“I try to keep things fresh for my students – and me!”
The Champions of Learning Awards are a collaboration between the Consortium for Public Education and United Way’s Be There Campaign, that recognizes adults in western Pennsylvania who go above and beyond to create opportunities and motivate students to meet their greatest potential. Holly Spallone was presented with a Champions of Learning Award this year for her incredible commitment to students and teachers in our region.
When Holly Spallone was younger, her mom always said she’d be a teacher. “Somehow my mom just knew, and once I started teaching, I knew it was the right job for me,” Holly shared.
More than 20 years later, Holly has spent her career at East Allegheny helping kids learn and grow through new and innovative opportunities. “I’m always researching new things we can do in upcoming years,” she explained.
In the past, Holly hosted mock crime scenes, educational mystery dinner theater events, forensic science activities, and she partners with outside companies and resources to present different topics to her students.
And with each year, Holly never fails to present unique learning opportunities for her students. In 2016, she teamed up with Allegheny College for her AP Environmental Science class through a program called Creek Connections. “We meet college students at the local creek, and we do watershed testing and look at different parameters. The kids love it,” she said.
Just two years ago, Holly encouraged East Allegheny’s STEM Club to create a BotsIQ Robotics Team, and the group won Rookie of the Year at a local competition. She also pushed the school district to use Google to house documents and communications, and she trains teachers and administrators on how to use it. She is constantly encouraging other teachers and colleagues to push themselves to learn new technology.
“I want to help get people more comfortable with technology, so they can branch out into using it in their classrooms in interesting ways,” Holly said.
While Holly puts a tremendous amount of passion and effort into her job, she just feels like she’s doing what she’s supposed to do to help her students and colleagues succeed. “I love opening new doors for people. It’s such an honor to work among so many other great teachers and help East Allegheny students have access to opportunities to learn and grow,” she said.
This year, Holly was awarded a Champions of Learning Award and recognized by United Way’s Be There initiative for her tremendous commitment to her students and colleagues. Holly was nominated by her school’s guidance counselor, Emilia Peiffer. Learn more at https://uwswpa.org/be-there/.