HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Teachers from Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties are finalists for the 2021 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year honor.

Among the 12 finalists are Kathleen Dickensheets, a teacher at Hampton Township School District, Nicole Darroch of the Ambridge Area School District and Denise Leigh, who teaches in the McGuffey School District.

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Nominations for the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year are submitted by students, parents, peers and members of the community.

The winner will be announced in December.

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The 2021 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year will be the state’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year honor.

“Teachers impact students far beyond the traditional classroom, connecting with them and inspiring them during some of our most difficult times,” said Education Secretary Pedro Rivera in a release. “We witnessed that extraordinary commitment this spring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with educators stepping up to make sure students and communities are fed, comforted and educated. The Department of Education applauds this year’s finalists, who represent the commitment and professionalism that so many Pennsylvania educators share.”

Pennsylvania’s 2020 Teacher of the Year recipient was Joseph Welch, a middle school teacher in the North Hills School District in Allegheny County.

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The rest of the 2021 nominees can be found here.