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Welcome to "The Source," an e-newsletter exclusively for Student PSEA members. In each issue, you'll receive the latest updates from your association, advice from veteran educators, professional development offerings, and more to support you as an aspiring educator.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Student PSEA is thankful for YOU – the passionate aspiring educators working hard on campuses across Pennsylvania to prepare for careers changing the lives of Pennsylvania’s children.

Your dedication to learning, connecting, and engaging is admirable. Just look at the successful region conferences held over the past month.

Members at the first-ever Eastern Region Student PSEA Conference heard from Eastern Region PSEA President Bryan Sanguinito during his keynote address at Kutztown University. Sanguinito is an orchestra teacher in Reading School District.


West Chester University’s Student PSEA chapter held its regional conference and heard inspiring words from 2017 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Mike Soskil. Attendees were also treated to an alumni panel and various breakout sessions throughout the conference.


The third annual Western Rock Solid Educators Conference was held at Slippery Rock University. Attendees networked, collaborated, and enjoyed sessions on professional development, community service, and political action.


The Student PSEA Southern Region Conference was held at Millersville University. Attendees enjoyed sessions about working with diverse learners, parent advocacy, and getting to know tangible and intangible categories of culture.

“Celebrate and understand YOUR gifts and those of your children, colleagues, and community. Over the last 15 years, our efforts to standardize public education have blurred the human lens of learning.  The collective gifts of a community shape a generation over time, but the beating heart of our system remains one teacher’s ability to connect with one child. More than ever we need teachers with unique gifts walking the often lonely path of innovation to reach children on their complicated journeys.”

--Matthew Hathaway, fourth-grade teacher at Owatin Creek Elementary School and founder of Teachers in the Parks

 Teachers in the Parks is an organization aimed at bridging the summer learning gap in communities across Pennsylvania. Learn more at, check out the recent Voice article here, and see the program in action here.

Election 2017

Pro-public education candidates prevail

Earlier this month, you proudly supported pro-public education candidates from both parties for PA Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Commonwealth Court – and 90 percent of them won.

The results of the 2017 election reflect how we approach every election – party doesn’t matter. We care about pro-public education candidates, and no matter what side of the aisle they sit on, we will support them if they support our schools, our students, and our communities.

Check out the winners at and share the slideshow on social media.

Shelby and Marylou

Kudos to 2016-17 Student PSEA President Shelby Pepmeyer who recently landed a long-term substitute teaching position at Highcliff Elementary in North Hills School District.

Last month, Pepmeyer had a unique opportunity to substitute teach in Marylou Stefanko’s classroom. Stefanko has been a classroom teacher for more than 50 years and a member of the PSEA Board of Directors for more than 30 years. She has served as local president and chief negotiator of the North Hills Education Association and has been a respected public figure for education and labor in western Pennsylvania for decades.

Pepmeyer recently answered some questions for The Source about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Answers edited for length and clarity.

What did it mean to you to substitute teach for Marylou Stefanko?
Subbing for Marylou meant my PSEA experience had come full circle. I sat on the Board of Directors with her, and now I was working in her classroom. I was able to substitute for her on a day she was traveling to Harrisburg for the October Board of Directors meeting. While talking with her, I also found out that she typically has the same person as her sub. However, this sub is also a parent and had to help with her own child’s Halloween party that day at another school, so they had to post Marylou’s assignment. I felt like I had to be better than my best for her because she has put so much time and effort into her classroom and her students.

What did your day entail?
I had spoken to Marylou before I subbed for her to let her know I would be in for her that day. She informed me that she would be there in the morning. This meant that I got to observe her teaching her second-graders as well as assist during her math lesson. She also allowed me to teach a small Scholastic News lesson while she was still in the classroom. After lunch I was able to take over and assist with the school’s Halloween parade and classroom party. It was such a fun afternoon getting to see the kids dressed in their costumes. I was also able to lead her class during the annual Westview Elementary Halloween Parade around the block. It was a very special experience.

Why was this a special experience for you?
This was a special experience for me because I’ve looked up to Marylou for the past year serving on the PSEA Board of Directors. I didn’t personally know her before serving as Student PSEA president, but she quickly became one of my favorite people. She was so supportive of the student program. She is always willing to do what is best for the organization and never stops giving.

What was your favorite part of the day?
My favorite part of the day was by far getting to observe Marylou teaching her students. I learned so much from her. She reminds me of a traditional school teacher who has all of these little tricks. It was like a classroom before technology. She sang her own brain break song to the kids, and they knew every word. She also made her own poetry packet for the kids, and they read/sang those as their shortened reading lesson. They loved it. I think those were my two favorite parts of the day. Seeing the kids love what they were doing and her loving what she was doing.

You can hear Pepmeyer share more about her substitute teaching experience at the 2018 Student PSEA Annual Conference and Convention, April 5-7, at The Penn Stater Hotel and Convention Center in State College.

Alesha Molitor

This issue’s spotlight is on Alesha Molitor, the 2017 recipient of the Student PSEA Outstanding Servant Leadership Award.

Molitor is a junior at Albright College and the Student PSEA chapter’s secretary. She was nominated for the award by fellow Albright College Student PSEA member, Julianne Lowenstein.

In her nomination, Lowenstein noted Molitor’s dedication to see that the chapter at Albright has a bright future.

“She has spent the last year bettering herself as a leader to try and get the chapter running and to help create the next layer of leaders,” Lowenstein said.

Molitor also helped organize the first Eastern Region Student PSEA Legacy Project, an Outreach to Teach-style transformation at Reading High School.

Most recently, Molitor attended the Student PSEA Leadership Development and Planning Retreat, held last month, even further dedicating time and effort to bettering herself as a servant leader.

Connect with Student PSEA on social media!

On the web:




*1-3 – PSEA House of Delegates

Save the Date
2018 Student PSEA Conference and Convention
April 5-7, 2018
The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, State College 

* = not an event specifically for Student PSEA, but members are welcome to attend

400 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

This message is intended for PSEA Members and their families.

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