Portrait photo of Ms. Vita and photo of Ms. Vita in the classroom with eight students.

Maria Vita receives national psychology teaching award

Penn Manor High School psychology teacher Maria Vita has received a national teaching award from the American Psychological Association.

Ms. Vita was named recipient of the Mary Margaret Moffett Memorial Teaching Excellence Award in the high school teaching category of APA’s Division 2, Society for the Teaching of Psychology. 

The award, established in 1995, is granted to only one high school teacher each year.

“I am honored to receive this award, and I feel fortunate to share psychological science with students as well as teachers,” she said. “I feel I am standing on the shoulders of giants, and I appreciate all the work that past recipients have shared to advance the teaching of psychology.”

Award recipients are selected based on effective and innovative teaching, their ability to stimulate student interest in psychology, implementing the American Psychological Association’s national standards for high school psychology curricula, and professional development.

Ms. Vita was nominated for the award by a colleague, Mike Hamilton, a high school psychology teacher from Massachusetts.

In 2012, Maria received another APA award, the Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Award from the Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools. In 2019, Ms. Vita was honored as one of 12 finalists for the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award.

She has taught at Penn Manor since 2003 and initiated the high school’s advanced placement psychology course in 2008.

We congratulate Ms. Vita on this latest honor!

(Photo below by Colette Evans)
Maria Vita in the classroom with eight students.