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Forty-Five Teachers Receive Saint Vincent College Great Teacher Award

Public Relations
Posted: Thursday Dec 29, 2011

December 22, 2011

FLORIDA
MIAMI – Gene Chew, John A. Ferguson

OHIO
ELYRIA – Nan Mahony, Elyria Catholic
MASSILLON – Humphrey Fradl, Jackson High School

PENNSYLVANIA
ALLISON PARK - Candice Thomson, Hampton High School
ALVERTON - Elizabeth Goodman, Southmoreland High School
- Jennifer Roadman, Southmoreland High School
BLAIRSVILLE - Graig Marx, Blairsville High School
- Kirk Lentz, Blairsville High School
BRIDGEVILLE - Carol Ritacco, Chartiers Valley High School
CHARLEROI - Joyce Stanish, Charleroi Area High School
CONNELLSVILLE - Antonette Dues, Connellsville Area High School
- Dr. Justin Guess, Connellsville Area High School
- Linda Shearer, Connellsville Area High School
- Ray Brown, Connellsville Area High School
DERRY - Carol Croll, Derry Area High School
- Mike Moximchalk, Derry Area High School
GREENSBURG - Colleen Kinkead, Greensburg Central Catholic
- Joe Scheuermann, Hempfield Area High School
HARMONY - Rebecca Finch, Seneca Valley Senior High School
HARRISON CITY - Phillip Moses, Penn Trafford
HERMINE - Dana Newlin, Yough Senior High School
- Jeffrey Schmook, Yough Senior High School
- Jeff Betlan, Yough Senior High School
KITTANNING - Don Swanson, Kittanning Senior High School
LATROBE - Acacia Houck, Greater Latrobe Senior High School
- Jennifer LeVan, Greater Latrobe Senior High School
- Lorraine Bryner, Greater Latrobe Senior High School
- Lynn Keyser, Greater Latrobe Senior High School
LOWER BURRELL - Martin Connolly, Burrell High School
MOUNT PLEASANT -Dr. Eugene D’Angelo, Mouth Pleasant Area Jr./Sr. High School
- Frederick Collins, Mount Pleasant Area Jr./Sr. High School
MURRYSVILLE -Kane Daignault, Franklin Regional Senior High School
NATRONA HEIGHTS – Colleen Katz, Highlands High School
NORTH HUNTINGDON – Angela Knipple, Norwin High School
- Robert Traugh, Norwin High School
PITTSBURGH (15226) – Kathryn Wray, Seton- La Salle High School
(15235)- Kala Lorey, Penn Hills Senior High School
- James Rocco, Penn Hills Senior High School
READING - Frederick Lanciano, Berks Catholic High School
ROCKWOOD - Richard Kingera, Rockwood Area High School
SAINT MARYS - Anthony Breindel, Elk County Catholic High School
- James Lallman, Elk County Catholic High School
- Dr. Shawn Millinder, Elk County High School
SPRINGDALE - Leonard Herrington, Springdale Jr./ Sr. High School
WEST MIFFLIN - Patrick Antonucci, West Mifflin Area High School


QUOTES ABOUT EACH HONORED TEACHER BY THEIR FORMER STUDENTS WHO NOMINATED THEM AND THEIR HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

PATRICK ANTONUCCI – Quote from former student Dominick DiLucente: “Mr. Antonucci exemplifies what it means to be a “Great Teacher.” He did a tremendous job explaining the concepts, but more importantly he was always available to take time out of his day to help his students one on one. I am thankful that I had him for not one, but two years of my high school career, and I believe that he is a strong candidate for the award.”
Additional Information: Mr. Antonucci has taught at West Mifflin Area High School for six years and has taught Honors Calculus and AP Calculus. He also enjoys fishing.

