LOYALSOCK TOWNSHIP -- Inside a classroom at Loyalsock Township High School, Jennifer Wahl has one main goal: to teach social studies. The challenge is keeping 20 or so students interested while doing it.
"So, our blocks, I should know this, are 86 minutes, I believe. That's a long time when you're 16 years old to be sitting and listening, so I try to do three different activities with them in 86 minutes," said Jennifer Wahl.
"The way she teaches, it makes me actually interested in the things she talks about,” said Sam Stopper.
It's for that reason, the principal at Loyalsock Township High School nominated Wahl for a prestigious award -- Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.
"Jenn is one of many who would be eligible, but she rose to the top according to the people put together,” said Dr. Matthew Reitz.
Wahl made the list of 12 finalists. It means she's one step closer to winning Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.
"I feel really honored that he picked me,” said Wahl.
Loyalsock Township High School Principal Matthew Reitz has been at the school for nearly 20 years. In that time, he says he's had just a handful of teachers make it to this point in the competition.
"I never had a state award winner," said Reitz.
So what sets Wahl apart? On her desk, there's a sign that reads, "teacher and world traveler." Wahl visits other countries as often as possible and tries to bring those real-life experiences back to class.
"I like history; it's fun. The way she teaches it is fun and we do stuff that normal teachers don't do and she's really enthusiastic," said Ty Whitmoyer
Now that's she's a finalist, Wahl must submit a video of her work to the state Department of Education. The Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year will be announced before the end of the year.