HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Department of Education has announced the 12 educators nominated to be the 2023 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.

Each year, the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Program recognizes excellence in teaching by honoring K-12 teachers in public education who have made outstanding academic contributions to Pennsylvania’s school-aged children.

The finalists are:

  • Chris Grouzes, Rose Tree Media School District, Delaware County
  • Ryan Hardesty, Blackhawk School District, Beaver County
  • Julie Hussey, Cumberland Valley School District, Cumberland County
  • Brooke Menzen, Jersey Shore Area School District, Lycoming County
  • Jackie Miller, New Hope-Solebury School District, Bucks County
  • Mary Beth Moslak, West Branch Area School District, Clearfield County
  • Abbey Nilson, Shaler Area School District, Allegheny County
  • Ashlee Peters-Roberts, Burrell School District, Westmoreland County
  • Kristin J. Slota, Pennsbury School District, Bucks County
  • Elizabeth “Liz” Taylor, School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
  • Jason Turka, Bethel Park School District, Allegheny County
  • Melissa Unger, South Fayette Township School District, Allegheny & Washington Counties

“Congratulations to the outstanding educators who have been chosen as finalists for Pennsylvania’s 2023 Teacher of the Year,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “Our commonwealth’s learners depend on engaged, enthusiastic teachers to make a high-quality education both approachable and accessible to all, and this cohort of educators has set the bar for their dedication to their students, schools, and communities.”

The 12 finalists are selected from applicants and recognized in Harrisburg each fall. Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year will be announced at a state awards ceremony in Harrisburg in the winter and represents Pennsylvania at the National Teacher of the Year ceremony at the White House.