JEFF BETLAN – Quote from former student Mary Brady: “Mr. Betlan is an exceptional teacher, coach, and all-around person. He teaches children, not only about math, but also about life. He does not lie about the hard truths of life, or college for that matter. He is very honest and caring with all of his students. He is the kind of teacher who will help if you ask, and be okay with taking time out of his schedule to make sure you are okay.”
Additional Information: Mr. Betlan has taught at Yough Senior High School for ten years and has taught Statistics, AP Statistics, Accelerated Algebra II, and Algebra I. He is the National Honor Society sponsor, assistant track coach, and tutors students in math. In the community Mr. Betlan sponsors students at the Herminie and Smithton food banks. He was previously awarded the Great Teacher Award in 2010.

ANTHONY BREINDEL – Quote from former student Luke Daghir: “Mr. Breindel is a teacher who cares about his students and is always there for them. He teaches many classes and has many different students throughout the day. Mr. Breindel is involved in the outdoor club and also coached the junior high basketball team.
Additional Information: Mr. Breindel has taught for 15 years and has taught History, Economics, Theology, World Cultures, American Cultures II, Psychology, Sociology, and Physical Education at Elk County Catholic High School. He is the department coordinator for Social Studies/Health and Physical Education. Mr. Breindel serves as the sophomore class advisor, Outdoor Club advisor, and assists with intramural basketball and cross country. He is also the Head Junior High Basketball Coach. He spends a lot of time following his daughter’s equestrian avocation.

RAY BROWN – Quote from former student Emily Bruner: “Mr. Brown helped me get a better understanding of history and really appreciate Connellsville, the town that I grew up in. I learned so much that is useful and interesting about the state of Pennsylvania. Mr. Brown was always there to answer questions or help in any way possible. Mr. Brown received this award last year, and I think he is a good candidate again this year. Last year I really didn’t know what this award was about, but now being part of the Saint Vincent Community, Mr. Brown is the perfect candidate for this award.”
Additional Information: Mr. Brown has taught World History, Pennsylvania Local History, Western Cultural Geography, and Eastern Cultural Geography at Connellsville Area High School.

LORRAINE BRYNER – Quote from former student Michael Yeckley: “Mrs. Bryner always kept a positive attitude and taught each lesson so that the concepts really sunk in. She was kind to all her students and was willing to go the extra mile to help them review. She stayed before and after school most days so that students could ask questions. I love Mrs. Bryner!”
Additional Information: Mrs. Bryner has taught at Greater Latrobe Senior High School for ten years and has taught Geometry and Algebra II.

GENE CHEW – Quote from former student Lazaro Garcia: “I am nominating Mr. Chew, mainly known as Coach Chew, because he made a huge impact in my life. Not only was he my football coach outside the classroom, but he taught me many different aspects of weight training, which led me to be successful on the football field. He taught me and many other students how to be disciplined and stay focused on our goals. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be in college and I would like to thank him for making me the person I am today.”
Additional Information: Mr. Chew has taught Physical Education, Varsity Sports, and Weight Lifting at John A. Ferguson. He is also Head Football Coach.

FREDERICK COLLINS – Quote from former student Leigha Dropik: “I am nominating Mr. Collins because he has had a positive impact on me as a student and in my personal life. He saw the best in me and always pushed me to do better than I thought I could, which is why I thank him for his advice and helping me get this far.”
Additional Information: Mr. Collins has taught at Mount Pleasant Jr./ Sr. High School for nineteen years and has taught Symphonic Band and band lessons.

MARTIN CONNOLLY – Quote from former student Julia Fiore: “Mr. Connolly is not only a fantastic teacher because he presents class material in an enjoyable manner, but because he allows students to express their creativity. If a student has an unconventional, yet educational idea, he aids in making sure that student can use that idea to learn in his or her own way and have fun while doing it.”
Additional Information: Mr. Connolly has taught in the Burrell School District for eight years. He has taught Media and Communications Literacy, Video Technology, Theater Technology, and Media Exploration. He sponsors the Drama Club which preforms musicals in both the fall and spring. He also serves as the director of the morning announcement organization (WBUC). In the community he works with local theaters.

