Mr. Harmon- Teacher of the Year Finalist


Elisabeth Hook, Writer

This past weekend Mr. Harmon, our 8th grade Civics and 10th grade History teacher, traveled to Hershey as one of the twelve finalists for Teacher of the Year in Pennsylvania. Mr. Harmon was nominated a little over a year ago and has been completing the rigorous requirements associated with this award.  He was the only Civics and male teacher finalist.

The Teacher of the Year Award has been in commission since 1952, and is considered to be one of the oldest and most prestigious national honors given to teachers. It was created to honor teachers with “excellence in teaching,” and those who are enthusiastic about helping their students. As we all know, Mr. Harmon does an outstanding job fulfilling these requirements.

The winner of the Teacher of The Year competition is considered to be the first among equals, and even though Mr. Harmon didn’t win per-say, he was given the opportunity to be a part of National State Teachers of the Year, (otherwise known as NSTOY). When asked about his experience he said, “In all honesty I was in awe with all of the awesome educators around me. I felt like, ‘Who am I to be here?’.  I  I felt like a deer in the headlights most of the weekend. The moment they called somebody else’s name, it was difficult. I wanted to be named Teacher of the Year, but at the same time, I realized how great it is to be a part of that (competition) regardless. When I initially applied, I never thought, ‘Oh it is going to be me’, but as I kept getting closer, how could I not start to think that it may be?” 

Mr. Harmon chose Peyton Kirkpatrick as his student presenter, and he had the opportunity to join Mr. Harmon in Hershey.  Peyton spoke on the experience saying, “It was a valuable learning experience. It was a bit nerve racking, but it was exciting to be given the experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Redbank Valley is extremely proud of you for your accomplishments, Mr. Harmon!