Jayda Pugliese, a Holy Family University alumna (BA ’09, MEd ’14) and current student in the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program, has been named a finalist for the 2019 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award, presented by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Pugliese, one of 12 finalists, teaches fifth-grade math and science at Andrew Jackson Elementary School in Philadelphia. Her fundraising work for her classroom has resulted in donations to purchase a $5,000 3D printer and 3D printing supplies. She also assisted the Andrew Jackson Elementary School Principal with obtaining a grant that provided over $100,000 of technology to support the school’s blended learning initiative.
In addition to the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year nomination, Pugliese, a scholarship recipient at Holy Family, was also named the 2018 recipient of the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) Sylvia Shugrue Award for Elementary Teachers, and won a prestigious Milken Educator Award in October 2016.
“Being named a finalist for the 2019 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year has been a very reflective and humbling experience,” Pugliese said. “When I won the Milken Educator Award in 2016, it gave me the confidence and a platform to pursue other prestigious awards at the state and national level. Whether or not I am selected as the winner in December, being recognized as a top teacher in Pennsylvania by three different organizations is an honor. All I can say is that I am blessed.”
As a finalist, Pugliese will also become a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. The Pennsylvania Department of Education will announce the 2019 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year during an awards ceremony in December 2018.
“Holy Family University has been in my life for nearly 14 years,” she said. “I would not be where I am today without all the professors that helped guide me over these many years. I am truly thankful, and dedicate this achievement to you; the individuals who have helped educate me.”