HERSHEY (KDKA) — Joseph Welch, a middle school teacher at the North Hills School District, has been named the Pennsylvania Department of Education 2020 Teacher of the Year.
“Teachers make a difference every day in the lives of their students by inspiring and motivating them to learn,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “It is my pleasure to congratulate Mr. Welch on receiving this distinguished honor and to thank the Teacher of the Year candidates and all educators for their dedication and service to our students.”
Welch was honored during the SAS Institute, the Department of Education’s yearly development conference.
He is an American History teacher at North Hills Middle school and was one of 12 teachers in the state nominated for the award, and only one of two teachers from Western Pennsylvania nominated.
Paolo Toloemo, of Haine Elementary School in the Seneca Valley School District, was also nominated.
Now that Welch has been named Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, he will travel throughout the state and meet with and collaborate with other teachers and then represent Pennsylvania in the National Teacher of the Year Competition.
“The Teacher of the Year program provides an opportunity to honor our talented educators and recognize them for inspiring students to embrace learning as a life-long journey and a pathway toward achieving their goals,” said Secretary Rivera. “Over the next year, Mr. Welch will have the opportunity to engage with educators from around the state to share what he’s done in the classroom and to discuss innovative approaches to teaching that can benefit our students.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education and the National State Teacher of the Year have co-sponsored the award since 1995.