State's 'Teacher of the Year' Has Penn College Connection

Published 12.07.2017

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Jennifer R. Wahl, a world history and psychology teacher at Loyalsock Township High School, has been named the Pennsylvania 2018 Teacher of the Year. Wahl, who is also an adjunct faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Technology, teaching psychology and sociology classes, received the honor on Monday during the Department of Education’s annual professional development conference.

Jennifer R. Wahl, a Loyalsock Township High School instructor and part-time faculty member at Penn College, accepts Teacher of the Year honors in Hershey.She was chosen from 12 finalists nominated by students, parents, colleagues and community members wishing to honor and recognize educator achievements in and out of the classroom. As Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year, Wahl will travel the state to meet and collaborate with other educators, and will represent the commonwealth in next year’s National Teacher of the Year competition.

State Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said, “It is a great honor to be selected as Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year, and I think Jennifer has wonderfully proved herself to not only be an extraordinary educator, but an individual who has cultivated a supportive community for students to achieve. Over the course of the next year, Jennifer will provide valuable insight and knowledge to help lead and prepare other educators across the commonwealth for continued success.”

Rivera and Wahl celebrate her success.Craig A. Miller, department head for social sciences and humanities and associate professor of history/political science at Penn College, said: “I’ve come to know Jen as an adjunct instructor in psychology and sociology, as well as a colleague in AP World History grading. She’s a consummate professional and truly loves what she does. Her passion for the material, care for her students, and continual desire to improve her knowledge base and pedagogy is impressive and refreshing. She’s possibly the most energetic instructor I’ve ever observed, and her students are clearly more connected and engaged because of it.”

Wahl's selection garnered considerable media attention across Pennsylvania, including on WBRE/WYOU.

The Teacher of the Year program is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National State Teacher of the Year, which was founded in 1995.

Photos courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services