Photo collage of U.S. Rep, Smucker visiting the PA Teacher of the Year

Rep. Smucker presents commendation to PA Teacher of Year Mrs. Raff

Many thanks to U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker, who visited the Pequea Elementary classroom of Elizabeth Raff, the 2022 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, on January 25 to observe her class and present her with a commendation.

The congressman sat in on part of a lesson in which Mrs. Raff’s classroom was decorated like a spy lab, complete with black lights and “laser beams” made from string. Using flashlights, the students worked in groups to crack codes, identify text structures, and showcase their knowledge of central ideas and nonfiction summarizing to put together the missing pieces of a U.S. spy profile. 

As students worked on the lesson, Rep. Smucker worked his way among the strings to see what the sixth-graders were doing and ask them about their teacher.

The congressman briefly explained his role in government and responded to questions before presenting Mrs. Raff with a copy of a commendation he read on her behalf on the floor of the U.S. Congress. He also gave Mrs. Raff an American flag that flew in her honor at the Capitol.

“We thank our teachers for all they have done to make sure that our students are receiving the best education possible,” Smucker’s commendation reads. “And that’s certainly true of Mrs. Raff, whose classroom is well-decorated and offers students access to a large library of books to pique their interest and a raised stage to provide students the opportunity to present to their classmates.”

“Thank you to Mrs. Raff for all you have done to educate students in our community. We all appreciate your efforts and wish to congratulate you on being named Pennsylvania’s 2022 Teacher of the Year.”

Mrs. Raff was selected for the honor on December 6, 2021, from among 12 finals chosen from the ranks of Pennsylvania’s roughly 128,000 teachers.

As Teacher of the Year, she will represent Pennsylvania teachers at the state level by speaking at conferences, leading workshops and professional development sessions and visiting school districts, colleges and universities across Pennsylvania. She also will be a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year Award.

She was nominated for the state award by two previous Teacher of the Year nominees, Jeff Kuntz of Punxsutawney, and Maria Vita, a Penn Manor High School psychology teacher who was a finalist for the 2019 award.

We’d like to thank Rep. Smucker for taking the time to visit Mrs. Raff’s classroom and present her with a commendation.

  • U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker speaks with students during a spy lab lesson in Mrs. Raff's classroom.
    U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker speaks with students during a spy lab lesson in Mrs. Raff’s classroom.