Longtime Penn Manor High School social studies teacher and coach Joe Herman has been honored with a 2014 Teacher Impact Award from WGAL-TV.
Herman has spent his entire 39½-year career at Penn Manor, teaching European, Asian, U.S. and Pennsylvania History, Field Geography, Psychology and Economics. He also has coached track and field for his entire career and was a boys’ soccer coach for 32 years and a field hockey coach for three years.
“I am humbled by just being nominated for the Teacher Impact Award, let alone becoming a recipient,” Herman said. “I am blessed to receive the award and am thankful for the colleagues and students I work with every day.”
In nominating Joe for the award, his fellow teachers and current and former students had high praise for Mr. Herman.
“He is a teacher/coach/mentor in every sense of the word, and the students and I are better for the opportunity to be around him,” said Kathy Funk Kirk, a high school special-education teacher. “No one deserves this honor more than Joe Herman!”
PMHS senior Olivia Minnick called Herman “without a doubt the happiest man walking the hallways at Penn Manor High School.” “Even when you are having the worst day, if you saw Mr. Herman, it would automatically put a smile on your face from his friendly ‘Hello!’”
Former student Anthony Cazillo praised Herman for his ability to “make history seem magical” and recalled how Joe could remember every student’s name – whether they were in his classes or not.
Colleague David Hess said Herman’s dedication to his students is unsurpassed.
“Each day, Joe is among the first to arrive at Penn Manor High School, and he is one of the last to leave,” said Hess, PMHS physical education teacher. “Joe has not used any sick days in the last 22 years!”
Herman is one of five teachers out of 201 nominees to receive a Teacher Impact Award for 2014 and the sole recipient from Lancaster County. He is the second PMHS teacher to win the award in recent years. In 2009, ESL teacher Wendy Letavic was selected.
The 2014 recipients will be honored May 19 at a banquet in Harrisburg.