Pine Richland EA member and local treasurer Michelle Switala named PA's 2010 Teacher of the Year
Michelle Switala, treasurer of the Pine Richland EA and mathematics teacher at Pine Richland High School delivers the power of a great education through her work in the classroom and for her local association. On October 27, her contributions and excellence in the classroom were recognized across the state when PA Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak announced Switala as Pennsylvania's 2010 Teacher of the Year.
"Michelle inspires her students with her enthusiasm for teaching and love for mathematics and her job," Secretary Zahorchak said. "As our teacher of the year, she also will serve as an inspiration to her fellow educators."
As Teacher of the Year, Switala will represent Pennsylvania in the National Teacher of the Year presentation this spring, and will serve as spokesperson for teachers across the state for the coming year.
"I come from a long line of teachers; my parents were public school teachers. There is nothing better than this profession, this truly is the best job," Switala commented.
She chairs the mathematics department at Pine-Richland High School, teaches a range of mathematics courses and is instrumental in working on curriculum mapping.
As a local treasurer, Switala also dedicates her time and effort to the Pine Richland Education Association. PSEA President Jim Testerman and Treasurer Jerry Oleksiak attended this year's awards ceremony. PSEA congratulates Michelle for her achievements, and congratulates each of the 12 outstanding teachers selected as finalists this year.
During the awards ceremony, Switala was introduced by Tom Robinson, a high school senior, who talked about what distinguished his teacher as one of the great teachers in Pennsylvania. "Ms. Switala is a great teacher that truly inspires her students to enjoy and learn math," Robinson said. "Not only does she expect her students to learn and challenge themselves, but she also expects the same of herself."
Switala was among 12 finalists for the 2010 Teacher of the Year:
- Michelle Switala, Mathematics, Pine-Richland SD, Allegheny Co.
- Michael Bieber, 4th Grade, East Lycoming SD, Lycoming Co.
- Barbara Cornibe, 3rd Grade, Pine-Richland SD, Allegheny Co.
- Tammy Ficca, English, Manheim Township SD, Lancaster Co.
- Stephanie Grande, Science, Abington SD, Montgomery Co.
- Karen Kough, Kindergarten, Big Spring SD, Cumberland Co.
- Michael Malthaner, Performing Arts/Music, Millcreek Township SD, Erie Co.
- Rose McKevitt, First Grade, Centennial SD, Bucks Co.
- William McWatters, Physics, Octorara Area SD, Chester Co.
- Colleen Myers, 1st Grade, Purchase Line SD, Indiana Co.
- Marcia Slaton, Reading/Literacy Coach, Shikellamy SD, Northumberland Co.
- Jennifer Youmans, Business, Williamsport Area SD, Lycoming Co.