Mrs. Smoller named a PA Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist

Joanna White, Staff Writer

Mrs. Smoller, a marketing teacher at BPHS for nine years, has become one of 33 semi-finalists in the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year contest.

When asked about her achievement, she replied: “I was completely surprised.” However, the teacher went further, “[But] I attribute much of it to my students, definitely my students.”

Originally, this achievement was not one of her goals: “It wasn’t a goal until Doctor Jansante spoke with me.”

To be nominated, Mrs. Smoller had to do quite a bit of work: “I had to write three essays along with getting three letters of recommendation: one from the principal, a fellow teacher and one from a past student’s parent.”

And, to become a semi-finalist, she had to write another set of essays. If Mrs. Smoller is able to become one of 12 finalist, then she will need to write three more essays among other things.

When questioned about her confidence in becoming a semi-finalist, she replied: “Just getting this far was unexpected. [However] being recognized and my students being recognized is wonderful. But winning [would be] a nice bonus.”

In closing, Mrs. Smoller has some advice for new teachers: “[Teaching] is definitely a learning experience. Put your passion into it, and don’t get discouraged. It is a lot of work, but don’t be afraid to try new things.”

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