Alumna Lara Owlett Nominated For Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Award

Education is a foundational, yet significantly undervalued, pillar of society that ought to form young people into excellent citizens, leaders, and most crucially, excellent human beings. Teachers and professors are integral to creating a school environment that encourages not only memorization of the facts and figures, but also virtue and growth as people; yet these essential members of the learning community rarely receive recognition, especially teachers who educate at the primary and secondary education levels. The Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Award, an accolade that intends to “celebrate excellence in teaching” and “honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the young people in Pennsylvania” focuses specifically on these exceptional teachers who might otherwise go unnoticed. Eastern University Alumna Lara Owlett is a finalist for this award.
Lara graduated from Eastern in 2009 with a B.A. in French, and again in 2013 with her Masters of Education. This coming fall will be her eighth year teaching, and she currently teaches in Wellsboro, Pa., where she lives with her husband. In an interview with EU, Lara explains that her passion for teaching arose from a trip to France.
“When I came back from that,” she recalls, “I couldn’t help but want to share it with other people.”
Her passion for France carried her all the way through her undergraduate studies at Eastern, where she majored in French. Elaborating more on her time at Eastern, Lara describes how her own education played a major role in her decision to become a teacher. Referencing her theology class, Lara shares how she has kept the notes and still revisits them from time to time. Lara returned to Eastern after earning her undergraduate degree and obtained her MEd in 2013. Focusing more specifically on her teaching techniques, Lara elaborates on the type of classroom environment she wants to foster, observing that, “when a classroom is a safe space, students can start taking risks; start learning a language.”
Lara’s clear passion about teaching and the opportunity she gives young people to learn is a gift worth recognizing. When speaking about her career, Lara expresses, “As a teacher, I feel like I’m answering a call on my life.” The Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Award should honor teachers such as this.

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