Focused on prevention, guided by preparation.

Established in 2022, The Pennsylvania School Safety Institute (PennSSI) provides hands-on experiences and classroom trainings designed to address emerging security threats that may occur in school buildings, on district property or at other locations where students and staff may be present. District personnel, security staff and law enforcement officials learn de-escalation tactics in PennSSI’s state-of-the-art multiroom simulator and 360-degree augmented reality. Original funding for the creation of PennSSI LLC was provided by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association Trust.


Michael Deitz PennSSI headshot

Michael Deitz

Director of School Safety

Michael Deitz has an extensive background as a law enforcement officer and as a non-commissioned officer with the U.S. Army and PA Air National Guard. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a juris master’s degree from Liberty University. He is currently enrolled in the university’s educational law doctoral program.

Britta Barrickman headshot

Dr. Britta Barrickman

Chief Impact Officer

Britta Barrickman has an expansive background in the association realm and draws on her experience managing an array of member benefits in the areas of human resources, crisis communications, board training and more in her work with PennSSI. Britta holds a master’s degree in public administration from Penn State University and a doctorate in education from Temple University.

Nyla Kater headshot

Nyla Kater

Manager of School Safety

Nyla Kater combines career experience and knowledge in both education and criminal justice. She previously held administrative positions throughout the Pennsylvania educational system as well as at a daily reporting center alongside probation/parole. She currently works as a field manager for a local security company. Nyla holds an associate degree in criminal justice.

Board of Advisors

Roberta M. Marcus, Chair, PennSSI
Mark K. Leidy, Ed. D., Superintendent of Schools, Mechanicsburg Area School District
Nathan G. Mains, CEO, PSBA
Christopher Raubenstine, Chief of Police, Silver Spring Township Police
Sabrina Backer, PSBA Governing Board/Franklin Area School District
Jeremy R. Bogdanski, Director of School Police and Security, Brentwood Borough School District
Dottie Schindlinger, Executive Director of the Diligent Institute, Diligent 
Justin Warren, Sales Director, Rajant

PennSSI LLC Board

Kathy K. Swope, Chair
Michael Faccinetto
Dr. Richard Frerichs
William S. LaCoff
Roberta M. Marcus
Nathan G. Mains
Marianne L. Neel

Learn more about PennSSI