CAROL CROLL – Quote from former student Bailey Campbell: “I am nominating Miss Croll because she is an amazing individual. She cares about her students and helps them with any problem they have, school or personal. She moves around her schedule to help the student and keeps helping until they understand. She also works with the students’ other teachers to find a time when she can help them if it is during another class.”
Additional Information: Miss Croll has taught Geometry and CP Math.

DR. EUGENE D’ANGELO – Quote from former student Karlianne Burick: “Dr. D’Angelo was my inspiration. When I was not feeling my best, he always had both a smile and a hug for me. He knew just what to say or do in any situation. For me, he was encouragement and an excellent teacher. I am proud to have had him as a teacher.”
Additional Information: Dr. D’Angelo has taught Mixed Chorus, Chorus, and Music 8 for twenty-three years at Mount Pleasant Jr./ Sr. High School.

KANE DAIGNAULT – Quote from former student Nick Federline: “In my junior year of high school, I was introduced to the world of accounting by a Saint Vincent College graduate, Mr. Kane Daignault. He guided me toward finding my current field of study and always found creative ways to make class enjoyable (One Clap). I am honored to have found my favorite subject, and this is my way of saying thanks for the man who guided me along the way.”
Additional Information: Mr. Daignault has taught at Franklin Regional Senior High school for five years and has taught Accounting I, Accounting I Honors, Accounting 2 Honors, Personal Finance, Microsoft Office, and Web Page Design. He participates in FBLA as an advisor and coaches the Girls’ Varsity Golf and Volleyball Teams. He is also involved in the Stock Market Club.

ANTONETTE DUES – Quote from former student Alexandra Goodwin: “I am nominating Mrs. Dues because in all the years I had her as an art teacher she always cared about her students. She tries her best to be a good teacher and she was always there to help me out whether it involved the drawing I was working on or life issues.”
Additional Information: Mrs. Dues has taught Pastels, Art I, Art II, and Pen and Ink at Connellsville Area Senior High School.

REBECCA FINCH – Quote from former student Catherine Bellich: “Mrs. Finch was one of my favorite teachers throughout my high school career. She was very nice and had such a good teaching method that helped prepare me for college. She also always made me laugh, and I looked forward to going to biology class every day. Thank you, Mrs. Finch, for being such a wonderful teacher!”
Additional Information: Mrs. Finch has taught advanced Biology at Seneca Valley Senior High School for nineteen years. She is a National Honor Society and Student Council volunteer. She has won the Red Apple Award from Butler County. Also, she is a PA Meaningful Watershed School Grant author.

HUMPHREY FRADL – Quote from former student Zach Clark: “Seῆor Fradl was a great teacher who always wanted to make his students strive for excellence. He was a great mentor to me and helped shape me into the person that I am today. There’s no doubt in my mind that the world would be a better place if all teachers were like Seῆor Fradl. Thank you for all that you have done for me!”
Additional Information: Mr. Fradl has taught Spanish II, III, and IV at Jackson High School and has been teaching for twenty-eight years. He was a former head soccer coach.

ELIZABETH GOODMAN – Quote from former student Caitlyn Thomas: “I am nominating Mrs. Elizabeth Goodman, a graduate of Saint Vincent College, because I believe that if it were not for her, I would not be attending this school, or any school. Before joining her art class my 10th grade year, I had no idea what I was going to do with myself. Mrs. Goodman helped me discover my passion of art, and my desire to, like her, help other do the same. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and takes her role as a teacher much further than just a job.”
Additional Information: Mrs. Goodman has taught Art 1, Art 2, Art Application, and Art Senior Portfolio at Southmoreland High School. She sponsors the Art and Chess Clubs. Also she is in charge of the Art Gala for the community.

