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Identified as the “best teacher for 2018” by the parent of a former student, Marcella Reppenhagen “goes above and beyond in the classroom to make sure each child is not left out. This fifth-grade educator, who teaches all subjects but has a passion for science, inspires her students at Russell C. Struble Elementary School in Bensalem Township School District and is this week’s #TeacherTuesday.
Marcella “leads the safety program at the school and is always willing to lend a helping hand after hours,” says the parent. Noting that she is a “very caring individual,” the mom adds, “It always amazes me that she does so much with and for the students and then goes home to a family.”
From her perspective, Marcella says, “I love what I get to do each day in educating young minds to not only advance academically each year, but to be better citizens in their community and the world around them.” What’s more, “The creative ideas they develop and their curiosity inspire me to make learning fun, think outside of the box, and challenge me to be better. My students make a lasting impact on my life and are my source of inspiration!”
Let us know who else is kindling that spark of imagination in their students and we’ll feature them in an upcoming #TeacherTuesday.
Michele Stingle is that special educator whose impact is felt well beyond the time spent in her classroom. This week’s #TeacherTuesday, also featured on FOX 29 Good Day Philadelphia this morning, is an eighth grade English teacher at Colonial Middle School in the district of the same name.
At the beginning of each school year, she promises her students and their parents, “that by the end of the school year they may not be better writers — but I assure them that they will be better thinkers.”
She adds, “In order for my kids to be better thinkers, they learn to trust that our classroom allows for their unique voice, and they grow to know that every one of them belongs in our space and has something to contribute.” She further adds, “Every day offers a chance to reinvent themselves to be a better thinker, student, and person than who they were yesterday.”
Michele also serves as the Education Director of the Justice Bell Foundation, and this past year spearheaded a pilot project in the state involving the entire eighth grade class of about 375 students to learn about the Justice Bell and the women’s suffrage movement. The students now understand the importance of a simple bell, right here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, that became an iconic symbol of justice and helped to secure the passage of the 19th Amendment. As part of the project, they developed a wide variety of creative artistic and written projects to answer the question “What does justice mean to me?” with awards given to six students.
Tell us who else inspires students to soar and we’ll feature them in an upcoming #TeacherTuesday.
She’s been described as “one of the smartest people I know” and that comes in handy as she teaches Mathematics, including AP Statistics, to ninth through twelfth graders at Bensalem High School.
Kecia says, “What inspires me to lead my class every day is, of course, my students.” And she adds, “The excitement of teaching comes from the fact that although no two days are the same, each day is an opportunity for something extraordinary.”
We love featuring educators who daily make a difference in the lives of their students. Let us know who else we should profile in an upcoming #TeacherTuesday and then watch this page as we share their magic.
Wow and congrats to the Souderton Area High School Advanced Choir and its director, Teresa Washam, on racking up another great accomplishment with their invitation to perform Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody live today on the Preston & Steve Show on 93.3 WMMR.
The choir program at SAHS consists of six choral groups: Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, Concert Choir, Advanced Choir, Soudertones (men’s a cappella group), and Chordination (women’s a cappella group).
Talking about the choir’s ability to perform this difficult song, Teresa said: “We have had this a cappella arrangement in our library for a while and have tried it with a few choirs throughout the years. No choir was successful enough to perform it until this year.” She added, “It came down to the dress rehearsal for me to decide if we’d perform it at the concerts or not. It wasn’t listed on the program so it was a surprise to the audience when it was announced.”
Other Advanced Choir achievements include:
Congratulations to the North Penn high school students who took the National Latin Exam this year on their outstanding performance. Of the 95 students in grades 10 through 12 who participated, a phenomenal 71 earned awards for distinguished performance, with 34 earning either a Gold Summa Cum Laude or a Silver Maxima Cum Laude honor.
“Our academicians did a literally (well, figuratively, in fact) smashing job on this annual intellectual smorgasbord of cumulative classical cognition,” said NPHS Latin teacher Jonathan Rockey. “I am gratified by the solid performance and genuine, perceivable effort of the entire Latin cohort, with particular recognition to NPSD middle school Latin colleagues at Penndale, Pennfield and Pennbrook,” he continued. “The Latin Legion is very much alive and doing great things.”
The National Latin Exam, sponsored by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League, is a 40-question, multiple-choice test with a time limit of 45 minutes, offered to students on seven levels. On the Introduction to Latin, Latin I, Latin II, Latin III, Latin III/IV Prose, and Latin III/IV Poetry exams, there are questions on grammar, comprehension, mythology, derivatives, literature, Roman life, history, geography, oral Latin and Latin in use in the modern world. The Latin V-VI exam contains two Latin passages as the basis for questions on grammar, comprehension, historical background, classical literature, and literary devices.
