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Ralph Maltese, Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year 2002

Ralph Maltese, Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year 2002

Ralph Maltese, Pennsylvania’s 2002 Teacher of the Year, received his B.S. in Education from Villanova University in 1968 and his M.A. in English from Indiana University in 1970.  In that same year he began teaching high school English at Abington Senior High School, Abington, Pa, where for 38 years he taught English, humanities, cinema, and just about every other configuration of language arts.  A turning point in his career occurred in 1989 when he won a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in a summer workshop for teachers. This experience helped him view teaching as the art and science of engaging students in the learning process and helped him implement the tool of collaborative learning to facilitate that engagement.  Ralph believes that the best teachers are always in the process of becoming the best.  To continue expanding his teaching horizons, he participated in a Fulbright Memorial Fund Program.  For three weeks he toured Tokyo and Okinawa in order to study Japanese culture and education.  He concluded his career at Abington with two years as a technology coach, implementing the Classrooms for the Future vision, where teachers create dynamic projects using the latest Web 2.0 tools.  This commitment led to Ralph’s part-time, post-retirement position with the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a Coach Mentor, working through intermediate units in the northeast region and helping direct the state’s commitment to technology in education.  He still feels the “thrill of the classroom,”  and believes that teachers are the true world shakers.  In his upstairs hallway, he proudly displays a poster with a quote from Mark Twain, "From the public school grows the greatness of a nation."

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