HERSHEY, PA — Secretary of Education Dr. Noe Ortega announced that Elizabeth Raff, an educator at Penn Manor School District in Lancaster County, has been named the 2022 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made during the SAS Institute, the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s annual professional development conference.
“Teachers like Elizabeth Raff provide care, encouragement, and inspiration to their students even in a normal year, but their efforts are especially critical during challenging and unprecedented times,” said Sec. Ortega. “The consistency and dedication that Pennsylvania’s educators bring to their classrooms ensure that students can learn, grow, and thrive in safe and supportive atmospheres, and we applaud Ms. Raff and all of her fellow nominees for their commitment to their school communities.”
Raff teaches sixth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies at Pequea Elementary School. Her teaching philosophy is that “Education engages students in the lifelong process of inquiry and critical thinking. It creates a dynamic space where learners examine new perspectives, take creative risks, and activate empathy while making the world a better place.”
As Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year, Raff will travel the state, meet, and collaborate with other educators, and will represent the commonwealth in next year’s National Teacher of the Year competition.
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.
Raff was chosen from among 12 finalists, including:
- Andrea Baney, Danville Area School District
- Debra Barrick, Selinsgrove Area School District
- Nicole Darroch, Ambridge Area School District
- Kathleen Dickensheets, Hampton Township School District
- Jessica Fellin, Penns Valley Area School District
- Gerald Kaplan, Loyalsock Township School District
- Caitlin Keiper, New Hope-Solebury School District
- Denise Leigh, McGuffey School District
- Kerri Markert, Easton Area School District
- Katie Wisnosky, Tunkhannock Area School District
- Hollie Woodard, Council Rock School District
Learn more about Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year program on PDE’s website.