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Mifflin County educator named 2024 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year

Ashlie Crosson, the 2024 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, stands in the middle. She is surrounded by the other finalists in the competition.
Commonwealth Media Services
Ashlie Crosson, the 2024 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, stands in the middle. She is surrounded by the other finalists in the competition.

A Mifflin County educator has been named Pennsylvania’s 2024 Teacher of the Year.

Ashlie Crosson teaches English, AP Language, and Journalism at Mifflin County High School in Lewistown. The Pennsylvania Department of Education said Crosson is a leader and role model in her district. The department also said she invested a large amount of her own money to help build classroom libraries with diverse young adult books.

Crosson said winning the 2024 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year is a win for the community she grew up in.

“I came back because I wanted to teach in the community that raised me, and I think we have incredible teachers and we have incredible students. I wanted an opportunity to showcase all of us for the state," Crosson said.

Dr. Khalid Mumin is Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education. He said the state is working to improve teacher recruitment and retention.

“This is that opportunity to say, ‘Hey, we have to put more passion and purpose into really going down into the younger grades to really inspire young people to jump into this incredible profession,’” Mumin said.

Mumin says this competition highlights the need for more state resources.

Crosson said the state needs to improve how it funds public schools. Earlier this year, the state’s Supreme Court ruled the public school funding system is unconstitutional and must be reformed.

“We as a state really need to figure out our funding. This has been, you know, something that's kind of weighing on all of us in the past few years, as the state Supreme Court has said this needs fixed, and so it's time to fix it," Crosson said.

As Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year, Crosson will travel across the state to meet other educators. She will also represent the state in next year’s National Teacher of the Year competition.

Here are the other 11 finalists in the 2024 competition:

• Anthony Angelini, Conewago Valley School District
• Brittney Bell, Carmichaels Area School District
• Jonathan Bickel, Eastern Lebanon School District
• Benjamin Hoffman, Kutztown Area School District
• Rachel Kalberer, Norwin School District
• Heather Kilgore, Chester County Intermediate Unit
• Stephanie Machmer, Jersey Shore Area School District
• Aspen Mock, Forest Hills School District
• Justin Ward, Laurel Highlands School District
• Sharon Williams, Rose Tree Media School District
• Sally Ann Wojcik, School District of Philadelphia

Sydney Roach is a reporter and host for WPSU with a passion for radio and community stories.