Education Dept celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week, Announces 2017 Teacher of the Year Finalists

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Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera announced the 2017 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year finalists today to kick off National Teacher Appreciation Week, which runs May 2-6.

“Every day teachers are making a difference in the lives of their students in communities across the commonwealth,” Rivera said. “The Department of Education applauds this year’s finalists, who represent the commitment and professionalism that so many Pennsylvania educators share.”

The 2017 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year finalists are:

• Patricia Cekella, Pine-Richland School District
• Jill Geesey, Penns Valley Area School District
• Megan Henry, Lower Merion School District
• Lyndsay Levengood, Brandywine Heights Area School District
• Sandra Lin, Rose Tree Media School District
• Allison Mackley, Derry Township Area School District
• Katherine Meucci, Bethel Park School District
• Colleen Reiner, Manheim Central School District
• Phoebe Simmington, Rose Tree Media School District
• Emily Smoller, Bethel Park School District
• Michael Soskil, Wallenpaupack Area School District
• Julie Weaver, Southern Tioga School District

The 12 educators were nominated by students, parents, colleagues and members of the community who wish to recognize their achievements both in and outside the classroom.
The finalists must be prepared to effectively carry out the duties of the state’s Teacher of the Year, which will be announced in December 2016, including being Pennsylvania’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year. Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year 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.
Pennsylvania’s 2016 Teacher of the Year is Rebecca Foxwell, a first-grade teacher at Lickdale Elementary School in Lebanon County.
Rivera said that nominations for Teacher of the Year can be submitted all year long by students, community members, parents, or teachers, by completing a nomination form at

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