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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Federal funds boost Northeast high-speed EV charging network; the Heat Dome remains the top story over more than half the nation; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in TX face health disparities; Groups debunk claims of 'skyrocketing' numbers of non-citizen voters.

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U.S. House passes the National Defense Authorization Act, with hard-right amendments. Political scientists say they worry a second Trump presidency could 'break' American democracy, while farmers voice concerns about the Farm Bill.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

PA Educator Receives National Teaching Excellence Award

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Friday, November 18, 2022   

This has been National Education Week, and a Pennsylvania high school teacher is among only five educators nationally to receive one of the profession's highest honors.

The Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence went to Kevin Gallagher, a high school computer science, math and statistics teacher at Keystone Oaks High School in Pittsburgh. It comes with a $10,000 award, and Gallagher will be featured in a mini-documentary from the National Education Association Foundation.

Gallagher, who has been teaching for 26 years, noted that the award recognizes leadership, not only within the classroom but for community involvement.

"Typically, the award is for advocacy for the profession. It's advocacy of our students - levels of intelligence, of diversity, gender, race - any equity in the classroom," he said. "Also for my contribution to my colleagues too, like professional development that I've provided for them."

Gallagher said he's dedicated to increasing diversity, and has worked to eliminate some barriers to learning, such as prerequisites that could otherwise keep students from enrolling in statistics and computer science classes. He was nominated for the award by the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

The award is named after Horace Mann, a member of Congress in the 1800s who advocated for public education.

Gallagher said one of his many responsibilities as an educator is to always encourage students to do their best and use their creativity in their coursework.

"The things that we need to do on a daily basis to keep students motivated, to keep students engaged - it's a very distractible world," he said. "In my classroom, [I'm] always looking to keep students engaged; what do they like to do? They get to code, they get to do computer science exercises in their own personalization."

For example, he said, his school district is highlighting an event Dec. 8 called a Night of Code, when families with kids from kindergarten through eighth grade can take part in coding activities for computer science classes.

Disclosure: Pennsylvania State Education Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Early Childhood Education, Education, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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