Pennsylvania Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera announced Dec. 9 that Joseph Welch, a middle school teacher in the North Hills School District in Allegheny County, has been named the 2020 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. Welch, who teaches American history at North Hills Middle School, was one of 12 finalists. Nominations for the Teacher of the Year were submitted by students, parents, peers, and members of the community. The finalists are Matthew Binder, Hempfield Senior High School (Lancaster County); Michele Bittner, West Penn Elementary School (Schuylkill County); Amanda Connell, Northern Tier Career Center (Bradford County); Colleen Epler-Ruths, Shikellamy High School (Northumberland County); Javius Galan, Wilson West Middle School (Berks County); Leanne Jarossy, Central Bucks High School West (Bucks County); William Melvin, Central Bucks High School South (Bucks County); Katona Lyn Miller, South Scranton Intermediate School (Lackawanna County); Kristen Moose, Dallastown Area Middle School (York County); Melissa Pierce, Pennypack Elementary School (Montgomery County); and Paolo Tolomeo, Haine Elementary School (Butler County). For an op-ed by this year's winner please turn to page 13. Learn more about Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year program at education.pa.gov.