Leslie Nicholas, Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year 2004


Leslie Nicholas, Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year 2004

Leslie Nicholas received the 2013 NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence at a gala in Washington, D.C. considered to be the Academy Awards for public education. He also received the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence.  This past summer he studied Brazil’s educational system as part of a Pearson Foundation Global Fellowship.

In 2009 he was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame.  In the same year, he was one of five national finalists for the Great American Teacher Award.  He was a member of the 2006 USA Today’s All USA Teacher Team.  He is a 2005 Disney Teacher and the 2005 University of Pennsylvania Educator of the Year.  He is also the 2004 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.

Before teaching English in the Wyoming Valley West Middle School, he advised the award-winning yearbook, literary-art magazine, and newspaper at the high school.  He built the student-run radio station and television station where his students gained experience with daily broadcasts.  His students distinguished themselves in various journalism contests including the Pennsylvania Student Journalist of the Year in 1998. For his contributions to scholastic journalism and especially for his defense of the First Amendment, he received the 2006 Medal of Merit from the Journalism Education Association and the 2007 Student Television Network’s First Freedom Award.  He was named the Pennsylvania Journalism Teacher of the Year in 2002.

He coached track and field for 17 years and compiled a record of 102 wins against just 7 losses.

He is a fourth-generation educator who is passionate about teaching. He and his wife Jo Ann live in Kingston, Pennsylvania.  They are the proud parents of their son, Jordan.



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