St. Davids, PA: Eastern University alumna Lara Owlett is one of 12 finalists for the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award. The winner will be selected in December after judges view video recordings of lessons from each finalist. The award, granted annually by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTY), recognizes teachers who exhibit excellence in teaching and who have made outstanding contributions to the young people of Pennsylvania. The winner also becomes a nominee for the National Teacher of the Year award.
Lara received a B.A. in French and a minor in Spanish from Eastern in 2009, and a M.Ed. in Multicultural Education/TESOL from Eastern in 2013. She currently teaches French in the Wellsboro Area School District.
"Because the community at Eastern challenged me academically and spiritually, I felt confident to enter my chosen profession of teaching while also answering God's call on my life,” Lara reflects. “Eastern's focus on faith, reason and justice has truly shaped the way I interact with the world and the way I present multicultural and global issues from the French-speaking world with my students.”
Lara’s journey to the finalist round began with a nomination. She was then required to submit an application which included letters of recommendation from an administrator, a colleague, and a student parent. The application included questions ranging from her teaching philosophy to community service and involvement.
After making it past the first round, she participated in a phone interview with the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a semi-finalist. Now as a finalist, she must submit several uncut video recordings of her lessons.
“It is rare for a teacher north of Interstate 80 to reach the final round,” Lara shares. “I feel especially honored to have this opportunity to represent my district."
Eastern University’s Graduate Education Department offers a PhD program, five MEd programs and 32 certification and professional programs. To learn more, visit eastern.edu/ed.