A teacher at the Seneca Valley School District is a finalist for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.
Paolo Tolomeo is a fourth grade teacher at Haine Elementary School and one of a dozen teachers named a finalist in the 2020 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year competition.
Haine Elementary Principal Kristen White says Mr. Tolomeo- who has been teaching at SV for a decade- creates a positive classroom community built on trust, inclusion of all diversity, and high expectations for both learning and behavior.
“Children in his classroom are encouraged to take risks, in a non-threatening environment, which supports learning, encourages resiliency and reinforces the pillars of mindfulness. Students are expected to work in collaboration throughout the day, and high levels of engagement are simply the norm,” White said.
Mr. Tolomeo said he was pleasantly surprised hearing the news and hopes to use this opportunity to impact others.
“I have already worked to create a network with the other teachers who are finalists so we can collaborate and share ideas with each other,” Tolomeo said. “This is going to allow me to further expand my professional learning network. By gaining insights and ideas from them, as well as other teachers around the country, I can bring those ideas to my team to help us grow. Not only that, but I can also take many of the amazing ideas other teachers here are using and share them with others, truly showcasing all we do at Seneca Valley.”
The state Department of Education will announce the Teacher of the Year winner this December. According to The National Teacher of the Year website, the awards program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.