SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A teacher from the Abington Heights School District in Lackawanna County returned to class Wednesday after winning the title of Pennsylvania's Teacher of the Year, and she's sharing her victory with her students.
Marilyn Pryle's 10th grade world literature class at Abington Heights High School typically starts with 10 minutes of silent reading, but the start of this class was a little more animated.
After all, it was a day for celebrating. Mrs. Pryle was just named Pennsylvania's Teacher of the Year. Students passed around and even posed with Mrs. Pryle's trophy.
"To hear my name announced was surreal, it was surreal. We were all kind of standing there behind (Education) Secretary Rivera and we were just sort of listening to him, and it just, it was almost an out-of-body experience," Pryle recalled.
Pryle was picked out of 12 statewide finalists who all took part in a yearlong application process. The award ceremony was on Monday in Hershey and Pryle got to bring one student along.
She chose 11th grader Faatihah Nayeem, a medical school hopeful who found a love for reading in Pryle's class.
"Although I am more into the science field, I think, after her class, I have read so many books over the summer, just to force myself. And like she said, you have a few minutes a day, you can read a little bit, and I've tried to do that this year," Nayeem said.
Pryle will spend her year with the title speaking to other teachers across Pennsylvania. She hopes to spread the word that even with such an emphasis on science in education, English still matters.
"Underneath all of our advancements in science and technology, there are human beings, and we have to learn those human skills, I call them -- you know, skills like creativity, and curiosity, and empathy."
Pryle can enter in the running for the national Teacher of the Year in 2019.