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b2ap3_thumbnail_Ryan-Devlin-Head-Shot-Resized.jpgRyan Devlin, a 2007 Waynesburg University English education alumnus and Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Teacher of the Year,” received an even greater honor today when he was named one of the four finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year Award. 

Today, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced that educators from Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia are finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year. The National Teacher of the Year spends a year representing educators across the country and advocating on behalf of the teaching profession. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett congratulated Devlin on representing the Commonwealth. 

“On behalf of all Pennsylvania citizens, I congratulate Ryan for being chosen to represent Pennsylvania at the national level,” Corbett said.  “Ryan’s commitment to his students is a shining example of the thousands of Pennsylvania educators who are dedicated to ensuring that students are prepared for a bright and successful future.”

This marks the first time that an educator from Pennsylvania has made it to the final four. Devlin will enter rounds of interviews during the month of March and the winner will be announced in April. Still actively involved with his alma mater through mission trips and personal contacts, Devlin credits Waynesburg University as an integral part of his success. 

“The hallmark of a good education is one that enables students’ talents to find purpose, and that is one of the many reasons why Waynesburg University is such a special place,” Devlin said.  “During my time there, I was exposed to numerous educational opportunities that extended beyond the classroom and helped mold me into the man I am today.”

Devlin is an eleventh grade English and ninth through twelfth grade technology teacher at Brockway Area Junior/Senior High School in Brockway, Pa., where he has taught for seven years and serves as head of the English department. 

He also serves as the school's head cross country coach and the senior high gifted education advisor. He is an active member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, National Education Association and the Brockway Area Education Association.  Outside of school, he frequently speaks at state conferences and college campuses and is a cooperating teacher for Clarion University's student teaching program. 

Devlin also helped write Pennsylvania's new Core Standards English Language Arts curriculum and over the years has won multiple grants for his innovative use of technology in the classroom.  

"Today's children will indeed become tomorrow's leaders, so we must teach ways to find creative solutions to complex problems through collaborating with others and making the best use of technology," Devlin said. 

His teaching methods include extensive use of technology in the classroom, for which he received the Keystone Technology Integrator Award in 2009. Devlin facilitates technology workshops for student teachers at regional universities and teaches summer courses at Riverview Intermediate Unit Six that highlight the newest digital resources available on the Internet.

Current and recently retired faculty members at Waynesburg University are not only proud of Ryan’s awards, but also his continued commitment to the mission of Waynesburg University and the mission of the University’s Department of Education. 

“The mission of the Department of Education is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession,” said Debra Clarke, assistant professor of education and chair of the Department of Education at Waynesburg University. “We are so proud of Ryan’s commitment to this mission and his dedication to his students.”

 

Devlin received his bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from Waynesburg University, where he became familiar with technology in the classroom and gained hands-on experience with modern instructional technology. Devlin also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership. He also holds teaching certificates in English (grades 7-12), business/computers (grades K-12) and library science (grades K-12). 

In 2013, Devlin became the youngest nominee and recipient of the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award. Devlin said he has known since the age of eight what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

“I spent a lot my childhood and adolescent years daydreaming about the type of teacher I wanted to become,” he said.  “Teaching seemed like the perfect outlet for my creativity, and I wanted to do something that would enable me to make a difference in the world.”

An active member in his local community, Devlin is a mentor with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, teaches vacation Bible school and is involved in several after-school programs and activities.

The National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.

 

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Fourteen Waynesburg University early childhood education majors who are members of the University’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), an international honor society in education, will travel to Dallas, Texas, Thursday, Oct. 24 through Saturday, Oct. 26 to attend the 49th Biennial Convocation of KDP.

Educators and teacher candidates from across the United States and around the world will attend the conference’s professional development activities.

The conference will offer more than 150 educational sessions aimed for professional development and will include workshops on leadership or policy, research or action research and practice or instructional strategies.

Debra Clarke, chair of the Department of Education and assistant professor of education, and Yvonne Weaver, education department field placement coordinator and certification officer at the University, will accompany the students.

Clarke will present a workshop, “Capes aren’t just for super heroes: Using the teacher CAPE to support all learners.”
 
“During the workshop, I will introduce the participants to CAPE, a strategy that gives 21st century teachers the super powers to effectively plan instruction that supports the needs of all learners in the inclusive classroom,” Clarke said.

