Starkweather Receives Teaching Award

Local teacher honored by state and community at award ceremony


by Rhonda Pearson - March 31, 2015

On Friday, March 27, Mrs. Carla Starkweather, a third grade teacher at Don Gill Elementary School, was awarded the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award for the State of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Steve Adams, Principal, opened the presentation by welcoming all in attendance. Teachers and students from grades second through fourth came to support Mrs. Starkweather.

Tom Brown, Jr. Vice State Commander and Americanism Chairman was invited to the podium to present the award. He was excited for Mrs. Starkweather and the school. Brown stated, “No one up here has ever won the award so it is really outstanding.” Mr. Brown presented Carla Starkweather with two plaques acknowledging her as the Smart/Maher, VFW teacher of the year for the entire state of Pennsylvania, for Kindergarten through 5th grade. Many offered congratulations to Carla such as Master Sergeant Clare Emery from our local VFW, Commander Dan Riepple from the VFW 15th District, and Superintendent Mr. Chris Morral.

Mrs. Starkweather was also presented a plaque from Joan S. Hart, Borough Council President. Tioga County Commissioners Mark Hamilton, Erick Coolidge and Roger Bunn presented a resolution thanking Carla Starkweather for her outstanding service.

Some of the requirements for this reward include being a teacher identified as someone who promotes civic responsibility, teaches citizen education topics, understands flag etiquette and is patriotic just to name a few. Representative Matt Baker stated that one reason she was nominated is because of Carla’s ability to address all the students learning needs; no matter how challenging they may be. The Administration, Carla’s colleagues and even the children in her class wrote essays on what they appreciate about Mrs. Starkweather and why they felt she should be nominated.

Representative Baker also gave some facts about the competition and what Mrs. Starkweather faced while competing for the award. There are 67 counties in the state of Pennsylvania representing 12.8 million people and Carla is the sole winner for grades Kindergarten through 5th. The District competition consisted of the following counties: Tioga, Potter, Lycoming, Clinton and Cameron. At the State level competition Carla went up against 23 other district winners, before being selected to receive the state award.

At one point in the ceremony Mr. Adams had Mrs. Starkweather’s children come up on stage to help gather some of her awards. He addressed the audience saying,” we wanted to include Mrs. Starkweather’s children and family because teaching takes a great sacrifice.” Mr. Adams went on to say that, “the reason teachers do what they do is for you guys in the audience.”

On behalf of all of us here at Wellsboro Home Page we want to congratulate Mrs. Carla Starkweather for her outstanding achievement. In addition, we’d like to thank all of the teachers in our community who are out there everyday performing one of the most important jobs on earth – teaching our children. Thanks for watching.


Writing: Rhonda Pearson


Produced by Vogt Media

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