A Centre County teacher is nominated for one of the highest honors in Pennsylvania.

“Energetic”, “personable” and “smiling” were all words student used to describe Myken Poorman, and they say that’s what makes them look forward to going to class every day.

“All of her classes are so much fun, you’re always excited to go. There’s never going to be a dull moment. So, it’s just really exciting to walk in the door,” student Gretchen Little said.

Myken Poorman teaches agricultural science at Bellefonte Area High School and has been for the past nine years. Her approach to teaching takes the class beyond the books and into the outdoors.

“It gets students out and actually exploring what we’re learning in the classroom and putting those connections together and having those moments like, “oh yeah, this is what I was learning about in class and now I can teach somebody else about it,” Poorman said.

Now, she’s one of 12 finalists for the Pennsylvania 2019 Teacher of the Year Award — which comes to no surprise to her students.

“She just always has a smile on her face…and we’re all so happy. When she smiles, we all smile,” student Mitchell Holden said.

“She isn’t like an average teacher. She finds ways to connect with her students and she is able to do that with each and every one. She doesn’t connect with a few; she can connect with everybody,” student Ashton Wetzler said.

While some days can have their tough moments, she says her students make it all worth it.

“They are the reason why I’m in this position — it’s not me. It’s my students and just the amazing things that they’re doing. And I’m just educating them as best as I can, and just kind of along for the ride as a cheerleader for them to see what they can do,” Poorman said.  

The winner of the award will be announced sometime in December.