DR. JUSTIN GUESS – Quote from former student Jordan Yatsko: “In the three years I had Dr. Guess, a Saint Vincent College graduate, as my Gifted teacher, I grew so much as a student. He encouraged us to push intellectual boundaries, do more than what is expected, and, most importantly, never stop searching for what could make us happy. His first concern was that each student was continually researching career fields so that we could be well equipped to make the best decision when it came to choosing a college and declaring a major. Perhaps my favorite part about being his student was that he never let us forget about the world around us. For example, if someone was doing something interesting and beautifully life- changing somewhere on the other side of the world, he wanted us to know about it in hopes that we would one day so something so wonderful. Maybe it’s his doctorate in philosophy, but he never let us stop thinking. Whether it was on our trivia competition days or while showing us thought-provoking, inspiring news stories, he pushed us to hatch from child-like minds and think about life, logic, and dream new dreams. He resurrected the mock trial program at my high school, giving me the chance to experience what being an attorney would be like. My plan to attend law school is, in large part, a result of the opportunities he offered me.”

LEONARD HERRINGTON – Quote from former student Kristen Montgomery: “When reflecting back on what makes Mr. Herrington a great teacher, words such as dedicated, realistic, and intelligent come to mind. I can honestly say that having gone through his AP course I was more prepared for college lectures than I could have possibly known. He is what other teacher should aspire to be.”
Additional Information: Mr. Herrington has taught at Springdale Jr./Sr. High school for more than fifteen years. At Springdale he has taught many courses including Political Science, Integrated U.S. History II, and AP U.S. History. Mr. Herrington has sponsored Student Council and is the Social Studies Department Chair. He is very involved with his two sons and their activities.

ACACIA HOUCK – Quote from former student Carly Meholic: “I would love to nominate Mrs. Acacia Houck for this award. I never had Mrs. Houck for a class; however, she still stood above the rest. She was my advisor for Student Council for two years, and my advisor of Students Against Destructive Decisions for three years. I have always looked up to her in many ways. First, she was so nice and understanding with everyone. Even though I never had her in class, I know everyone that did loved her and her classes. Second, I worked very closely with Mrs. Houck in the clubs. She put her whole heart into those clubs and took them very seriously. In fact, our SADD club won Pennsylvania’s SADD activity of the year award for a Drive Safe Fair, held in 2010. Mrs. Houck helped the students plan this highly successful event. Third, she is the definition of a teacher. She not only taught, but also helped the students to be the best they could be. She wrote several letter of recommendation for me, including one for college, a summer job, and scholarships. I achieved all of these with the help of Mrs. Houck. I could go on and on about what a wonderful teacher Mrs. Houck was for me when I attended Greater Latrobe Senior High School. I plan on becoming a teacher someday, and when I do, I will always remember what a good teacher she was to me. I hope I can leave a lasting impression on my students as Mrs. Houck has left on me.”
Additional Information: Mrs. Houck has taught Broadcast and Production I and II at Greater Latrobe Senior High School and has been teaching for eight years. She is also the Student Council and Students Against Destructive Decisions advisor.

COLLEEN KATZ - Quote from former student Verne Bergstrom: “Mrs. Katz is a kind and caring teacher and makes sure her students come first. She also is very helpful to the subject matter and makes sure her students succeed. I must say, she was one of my best English teachers!”
Additional Information: Mrs. Katz has taught English 11 and 12 at Highlands High School. Mrs. Katz sponsors both National Honor Society and Yearbook. She helps with the blood drive, as well.

LYNN KEYSER - Quote from former student Christina Mowry: “I am nominating Mrs. Lynn Keyser because no matter what kind of problems you had you could go and talk to her. Any help you needed, she was there for you, even if it meant staying after school ended or coming in an hour before it started. She is an amazing teacher and I would love to be just like her when I start teaching.”
Additional Information: Mrs. Keyser has taught Physics and AP physics at Greater Latrobe Senior High School and has been teaching for fourteen years.

RICHARD KINGERA – Quote from former student Rory Dolan: “Mr. Kingera has been the band director at Rockwood Area High School for the past 30 years and he has described the band program there as his life’s work. He is clearly a phenomenal teacher due to the time and effort he puts into his band program. H is the lone instrumental music teacher in the entire junior and senior high school. He truly cares for and understands his students. He has been both a friend and a mentor to me throughout high school.”
Additional Information: Mr. Kingera has taught for thirty two years at Rockwood Area High School. He has taught Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Music Expo. He is the Jazz Band Club sponsor.

