Pa.'s top teacher from southeastern Pa. school
HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) -- A southeastern Pennsylvania educator who embodies his school district's focus on teaching children to create and invent was named the winner of the 2014 Pennsylvania's Teacher of the Year award on Monday.
Rose Tree Media School District teacher Anthony Grisillo was introduced at an event in Hershey by seventh-grader James Riley McGowan, and Gov. Tom Corbett made the announcement.
James said students enjoy Grisillo's method of teaching, the Delaware County Times reported. Grisillo taught James in fourth and fifth grades in the Delaware County school district.
"He was the one who inspired me to make my own movies," McGowan said while introducing Grisillo at the event through an online video link.
Superintendent James Wigo said Grisillo fits in well with a core focus of the district.
"We really do try to get away from teaching kids to remember and instead we teach kids to learn and create and invent, and he's the poster child for that philosophy," Wigo said.
Wigo also said Grisillo brings his best performance to work every day in a profession that demands it.
Grisillo beat out 11 other finalists, including one from his district. Grisillo was nominated last year while working at Rose Tree Elementary School and he currently teaches in two different elementary schools in the district.
Grisillo is in his 15th year in the district and is an instructor for the Academically Gifted Program for kindergarten through fifth grade. Since 2000, he has served as the elementary science coordinator for curriculum and development.
James asked some of Grisillo's past students to pick one word to describe the teacher. Among the words they came up with were creative, hilarious and inspiring, the newspaper said. He also believes in his students, James said.
"We want to thank Mr. G for being not just our teacher, but our friend as well," James said.
Pennsylvania's 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.
Grisillo has a bachelor's degree in secondary elementary education from West Chester University and a master's degree in science and technology from Widener University.
Other finalisists included: Daryl Balseiro of Big Spring School District in Cumberland County; Amy Alleman Burke of Cumberland Valley School District in Cumberland County; Erin Cernuska of Bellefonte Area School District in Centre County; Linda Coll of Northern Lebanon School District in Lebanon County; Tracey Fritch also of Rose Tree Media School District; Carol Aten Frow of Belle Vernon Area School District in Westmoreland County; Lori Gallagher and Nicole Miletto of Hatboro-Horsham School District in Montgomery County; Nicola Hipkins of Bethel Park School District in Allegheny County; Jen Klobucar of Yough School District in Westmoreland County; and Kyle Norman of Brockway Area School District of Jefferson County.