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PSEA member Ryan Hardesty wins 2023 PA Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Ryan Hardesty, a seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher at Highland Middle School in the Blackhawk School District in Beaver County for earning the title of 2023 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year!

We are thrilled to count another PSEA member among this esteemed group.  

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

In the fall of 2020, PSEA established a Task Force on Racial Justice and Equity in PSEA (Task Force) charged with:

1) Developing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement for the Board’s consideration, and;

2) Overseeing an equity assessment of PSEA’s organizational operations, policies, and practices. The first step – the development and adoption of a DEI Statement - is foundational for ensuring PSEA’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are realized in our culture, practices, and policies.

PSEA's Center For Professional Learning

Keep up-to-date on all of the ways PSEA is prepared to meet your professional learning needs.

PSEA is a community of education professionals who make a difference in the lives of students every day. Hear their stories and more in each issue of The VOICE. 

Stay Connected

Keeping Connected is an e-newsletter for PSEA members to stay informed. In each issue, you'll receive the latest legislative and policy updates from your association, helpful links, and inspiring stories of educators going above and beyond to make the best of an extraordinarily difficult time.

PSEA is a community of education professionals who make a difference in the lives of students every day. Hear their stories and more in each issue of The VOICE. 

On Inauguration Day, PSEA looks forward to working with Gov. Josh Shapiro and Lt. Gov. Austin Davis to strengthen public education in Pennsylvania

PSEA president commends Shapiro on outstanding choice for education secretary

“We look forward to working with Dr. Mumin to ensure that every student in every one of Pennsylvania’s public schools gets the best possible education," said PSEA President Rich Askey.
 

Armstrong EA members distribute hundreds of books to families for holidays

(from left) Randy Cloak, Armstrong Education Association (AEA) vice president; Erin Kidder AEA secretary; Kevan Landstrom, AEA president; Lindsay Feitknecht, BSN RN, nurse manager 3A-OB; and Leslie Vandegrift, librarian, West Hills Primary School.

On Dec. 13, members of the Armstrong Education Association delivered nearly 150 bags of books, library cards, and information on community literacy programs to Armstrong County’s ACMH Hospital maternity unit. The bags were intended for families of newborns to promote the importance of reading to and with children as they grow.

“As educators, we understand the importance of students having access to books from an early age,” said AEA President Kevan Landstrom when delivering the books to representatives of the ACMH Maternity and Delivery Unit. “It is our hope having these books in the homes of our newest community members will foster a love of reading.”

The initiative was supported in part through a grant from the PSEA Education Foundation.

Altoona phys ed duo brings positivity to TikTok

"We laugh a lot and have a good time. When teachers and support professionals are positive, it translates to students. And that’s our goal with TikTok; having a good attitude and bringing positive vibes to kids."

Read more in the November 2022 issue of Voice.

Susan Lemmo elected to PSERS Board

With the help and support of PSEA members, Susan Lemmo has been elected to the annuitant seat on the PSERS Board of Trustees.
 
PSEA is proud to have Susan hold this critical position and stand up for all PSERS' retirees.
 

Angela Vigna, the 2022 ESP of the Year!

There’s no better time than American Education Week to celebrate our hardworking ESP members. And none more deserving of recognition than Angela Vigna, the 2022 Dolores McCracken PSEA Education Support Professional of the Year.

Vigna has worked as a paraprofessional in the Leechburg Area School District for the past 19 years. In this role, she has served as a classroom aide providing academic support to students with special needs. During her tenure, Vigna had the opportunity to work with one particular student from first grade all the way through to graduation.

School colleagues praised Vigna for her dedication and ability to draw out the very best in her students.

“Mrs. Vigna takes pride in her work and the accomplishments of the students,” Michelle Ferretti, a Leechburg middle and high school learning support teacher, wrote in nominating Vigna for the award. “She works well beyond the school day to ensure that all students are receiving what they need. Mrs. Vigna is a true example of the importance of paraeducators and the critical role they play in children’s academic success, social and emotional development, and sense of belonging within the community.”

“I know without a doubt that teachers cannot do what we do as well as we do without our education support professionals,” wrote Ashley Mondale, a high school English teacher and president of the Leechburg Area Education Association. “Mrs. Angela Vigna is the best of the best. She deserves recognition for her tireless work during the school day, her activism in our community, and her willingness to provide for her family, her association members, and Leechburg as a whole.”

Angela on a recent episode of PA Newsmakers explaining the roles of paraprofessionals and support staff in schools.

Subs wanted!

There’s a substitute shortage in Pennsylvania’s public schools, and it’s making it harder for kids to learn. Our schools need substitute teachers and substitute support professionals. Badly.

In late 2021, Act 91 was passed into law allowing more Pennsylvanians to support educators, schools, and students as a day-to-day or long-term substitutes. And there are several different pathways to help you get started.

Learn more about how you can make a difference as a substitute teacher or support professional with the resources in our "Subs Wanted!" sections of the site.

Substitute Teachers
Substitute Support Professionals 

Hart Research poll is great news for educators

A recent national survey of public school parents from Hart Research Associates and Lake Research Partners has yielded some very positive numbers. Check out the animation above to see what they are.

Members in the news

PSERS has delivered for school retirees — and Pa.’s economy | Opinion

Keystone Oaks teacher receives Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, one of public education’s highest honors

Kevin and PSEA President Rich Askey recently joined host Terry Madonna on PA Newsmakers to talk about the Horace Mann Award, engaging families and communities in the work of public schools, and just how much teachers make a difference in their students' lives.

Check it out here.

Or catch the broadcast on your local channel 📺
WGAL Channel 8 (Harrisburg and Lancaster) Dec. 18 at 11:30 AM
WBPH (Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia) Dec. 19 at 8:30 PM
WLYH (Harrisburg, Lebanon, York) Dec. 19 at 8:30 PM
WKBS 47 (Altoona) Dec. 24 at 9:30 AM
WPCB 40 (Pittsburgh) Dec. 24 at 9:30 AM
MeTV (Susquehanna Valley) Dec. 18 at 9:30 AM
 

In our Locals

Altoona phys ed duo brings positivity to TikTok

Find moments that spark joy

Garrettford Youth Court is now in session

Commitment to teaching Holocaust truth

Student art project makes a powerful impact

Seneca Valley’s No Cost to Shop store

Issues & Action