COLLEEN KINKEAD – Quote from former student Jacob Very: “Mrs. Kinkead is a very intelligent teacher but her most favorable teaching technique is the way she is able to explain to students what she means. She is a mother so I believe that helps her understand how to explain to teenagers.”
Additional Information: Mrs. Kinkead has been teaching for fifteen years and teaches Modern Algebra, Advanced Trigonometry, Modern Trigonometry, and AP Calculus at Greensburg Central Catholic. Mrs. Kinkead is the Junior Class Moderator and annually chaperones the field trip to Washington, D.C.. She is very involved with her daughters and family. She is a Saint Vincent College graduate.

ANGELA KNIPPLE – Quote from former student Kate McCauley: “Mrs. Angela Knipple has touched the lives of many students with her eccentric teaching styles. Of the Norwin faculty, Mrs. Knipple is one of the most highly regarded due to the fact that she created great relationships with her students and a fun learning environment. All through my high school career and now into my college career, Mrs. Knipple has been a very influential person much like my role model. She has helped me through many difficult times and makes sure that she can do whatever it takes to help. Considering many other teachers, I believe Mrs. Knipple has many of the qualities a great teacher has to offer.”
Additional Information: Mrs. Knipple teaches Geometry and Calculus at Norwin High School.

JAMES LALLMAN – Quote from former student Anna Hoffman: “Mr. Lallman has gone beyond the expectations of a school teacher year after year. He takes time out of his personal schedule to help students with homework, prepare them for upcoming tests, and to talk about global happenings. He acts as a teacher both inside and outside the classroom.”
Quote from former student Alexander Rupprecht: “Mr. Lallman was very willing to answer questions that anyone had. He was always very nice to all of his students and an outstanding teacher.”
Additional Information: Mr. Lallman has been teaching for twenty-nine years at Elk County Catholic High School. He has taught Physics I, Physics II, Consumer Physics, Accounting Trigonometry, Calculus, and Statistics. He is the Chess Club advisor and co-advisor of the Recycling Club. Mr. Lallman also chaperones many student dances and takes tickets for music department functions.
Quote from Principal Sandra Florig: “Mr. Lallman is originally from Erie, Pennsylvania and spends most weekends taking care of his deceased mother’s home and property. He is always willing to help when his schedule permits.”

FREDERICK LANCIANO – Quote from former student Molly Ouchis: “I am nominating Mr. Frederick Lanciano, a Theology teacher at Berks Catholic High School in Reading, Pennsylvania. Mr. Lanciano is a warm, caring, faith-filled, Christian individual who has had a major impact on my life in ways I can’t even begin to explain. He is the kind of teacher who is willing to take time out of his day and listen to what you have to say and give you spiritual guidance when you are struggling in your faith. Mr. Lanciano not only talks the talk, he walks the walk. He leads by example and in his daily life he exemplifies his Christ-centered values. He is motivational and inspirational!”
Additional Information: Mr. Lanciano has taught for eight years at Berks Catholic High School and teaches Theology. He is also a Deacon Candidate, Student Council Moderator, head Ice Hockey Coach, and Theology Department Chair. In the community he is a Lector and Eucharistic Minister.

KIRK LENTZ – Quote from former student Rachel Henigin: “I am nominating Mr. Kirk Lentz because of the outstanding job he has done with teaching student the Spanish language. He has helped us to love the language and culture just as much as he does. Personally, taking his Spanish courses opened doors to many possibilities and new opportunities for me in college because of his precision and hard-work ethic. His fun personality also made it an exciting school experience and a class I looked forward to attending every day!”
Additional Information: Mr. Lentz has taught for fifteen years and teaches Spanish I, II, III, and IV at Blairsville High School. He has been a presenter at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Methodology Conference and a speaker at numerous state conferences. He is a Saint Vincent College graduate.