Students attending the conference include:

  • Jena Blissman, Chapter President a senior from Greensburg, Pa. (Greater Latrobe)
  • Morgan Brumbaugh, Chapter Vice President, a senior from Williamsburg, Pa. (Central High School)
  • Makalah Beazell, Chapter Secretary, a senior from Waynesburg, Pa. (West Greene High School)
  • Lauren Boscaljon, Chapter Treasurer, a senior from Waynesburg, Pa. (home school)
  • Kaitlyn Berkebile, Chapter Fundraising Co-Chair, a senior from Friedens, Pa. (Somerset Area Senior High School)
  • Shannon Falleroni, Chapter Fundraising Co-Chair, a senior from Washington, Pa. (Trinity High School)
  • Tanya Aul, a senior from Kane, Pa. (Kane Area High School)
  • Alyssa Crile, a senior from Washington, Pa. (Trinity High School)
  • Angele Hagy, a senior from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Mount Lebanon High School)
  • Ali Hulsey, a senior from Bakersfield, Calif. (Garces Memorial High School)
  • Stephanie Sapic, a senior from Washington, Pa. (Trinity High School)
  • Stephanie Stancliffe, a senior from Lower Burrell, Pa. (Burrell High School)
  • Hannah Szymanik, a senior from Mount Holly Springs, Pa. (Boiling Springs High School)
  • Chelsea Watson, a senior from Jeannette, Pa. (Jeannette High School)

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: education news
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The Pittsburgh Project's purpose to develop servant leaders and uphold the dignity of vulnerable homeowners has much in common with Waynesburg University's mission of educating students through faith, learning and serving.

For several years, Waynesburg University has worked to build a partnership with The Pittsburgh Project, a nonprofit community development organization committed to meeting the needs of the Pittsburgh community. Each semester, Waynesburg students are given the opportunity to serve extensively with The Project in programs such as tutoring, work camps and community garden.

“The Pittsburgh Project is striving to provide for its community through education and home improvements for the elderly, widows and those with disabilities who fall 150 percent below the poverty level,” said Sarah Brandstetter, coordinator of Waynesburg University's Bonner Scholar Program.

This year, five Waynesburg students and a recent alumnus are dedicating their summers to the cause, serving as worksite liaisons from the beginning of June to mid-August.

Those working with The Project include: Kimber Blair, a junior interactive design major from New Castle, Pa; Darartu Boyer, a senior early childhood education major from Columbia, Pa; Ethan Hacker, a junior biblical ministry studies (children and youth) major from Butler, Pa; Blake McCarty, a sophomore business management major from Frisco, Tx; Esteban Saldi a 2012 human services alumnus from La Paz, Bolivia and Steven Snow, a sophomore criminal justice administration major from Butler, Pa.

“I decided to serve at the Pittsburgh Project this summer so that I could minister to people in my home city,” Hacker said. “I like working hands on and doing labor. I am excited to work with the homeowners and other groups to make the city a little bit better every day.”

Dave Calvario, Director of the Center for Service Leadership, and Brandstetter have worked alongside students within The Project throughout the years and regularly encourage students to take the next step when it comes to serving others.

“Sarah Brandstetter and Dave Calvario have always been supportive and influential in my life, and they are the ones who helped me decide to work with The Project my first summer,” Blair said.

Proud to be part of an organization that has genuine interest in the people of Pittsburgh, Blair reflected on how God has opened her eyes to the need in the area.

“There's a need to care for vulnerable, sometimes neglected, homeowners who are unable to continue the upkeep on their own homes,” she said. “There is a need for positive influences in the lives of the youth. There is a need for reconciliation between gangs and other groups.”

With all of the need in the Pittsburgh area, and around the world, there is an even bigger need for individuals like these Waynesburg students and alumnus who have given their summers in order to serve God and make a difference for those around them.


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Pennsylvania's Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis recently announced that Ryan Devlin, a 2007 Waynesburg University secondary English education alumnus, is one of the 12 finalists for Pennsylvania's 2013 “Teacher of the Year.”

“These finalists for Teacher of the Year, and many of the professionals in our schools, are dedicated to improving the learning environment for every student and inspiring students to reach for excellence,” Tomalis said. “Teachers play a crucial role in the lives of their students and, as such, they have the responsibility of preparing students for a successful future, both academically and personally.”

