Lincoln Instructional Support Teacher Rose DeGregorio was presented with the 2019 Hilda M. Sundermann Award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Pennsylvania State Teachers of the Year!
Mrs. DeGregorio is the fourth Pennsylvania Teacher to receive this award and the first Instructional Support Teacher to be recognized in this manner.
The award commemorates Hilda M. Sundermann, a retired City of Pittsburgh Teacher who passed away in 2015, and is given to an elementary teacher in the state who exemplifies a positive and nurturing spirit and a love of teaching elementary students. Elementary Teachers who received Apple Awards from PA-NSTOY in 2019 were eligible to receive the award. Apple Awards are given to those teachers who make a positive difference in the lives of students, school districts and communities.
Mrs. DeGregorio received the award and $500 to be used in her classroom at a surprise assembly held in her honor on Friday, September 27. Presenting the award were Franklin Fourth Grade Teacher and 2017 PA Teacher of the Year Finalist Katherine Meucci, who nominated Mrs. DeGregorio for the Apple Award, as well as Cindy Ollendyke, Immediate Past President of the PA Chapter of the National State Teachers of the Year, and James Nagorski, PA-NSTOY Treasurer.
Mrs. DeGregorio has been teaching for 22 years, the last 13 in Bethel Park. She began her career as a Fourth Grade Teacher at Franklin Elementary School, before moving to Lincoln as its Instructional Support Teacher. As Lincoln's IST, she works with numerous students, helping them to improve their English/language arts and math skills.
As part of her classroom, she established a Writing and Publishing Center, where students can come during their lunch periods to improve their writing skills. Students are able to write and illustrate a story, print it out and Mrs. DeGregorio binds the stories into books, complete with a hard cover made from cereal boxes and covered with wallpaper samples. The students' writings are submitted each year to the WQED Writer's Contest, with several Lincoln students being recognized for their original writing over the years.
Mrs. DeGregorio decided to use her $500 to create a Sensory Room at Lincoln, providing a safe and calming space for students to manage anxiety, and seek or reduce sensory integration. The Sensory Room will serve as a learning and working environment, prioritizing therapeutic wellness for all Lincoln students.
"I am happy to say that I come to work every day to do a job I love," she explained. "The great thing about my job is that I get to see so many students and am able to dip my fingers in all areas of the curriculum. It is a great joy to be with all of these students."
Surprising Mrs. DeGregorio at the assembly were her husband, Kyle, and son, Paul. The Lincoln students were so excited when Mrs. DeGregorio's name was announced that they kept chanting, "Mrs. D! Mrs. D!"
Congratulations, Mrs. DeGregorio! To see some photos from the assembly, please click here
. To read the article which appeared in the Post-Gazette
, please click here
. To read about Mrs. D in The Almanac
, please click here