She says that she has loved working with youth in such a capacity for the last quarter century and believes that the work prepared her for this next element of her career – being appointed to the Governor-elect’s transition team.
Part of Serpaglia’s job with the transition team will be to meet with representatives from all over the state of Pennsylvania who work with at-risk juveniles in order to begin development of any needed improvements in the youth probation system. Steve Bechtold, president of the Allegheny County Association of Professional Employees, says that Serpaglia is an ideal choice for the position on the Governor-elect’s team because they both have a “strong position on labor issues and [a] down-to-earth approach in working with people.”
Serapiglia was assigned to the Mon-Yough Community Based Probation Office in Allegheny County earlier in the year and has been described by her colleagues and supervisors as “thorough” and “a strong, positive influence on the kids she serves.” According to Arnold J. Klein, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge, Serpaglia “has a presence” and is well respected by the kids she works with. Klein also said that Serpaglia has developed a “balanced” repertoire of showing compassion when it is necessary and being tough when it is necessary. “She is exactly what you want in a probation officer, particularly one who works with youth which can often be an extremely challenging prospect.”