PRMS Teacher Named Finalist


PA Teacher of Year Finalist

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National School Teacher of the Year named Pine-Richland Middle School Teacher Patricia Cekella as one of 12 Finalists for the 2017 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.

“I have been both honored and humbled by the experience,” said Ms. Cekella.  “It has allowed me to take time and reflect on all the positive things that Pine-Richland has to offer its students and teachers.  The collaborative atmosphere supports a creative and caring approach to learning.” 

Ms. Cekella has been teaching in Pine-Richland for almost 12 years. She teaches Geometry and Algebra Fundamentals at the middle school.  She has had the privilege of teaching the highest and the lowest level math for eighth grade for the past eight years.  Prior to that, she taught Algebra and Pre-Algebra.

This year Ms. Cekella initiated a Boys with GOALS group to help a small group of eighth grade boys who were in need of a positive, male role model to encourage and promote GOALS.  The acronym stands for Good choices, Outstanding effort, Achieve consistent work habits, positive attitude towards Learning, and Surrounded by good role models.  A speaker is invited to visit and speak to the boys once a month during a lunch period about characteristics of a good student/citizen and steps needed to achieve/maintain success. 

“I live by the motto “Do Your Best,” and try to create a classroom that brings out the best in every student,” said Ms. Cekella.

She has encouraged students to excel at math and even helped her students earn the Gold Level Status in the MATCHCOUNTS Club program in 2012. The program honors schools that have a percentage of students scoring 80 percent or higher in a math challenge.

 In addition to be named a finalist for 2017, she was named a semifinalist for 2012, 2013, and 2015.

In December, teachers will participate in a special awards ceremony to be hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, when the 2017 PA Teacher of the Year will be announced.

She graduated from Grove City College in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Secondary Education.  She was a Scholars in Education Award Recipient.  Previous to Pine-Richland, she taught at Seneca Valley High School for six years and was a stay-at-home mom for seven years.