JENNIFER LEVAN – Quote from former student Jessica Miller: “Mrs. LeVan helped me through both of my classes and was there every morning to tutor me, or anyone else, who needed it. She’s one of the reasons I want to be a Biology teacher.”
Additional Information: Mrs. LeVan has taught for eleven years at Greater Latrobe High School. She taught Academic Biology and Anatomy and Physiology.

KALA LOREY – Quote from former student Taylor Olszewski: “Miss Lorey not only expanded my knowledge in music, singing, and performing; she also challenged me in different ways to become a better person. She teaches a great number of students, but it is still personal. She encourages each of her students to exceed the expectations of education and to enjoy the various opportunities in our futures.”
Additional Information: Mrs. Lorey teaches Mixed Choir and Piano at Penn Hills High School.

NAN MAHONY – Quote from former student Andrew Gauntner: “I nominated Mrs. Mahony because she is a great teacher, and also because she is a great Theater director! She really made my years at Elyria Catholic the best they could be.”
Additional Information: Mrs. Mahony has taught for thirty-six years. At Elyria Catholic she taught Drama/Theater, Developmental English and Speech, English as a Second Language, and College English. She is the English Department Chair, Director of Production, mentor for Praxis, and Director of Sandstone Summer Theatre for 17 years. In the community, Mrs. Mahony served on Baptism preparation and First Eucharistic Committee. She is involved in Women’s Club, Eucharistic Ministry, President of the Parent Club, taught PSR classes and served a lector.
Quote from Principal Amy Butler: “Mrs. Mahony loves teaching and says every day is an honor to be able to do what she loves.”

GRAIG MARX – Quote from former student Emily Kukura: “I took AP Chemistry in high school and Mr. Marx’s teaching truly made me ready to take chemistry in college. I have come into my freshman year feeling very secure about my chemistry knowledge. This is a direct result of Mr. Marx’s teaching. He was able to teach at a level that was understood by all and still covered the material. His teaching is to be admired.”
Additional Information: Mr. Marx teaches Chemistry at Blairsville High School.

DR. SHAWN MILLINDER – Quote from former student Alexander Rupprecht: “The reason that I nominated Dr. Millinder is because I learned a lot from her in the three years that I had her for a teacher. She gave me a lot of chances to gain a lot of experience that has proved an invaluable source of information in college.”
Additional Information: Dr. Millinder has taught at Elk County Catholic High School for four years. She has taught Chemistry I, II, III, AP Chemistry, and Environmental Science. Dr. Millinder advises the Envirothon Club and is a co-advisor of the Ping Pong and Racquetball Clubs. She also chaperones school dances.
Quote from Principal Sandra Florig: “Dr. Millinder is very involved with school activities and all of her classes, especially the AP Chemistry class with its many labs. She has been published many times and has earned several grants for our high school during the past three years.”

PHILLIP MOSES – Quote from former student Thomas Gramlich: “Mr. Moses came in when our teacher had to retire in September of freshman year. He helped make sure that we all knew what we were doing and was a great teacher. He did well enough that the school hired him as the permanent replacement. Throughout the years he helped every student he could, whether it is in class or making videos for other classes. Mr. Moses’ teaching has had more of an impact that he could imagine.
Additional Information: Mr. Moses has taught for five years and teaches Honors Civics and Government, Civics and Government, U.S. History, and Current Events at Penn Trafford High School. Mr. Moses sponsors Students Against Destructive Decisions and the Junior Class. He is also the weightlifting coordinator.

MIKE MOXIMCHALK – Quote from former student Logan Tautkus-Berry: “Mr. Moximchalk was one of the most interesting teachers. His methods of teaching to prepare for college work was exactly like college. He taught me about history and how it relates to today. I found this very informative and interesting.”
Additional Information: Mr. Moximchalk teaches history at Derry Area High School and is a Saint Vincent College graduate.


