David Woten TOY 2008
David Woten Named Teacher of the Year!
GOVERNOR RENDELL ANNOUNCES ‘2008 TEACHER OF THE YEAR’
MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC TEACHER WILL REPRESENT PA IN NATIONAL EVENT
HARRISBURG – David L.Woten Jr., a music teacher at Carson Middle School in
the North Allegheny School District, is Pennsylvania’s 2008 Teacher of the
Year, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today.
“Teachers like David Woten epitomize one of our society’s silent strengths,”
Governor Rendell said. “Those of us who work in public service know that
spending your career trying to improve people’s lives is priceless. Teachers
do such invaluable work day in and day out, benefiting countless young lives
in the process.”
Woten, 38, teaches 6th and 7th grade chorus, as well as 8th grade general
music. He has been a frequent guest conductor at music festivals and served
on the American Choral Directors Association’s board of directors, where he
founded a middle school honors choir festival.
During his 16-year career, all of it spent in the same classroom at Carson
Middle School, Woten has strived to be what he calls “a positive voice for
education,” a goal he will pursue even more vigorously as Pennsylvania’s
Teacher of the Year.
“I want to help students achieve through music,” Woten said. “I’m a music
teacher, but I teach students, not music.”
Woten was selected from among 12 finalists to represent Pennsylvania in the
National Teacher of the Year presentation, scheduled for the spring of 2008.
He also will serve as a spokesperson for teachers across the state for the
coming year, giving him the unique opportunity to represent the best in the
Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak lauded all 12 finalists, saying they
are “a model for all teachers.”
“It is impossible to gauge the impact teachers have on so many aspects of
our lives from such an early age, and we in Pennsylvania are fortunate each
year to have a wealth of talented teachers from which to choose a Teacher of
the Year,” the secretary said.
Each of the finalists was introduced at the awards ceremony by a former
student who related how the teacher positively impacted his or her life.
Woten was introduced by Amy Mencini, who was one of Woten’s “Carson Chamber
Singers” in the 6th and 7th grades.
“Mr. Woten truly inspires,” Mencini said. “He knew how to get the most out
of us each and every day.”
Pennsylvania has participated in the Teacher of the Year program since 1965.
The program is co-sponsored by the state Department of Education and the
Pennsylvania chapter of the National State Teacher of the Year.
For more information on Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year, visit the
Department of Education Web site at www.pde.state.pa.us.
NA's David Woten recognized for dedication to students
Created Oct 9 2007 - 4:07pm
When his name was announced as the 2008 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year,
David Woten said he was "stunned, surprised, overwhelmed and quite honored."
"Probably in that order," Woten added with a laugh.
Woten, a music teacher at North Allegheny's Carson Middle School, was
recognized from a pool of 12 finalists from all over the state for his
dedication and knowledge of teaching and ability to inspire students of all
In an official statement, North Allegheny Superintendent Patricia Green said
Woten is the most deserving of this honor.
"We could not be more proud of him or more delighted that those at the state
level have recognized his tremendous talents and dedication," Green said.
"The district congratulates him and embraces the excellence of his example."
As the state Teacher of the Year, Woten will serve as the spokesman for
"I hope to be a positive source for education, make some positive changes,
and support the arts and education as a whole," Woten said.
And no one knows better that Woten has the power to make positive changes
than the 2007 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, Lois Rebich. Rebich, an
instructional support teacher in the North Hills School District, is
currently speaking throughout the state about education.
As the "No Child Left Behind Act" comes into a reauthorization year, Rebich,
along with the other state teachers of the year, created 10 points for
change or reform for lawmakers to consider prior to reauthorizing the act.
This is the second consecutive year a teacher from the North Hills has been
chosen to represent the state. Prior to 2007, it had been more than 15 years
since a teacher from the North Hills was named with this honor.
"I think it's absolutely wonderful," Rebich said. "I think it pays tribute
to the great work of the teachers in Western PA and especially the north
suburbs (of Allegheny County)."
As Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, Woten will be a nominee for the
National Teacher of the Year, who will be announced the spring of 2008.
Woten currently lives in Economy Borough with his wife, Melissa, and sons,
Nicholas, 6, and Christopher, 2. When not in the classroom, he enjoys
whitewater kayaking, running, street biking and geocaching with his