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Adjunct art instructor among state ‘Teacher of the Year’ finalists

An adjunct faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Technology was chosen as a finalist for Pennsylvania State Teacher of the Year. Gerry G. Kaplan – who teaches part time in advertising art at Penn College – was recognized for his work at Loyalsock Township School District, where he teaches a variety of art media.

Gerry G. Kaplan (second from right, top row) joins a group photo of the 12 finalists for 2022 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. Kaplan, an adjunct advertising art faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was honored for his work as an art teacher at Loyalsock Township School District. Lancaster County's Elizabeth Raff, Teacher of the Year for 2022, is second from left in the front row. (Photo provided)
Gerry G. Kaplan (second from right, top row) joins a group photo of the 12 finalists for 2022 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. Kaplan, an adjunct advertising art faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was honored for his work as an art teacher at Loyalsock Township School District. Lancaster County’s Elizabeth Raff, Teacher of the Year for 2022, is second from left in the front row. (Photo provided)

Twelve finalists from across the state are chosen for the Teacher of the Year program co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National State Teacher of the Year. The program recognizes excellence in teaching by honoring K-12 teachers in public education who have made outstanding academic contributions to Pennsylvania’s school-aged children.

The 12 finalists are recognized in Harrisburg each fall, and the Teacher of the Year is announced at the SAS Institute, the state Department of Education’s annual professional development conference, held in early December.

Elizabeth Raff, an English teacher from Lancaster County, was named the 2022 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.

Kaplan joined Penn College’s adjunct faculty in Fall 2017. He has taught classes in color and design, drawing and ceramics.

“I have had the opportunity to observe Gerry as an adjunct instructor in the Art & Design department,” said Brian A. Flynn, assistant professor of graphic design and department head. “Gerry has a good rapport with his students and is a very talented, innovative artist and teacher. He has been a valuable asset to our program.”

He earned his Master of Fine Arts in visual arts from Wilson College, a Master of Education in gifted and talented education from Converse College, and a Bachelor of Science in art education from Penn State.

Jennifer R. Wahl, instructor of social sciences at Penn College, was named the state’s 2018 Teacher of the Year when she was a world history and psychology teacher at Loyalsock Township High School and teaching part-time psychology and sociology classes at Penn College. She became a full-time college faculty member in Fall 2020.

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