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Teacher of the Year


The following teachers are the finalists for the Pennsylvania 2018 Teacher of the Year. One of these finalists will be named the Pennsylvania 2018 Teacher of the Year at the SAS Institute in December 2017.


​Teacher ​District ​School
​Bitler, Laura ​Daniel Boone Area ​Daniel Boone High School
​Dzurko, Tim ​Altoona Area ​Altoona Area Junior High School
​Frank, Christina ​Montour ​Montour High School
​Gebhardt, Adam ​West Jefferson Hills ​Jefferson Elementary School
​Goldfarb, Aaron ​Rose Tree Media ​Media Elementary School
​Granite, Linda ​North Allegheny ​Marshall Elementary School
​Hackman, Georgette ​Cocalico ​Cocalico Middle School
​Kurtz, Barbara ​Crawford Central ​Meadville Area Senior High School
​Mason, Gregory ​Shaler Area ​Shaler Area High School
​Miller Owlett, Lara ​Wellsboro Area ​Wellsboro Area High School
​Spielman, Brandy ​Waynesboro Area ​Waynesboro Area Middle School
​Wahl, Jennifer ​Loyalsock Township ​Loyalsock Township High School


2017 Teacher of the Year

Education is more than a job, it is a calling. Many of those who heed that call to educate Pennsylvania’s youth pour their hearts and souls into their profession, the result of which can easily be seen by the energized youths filling communities across the state. Pennsylvania is home to some of the finest schools and teachers, and our students certainly benefit from their excellence.

To honor those outstanding educators, nominations for the State Teacher of the Year come in from around the state from students, parents, colleagues and members of the community; honoring the educators’ achievements both inside and outside the classroom.  From those nominees, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) selected 12 Finalists for the 2017 Pennsylvania State Teacher of the Year. 
The winner, Michael Soskil, was announced at the SAS Institute in December 2016 by Secretary Pedro Rivera.  Michael teaches science to 3rd through 5th graders at the Wallenpaupack South Elementary School in the Wallenpaupack Area School District.  He previously received the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and was recognized as a top-10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize in 2016.  
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.  Nominations for Teacher of the Year can be made by educators, parents, students, and community members to honor an outstanding educator.  The nomination form along with additional information about the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year program may be found at  Nominations can be made at any time throughout the year with those being received after December 15th held over to the following year.
Questions about Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year Program should be directed to Karl Streckewald, State Coordinator, at (717) 346-4369, or via e-mail to .


2017 Teacher of the Year

Photo of Micahel Soskil
Michael Soskil
South Elementary School, Wallenpaupack Area School District
3rd to 5th Grade Science
“Teaching is the greatest job in the world.  Not only do we get to make a difference in the lives of others every day,
but we get to teach the next generation how to change the world.”