It’s hard to know where to begin when talking about Brian Weaver, this week’s #TeacherTuesday who was also featured on FOX 29 Good Day Philadelphia this morning. A social studies teacher for 10th through 12th graders at Central Bucks West HS, he has also coached baseball, football and tennis for his 11 years at the school and serves as the PA announcer for football and other sports. Each program qualified for the district playoffs multiple times, and the tennis team won four straight league titles. Brian loves it and says, “I realize that the kids are so much more than the 90 minutes they spend with me each day.”
He adds, “In public education we say to the kids, ‘Here’s a school, a library, a variety of classes, and arts and sports. Learn everything you can and find what you’re passionate about. And don’t worry about the bill — it’s on us.’” And he adds, “We don’t offer education to the highest bidder. We educate every student who walks through our doors and we don’t ask them for a paycheck.”
Let us know what other teachers make you say “wow,” and we’ll profile them in an upcoming #TeacherTuesday post.
A seasoned C.P.A. with a Big 8 accounting firm, Dave Kolinchak traded in his “dream job” to become a National Board Certified math teacher when he discovered his passion while volunteering for a Junior Achievement program in an underserved community. Today’s #TeacherTuesday wows his students at New Hope – Solebury Middle School where he replaced his former eight grade Geometry teacher after returning to school to obtain his master’s degree in secondary math.
Dedicated to building community, Dave started a peer tutoring program more than a decade ago, shaves his head annually to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation (pediatric cancer research) in memory of two of his students, and has coached at the school and in the community. This dynamic teacher also sits on multiple school committees and serves as an executive team member in his Education Association. What’s more, Dave is not above dressing as a turkey to entertain the students for half-time festivities during the school’s pre-Thanksgiving student football game.
Why did Dave make the career switch? “Watching the students get excited, work even harder when everything started to click, and seeing their self-confidence grow as they mastered the content was what drew me to teaching,” he said. And he adds, “I want to pay it forward and be that teacher who sees the best in my students and always guides them toward it.”
Tell us what other teachers serve as amazing role models and we’ll feature them in an upcoming post.
This amazing physics and engineering teacher from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in the Colonial School District has spent the past decade creating an elective engineering course.
It has grown from one elective to an exciting three-course sequence for students in grades nine through 12. Each year, about 100 students take one or more of the three project-based courses focusing on engineering design, engineering analysis, technical communication, prototype development and project management.
Jim believes that, “Education is about creating an environment where students can both discover and pursue their passions.” And he adds, “Engineering education is problem solving at its core. Students learn that engineering is the creative application of mathematics and science in pursuit of the best solution to a problem.”
We’re proud of the opportunities that teachers like Jim create for their students. Let us know what other educators bring their passion to work each day, and we’ll feature them in an upcoming #TeacherTuesday.
Today, we bring to you fourth grade teacher Jane Fetterman of Paul V. Fly Elementary in Norristown Area School District as this week’s #TeacherTuesday. She was also featured this morning on FOX 29Good Day Philadelphia.
Jane is the third of four generations of teachers, starting with her grandmother who taught in a one-room schoolhouse. As a child, she loved helping her mom set up the classroom and correct papers, and her favorite activity as a young girl was “playing school” with her sisters and dolls.
After 34 years as a teacher, she is preparing to retire in June. Over the years, this dedicated educator has remained committed to meeting the needs of the children. Jane says, “I have tried to teach my students to care about themselves without hurting others. Everything they do has a consequence which can be good or bad depending on what they choose to do.”
She adds, “They have to learn to accept these consequences and learn!”
What other phenomenal teachers are preparing their students to function in the real world? Let us know and we’ll feature them in an upcoming #TeacherTuesday profile.
Alexandra Schuh is an extraordinary William Tennent High School social studies educator who teaches her AP Psychology students with the help of the rats she houses in her classroom. This week’s #TeacherTuesday, from Centennial School District PA, was also featured today on FOX 29 Good Day Philadelphia for her ability to bring authentic research projects into the classroom.
Alex and her colleague, Joseph O’Connor, started the animal research lab to help students learn about the ethical treatment of animals, experimental research and design, and the principles of reinforcement and learning.
She is inspired by her students daily and says, “My students ask great questions or find new research or topics that connect to our course.” She adds, “Teenagers can get a bad reputation, but I find them to be pretty funny. I feel lucky to be in a profession where I get to have fun and laugh every day” and she is happy to “influence others in a positive way.”
Tell us who else goes above and beyond to ensure their students have the best possible education and we’ll highlight them in an upcoming #TeacherTuesday.