Education Department Encourages Students to Nominate a Teacher of the Year

As the school year draws to a close, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is encouraging students to acknowledge educators who’ve impacted their lives by nominating a teacher for the next cohort of Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year candidates.

“Every student can remember the teachers who encouraged them to reach beyond the ordinary and inspired them to excel and achieve their goals,” said Matthew Stem, Deputy Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. “Nominating them for Teacher of the Year is one way to recognize their commitment to students and the teaching profession.”

Nominations for Teacher of the Year can be submitted all year long by students, community members, parents, or teachers. More information is available on the PDE.

Last month, the Wolf Administration named the 12 finalists for the 2020 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. The announcement of Teacher of the Year will be made in December 2019 in Hershey at the SAS Institute, PDE’s annual professional development conference for educators. The recognition program is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National State Teacher of the Year, which was founded in 1995.

Educators selected as Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year travel the state to meet and collaborate with other educators and represent the commonwealth in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

The 2020 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year finalists are:

  • Matthew Binder, Communications Technology, Hempfield Senior High School, Hempfield School District (Lancaster County)
  • Michele Bittner, 5th grade English, West Penn Elementary School, Tamaqua Area School District (Schuylkill County)
  • Amanda Connell, Food Service Production and Management, Northern Tier Career Center (Bradford County)
  • Colleen Epler-Ruths, Science, Shikellamy High School, Shikellamy School District (Northumberland County)
  • Javius Galan, 6th-8th grade Special Education, Wilson West Middle School, Wilson School District (Berks County)
  • Leanne Jarossy, Math, Central Bucks High School, Central Bucks School District (Bucks County)
  • William Melvin, English, Central Bucks High School, Central Bucks School District (Bucks County)
  • Katona Miller, 7th & 8th grade Science, South Scranton Intermediate School, Scranton School District (Lackawanna County)
  • Kristen Moose, 8th grade Science, Dallastown Area Middle School, Dallastown Area School District (York County)
  • Melissa Pierce, 3rd grade English, Pennypack Elementary School, Hatboro-Horsham School District (Montgomery County)
  • Paolo Tolomeo, 4th grade all subjects, Haine Elementary School, Seneca Valley School District (Butler County)
  • Joseph Welch, middle school Social Studies, North Hills Middle School, North Hills School District (Allegheny County)