Pittsburgh, Pa − December 9, 2019 − Senator Lindsey M. Williams announced today that North Hills Middle School teacher Joseph Welch has been named the 2020 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Teacher of the Year nominations can made by students, parents, and fellow teachers to recognize teachers who achieve excellence in the classroom and community. Each Local Education Agency then advances one nominated teacher from the elementary level and one from the secondary level for consideration. From that pool, 12 finalists are chosen and finally, the Teacher of the Year is selected from the finalists.

As the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, Mr. Welch will have the opportunity to speak with teachers across the Commonwealth to share ideas. He will also serve as a representative of Pennsylvania teachers at the state level, including as the state’s nominee at the National Teacher of the Year conference in 2021. Mr. Welch will also have the opportunity to attend Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Mr. Welch is dedicated to helping his students learn by bringing history to life through acting, film-making, music, art, and story-telling,” said Senator Williams. “He engages students in ways that help them understand why events happened and inspires them to think critically about how they might act in similar situations. Congratulations to Mr. Welch on this well-deserved recognition!” 

Mr. Welch teaches American History and social studies at North Hills Middle School. In 2018, he was named Pennsylvania History Teacher of the Year and National History Teacher of the Year, becoming the youngest person to hold this title.