The finalists must also be prepared to effectively carry out the duties of the state's Teacher of the Year, which includes being the Pennsylvania's nominee for National Teacher of the Year.

“I truly believe that many of our nation's most passionate and innovative educators are working in Pennsylvania schools,” Tomalis said. “The teachers who have been chosen as finalists for Teacher of the Year are proof of that.”

Devlin is the youngest educator to have been nominated for this award, which comes as no surprise considering the fact that Devlin has known since the age of 8 what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

“I spent a lot of my childhood and adolescent years daydreaming about the type of teacher I wanted to become,” he said. “Teaching seemed like the perfect outlet for my creativity, and I wanted to do something that would enable me to make a difference in the world.”

After graduating from Waynesburg, Devlin was hired as an English teacher at Brockway Area High School in his hometown of Brockway, Pa. Devlin teaches British Literature, Creative Writing, Digital Media and Computer Science. He also serves as the advisor to the senior high gifted program.

In 2009, Devlin completed his master's degree in Education at California University of Pennsylvania. The following year he was hired as the chair of the English Department at Brockway Area School District. On top of teaching and coaching cross country (a program he created at Brockway in 2008), he now oversees the curriculum, plans professional development and analyzes student data for the English Department.

He also plays an active role in introducing new technology to both students and staff at Brockway. Devlin strives to develop 21st century learning skills through creating a classroom environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, communication, innovation, critical thinking and problem solving. As a result, Devlin received the 2009 and 2012 Pennsylvania State Education Association's Innovative Teaching Grant.

The 12 finalists for Pennsylvania's 2013 “Teacher of the Year” were nominated by students, parents, their colleagues and members of their community who wished to recognize their achievements in and outside the classroom. The winner will be announced in December.


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Waynesburg University Stover Scholars recently visited U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Swiss Ambassador Manuel Sager in Washington, D.C.
Justice Sotomayor urged the students to pursue their passions while contributing to the broader community. Sotomayor hinted that one person in the room might one day become a member of the Supreme Court. Sotomayor emphasized that the opportunity to serve should be recognized as a privilege and that it is worthwhile to give of oneself to fulfill his or her vocation.
 
The Stover Scholars, chosen for their interest in the relationship between the U.S. Constitution and Christian Ethics, asked Sotomayor questions about the role of her own experiences, her faith and the personal challenges of being in the public eye.
 
"When people are presented with the privilege of serving the public, they have an obligation to take it," she said.
 
"Meeting Justice Sotomayor was more than memorable to me," said Chase Ayers, a pre-law major from Charleroi, Pa. "Hearing her words conveyed a special meaning that I could not have received from a book."
 
The group then visited Ambassador Sager at the Swiss Embassy. They discussed Switzerland's system of government, strong economic foundation, neutral foreign policy, and Swiss-American relations.
 
"Hearing about Switzerland from the Swiss perspective was unique," said Jeremy Hinkle, a freshman history major from Washington, Pa.
 
The students then met several prominent Washington government officials and scholars at the historic City Tavern Club in Georgetown. Thomas R. Johnson, a partner at the Pittsburgh law firm K&L Gates, spoke on the attributes of strong leadership.
 
“Mr. Johnson reminded us that when we are called to fulfill a duty, it is our civic obligation to do so,” said Daniel Czajkowski, a criminal justice and political science major from Frederick, Md.
 
Reflecting on the trip, Zander Shashura, a business major from Fredericktown, Pa., said, “On this trip, we were surrounded by people who are carrying out what they and the Stover Program preach.” Shashura continued, “Talking to them and listening to the stories they have to tell of their own lives gives us all examples to follow as we aspire to be leaders and change the world around us.”
 
Zachary Mason, a secondary education major from Waynesburg, said, "Our trip to D.C. was a truly remarkable experience that I will never forget. Not every person has the privilege to meet a Supreme Court Justice, meet a foreign Ambassador and have dinner with so many distinguished individuals."
 
Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership, said, "I was proud of the Stover Scholars as they conversed with Justice Sotomayor, Ambassador Sager, Attorney Johnson, and the other individuals who are making a difference for civilization. I hope that the Stover Scholars will aspire to follow in their footsteps and that the officials will cherish memories of meeting Waynesburg University students."
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