DANA NEWLIN – Quote from former student Brandon Holmes: “Out of so many great teachers at Yough, there are several I believe deserve this award, but when I think about who has had the greatest positive influence on me and others, Ms. Newlin is the first to come to mind. She juggles teaching several science classes, coaching cross country and track, and overseeing many fundraisers, but still has always had the time to be there for her students and runners.”
Additional Information: Ms. Newlin has taught Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Earth Science, and Anatomy/Physiology at Yough Senior High School for ten years. She is head coach of the boys/girls cross country team and assistant track coach. Ms. Newlin is the Pep Rally MC, and chaperones school dances. In the community she volunteers and assists with charity events and solicits student involvement. She is a Saint Vincent College graduate.

CAROL RITACCO – Quote from former student Abigail Kubus: “Ms. Ritacco, A.K.A. “Seῆorita,” has not only been an outstanding teacher, she has been an inspiration. She is a friendly, kind and caring person. Ms. Ritacco has changed my life in many ways and I am grateful for the huge impact she has made on my life. I will never forget May 27, 2010, when I figured out my grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt like my whole world turned upside down. Ms. Ritacco was there to comfort me and told me to be with my grandma at the hospital the day of her surgery. I cannot thank her enough for her support during that difficult time. Ms. Ritacco taught me CIHS Spanish 4A and CIHS Spanish 5A during my last two years of high school. She was a great Spanish teacher and never gave up on her students. Ms. Ritacco has influenced me to minor in Spanish at Saint Vincent College. For my senior project I asked Ms. Ritacco to be my advisor because of our close bond that formed from our usual talks before class and for her great advice.”
Additional Information: Ms. Ritacco has taught for 35 years at Chartiers Valley High School. She has taught College in High School Spanish 4A and College in High School Spanish 5A. Ms. Ritacco was head of the Foreign Language Department and the Spanish Club advisor.

JENNIFER ROADMAN – Quote from former student Corinna Horak: “Mrs. Roadman has helped me academically and personally. She wrote all of my reference letters for college and scholarships and was so excited when I got accepted into her Alma Mater, Saint Vincent College. Through my struggles with relationships and schoolwork, family and friends, Mrs. Roadman was there to talk to me and give me guidance throughout my last three years of high school. I wouldn’t want another teacher to have been there for me because in my eyes, she was the best and is the one I strived to impress academically along with everyday problems. Thanks to her, I am going to St. Vincent for accounting with many scholarships. I am forever grateful to her for helping me realize who I am and who I can be.
Additional Information: Mrs. Roadman has taught Yearbook I, II, and III at Southmoreland High School. She has also taught Geometry and Supplemental Math classes. Ms. Roadman is the yearbook sponsor.

JAMES ROCCO – Quote from former student Alexis Ferraco: “’It is not what is poured into a student that counts but what is planted.’ This quote reminds me of Mr. Rocco. He always taught with enthusiasm and wanted you to learn. Mr. Rocco is the kind of teacher I would want every child to have the opportunity to experience.”
Additional Information: Mr. Rocco teaches Forensics I.

JOE SCHEUERMANN – Quote from former student Lindsey Sullenberger: “Mr. Scheuermann was unlike any teacher I’ve ever had. He was able to make everyone laugh and learn at the same time. He made me feel comfortable with math, and has encouraged me with my plans of becoming a math teacher.”
Additional Information: Mr. Scheuermann has taught for fifteen years at Hempfield Area High School. He has taught AP Calculus 1, AP Calculus 2, and Statistics. He works with Ski Club and Student Government along with many other student organizations. He enjoys outdoor activities. Mr. Scheuermann is the president of the Hempfield Area Teachers Association and his students consistently score very high on the AP Calculus Exams.

JEFFERY SCHMOOK – Quote from former student Kelly Phillips: “Mr. Schmook is a great teacher. You can tell he really cares for his students and enjoys seeing them succeed. He was very helpful to me and presented new information in a way everyone could understand. I wish more teachers were like him.”
Additional Information: Mr. Schmook has taught for eighteen years at Yough Senior High School. He has taught many classes such as Algebra I, College Algebra, S.A.T. Preparation, Calculus, and AP Calculus. He is a SAP team member, serves on the Faculty Council, School Improvement Team, and former Assistant Football Coach.

