Excellence in Education
The Indiana County Chamber of Commerce has announced a brand-new initiative to recognize in a very big way the excellent work being done by both Indiana County teachers and students. The initiative, in partnership with the Colonial Family of Dealerships, will highlight various students and teachers from each of the seven-county public school districts as well as Indiana County Technology Center (ICTC) throughout the school year and will culminate with the Indiana County Excellence in Education Awards in the spring. One student and one teacher will be selected at this banquet, with each being awarded a brand-new automobile donated by Colonial. Charles “C.J.” Spadafora, the owner of Colonial Motor Mart and Colonial Toyota, stated that he had been looking for a way to give back that would help to shape the future members of the community.
“Our company wants to give back to the community and felt as if the next generation and the teachers who are educating them do not get a lot of recognition,” Spadafora explained. “This is our way of saying thank you for allowing our family to be here for over 75 years, and we hope that we will be here for at least 75 more.
Mark Hilliard, President of the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce, said that this program will be more than just another awards banquet. It will be a major way to improve the workforce development in the county. “Career Readiness and workforce development are such important elements to the economic future of our area,” Hilliard stated. “I am so excited to again be working with our county schools as well as Colonial to be able to take career readiness and some of the other wonderful things that are happening in our schools to a whole new level.”
The program will see a senior student nominated each month from each school district, with all of those nominees being invited to the awards banquet in the spring with a chance to win the car. In addition to the students, one teacher in each school district, grades Kindergarten through Grade 12, will be chosen as that district’s Teacher of the Year and will be invited to the banquet with an opportunity to win a vehicle of their own.
Once the nominees are all chosen by the school districts, an independent panel will review all of the nominations and choose one individual to be Colonial’s Indiana County Student of the Year and one to be Colonial’s Indiana County Teacher of the Year. The panel will not be affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce, any of the Indiana County school entities, or Colonial but will instead be comprised of out-of-county educators, human resource directors, and county leaders.
- Possess a valid Pennsylvania Instructional II certificate;
- Be exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled pre-kindergarten through grade twelve teachers
- Plan to continue in an active teaching status through the current school year;
- Incorporate effective and innovative instructional strategies, particularly elements of the Standards Aligned Systems (SAS);
- Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;
- Demonstrates excellence and expertise in the field, guiding students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve success;
- Collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture that is respectful, inclusive, and
positively impacts student growth and learning;
- Intentionally connects the classroom/school and key stakeholders to build strong community partnerships
resulting in success for all;
- Demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside of the school building walls and helps students/education stakeholders be successful;
- Is inspiring, compelling, and professional, and express themselves in an engaging and articulate way. The candidate is both timeless and relevant and has the ability to connect with and represent the state.