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PDE:
Let's #CelebrateTeaching

It started as just another assembly on a typical winter school day when hundreds of students gathered in the gymnasium at New Oxford Middle School this December. But after the marching band's music filled the space and guest speaker Education Secretary Pedro Rivera wrapped up his remarks, the day suddenly became much more special for one outstanding teacher.
 
As the students cheered, Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Jan Foley announced that seventh grade social studies and language arts teacher Anthony Angelini had been selected as the Milken Educator of the Year and the proud recipient of $25,000. Teaching at New Oxford Middle School since 2008, Mr. Angelini has become a favorite of the kids and a testament to the impact great teaching can have on students. 
 
 
The Milken Educator Awards program was created in 1987 as an initiative of the Milken Family Foundation to recognize top educators nationwide, honoring them with the title of Milken Educator of the Year and an unrestricted monetary award.  The awards are earned by early-to-mid career teachers as a way to honor their achievements thus far and represent the success that still awaits them in their careers. 
 
Meanwhile, a few counties over, another excellent educator was about to be notified that she is Pennsylvania's top teacher, an accolade that is only bestowed on one deserving educator per year. Rebecca Foxwell, a first grade teacher at Lickdale Elementary School in the Northern Lebanon School District, was honored at this year's Teacher of the Year awards ceremony at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. 
 
Ms. Foxwell joined Northern Lebanon School District in 2010, after earning degrees from Lancaster Bible College and Edinboro University.
 
One of her former students, now a fifth grader, introduced Ms. Foxwell, describing her as, "dedicated to being the best teacher she can be. She is passionate about teaching and really loves working with her students. Her students are her top priority." Those words demonstrated to guests gathered at the ceremony that a great teacher will stay with a student well past their year together in the classroom.
 
The Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Program recognizes excellence in teaching by honoring K-12 teachers in public education who have made outstanding academic contributions to Pennsylvania's school-aged children.  It is my sincere hope that you or someone in your educational community will take time to acknowledge the efforts of those teachers who have worked to achieve excellence in the classroom. Encourage district educators, parents, students, and community members to nominate an outstanding educator.  The nomination form along with additional information about the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year program
 
Do you have a favorite teacher who impacted your life in a positive way? Share your stories with us on Facebook and Twitter, and help us #CelebrateTeaching!