LINDA SHEARER – Quote from former student Lyndsey Boors: “I am nominating Miss Linda Shearer for the Great Teacher Program due to her outstanding teaching skills inside the classroom and out. Miss Shearer is the founder of the Connellsville Area High School Patriots, Inc. which is a nonprofit group that sends care packages to troops overseas. Miss Shearer is always there to lend a helping hand and does so without the expectation to personally gain. I admire Miss Shearer so much and would not have been able to accomplish my goals without her help and guidance.
Quote from former student Angela Grover: “I nominated Miss Linda Shearer because of all she does for the school and for the community. She is the leader of the CAHS Patriots. If it wasn’t for her, our soldiers would not get the packages that they get. She is very patriotic and does a lot for her community. She deserves this nomination for all the hard work she does.

JOYCE STANISH – Quote from former student Morgan Iacovino: “I am nominating Mrs. Stanish because she is a devoted, hardworking, and caring teacher. Looking back on my years in high school makes me think of Mrs. Stanish in the fact that she did a good job of preparing me for college. She has a unique skill of teaching the material by giving a plethora of examples to help the learner fully understand the concepts. I am thankful for being able to have had the pleasure of being one of her students.”
Additional Information: Mrs. Stanish has taught at Charleroi Area High School for seventeen years. She has taught AP Biology, Honors Biology, Academic Biology, and Honors Anatomy.

DON SWANSON – Quote from former student Cameron Smith: “In my experience with the esteemed Mr. Swanson, I grew not only as a person but as a scholar. No matter how large his class, he always made students feel welcome and was sure to get involved personally in not only subject matter but concerns with the students’ daily lives. Mr. Swanson has earned my respect, but also my friendship and admiration.
Additional Information: Mr. Swanson teaches English 12 CP at Kittanning High School and is the sponsor of the TV Production Club.

CANDICE THOMSON – Quote from former student Melanie Fetzer: “Mrs. Thomson is the most inspiring person I’ve ever met. She helped transform me from an inexperienced and nervous writer to a confident writer and person. She changed the way I view all of my teacher and will remain my friend forever.
Additional Information: Mrs. Thomson teaches SAT prep and Honors English II at Hampton High School.

ROBERT TRAUGH – Quote from former student Maura Ziemski: “As Norwin High School’s director of bands, Robert Traugh is an outstanding teacher because he does everything he can for his students’ success through high school and through their lives. Throughout my four years of high school, Mr. Traugh was one of the most influential people I have come to know and respect and has been one of the key role models I still look up to, even after graduation. Mr. Traugh deserves recognition for his outstanding teaching and his dedication to not only the Norwin Band program, but to the entire Norwin community for his nonstop efforts to make the band an ambassador of the community and the community an integral part of the band.”
Additional Information: Mr. Traugh has taught at Norwin High School for five years. He has taught Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and AP music. Mr. Traugh is the director for the competitive Marching Band.

KATHRYN WRAY – Quote from former student Theresa Nath: “Mrs. Wray is one of the teachers that I have had the privilege to have known for all four of my high school years, not only in class, but also outside of class for clubs and activities. She had been such a support in my high school career both spiritually and mentally. If I ever had a question or needed advice, I would go to Mrs. Wray because I knew she would give me the best answer and she truly cared about my problems. I have been so blessed to have had her as a spiritual advisor and as a friend.
Additional Information: Mrs. Wray has taught at Seton-La Salle High School for six years. She has taught Sacramental Life, Life in Christ I: Christian Morality, and Christ: The Eternal Word. She is the co-director of Campus Ministries, director of Liturgical Choir, Prayer Planning Committee facilitator, coordinator of all liturgical ministries, Middle States chairperson, and Theology Department chair. In the community she is a Cadet Girl Scout Leader, director of Music Ministries at St. Domien of Molokai Parish, and Volunteers at the Heinz History Center. Ms. Wray also loves the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Public Theater.

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PR2011-955