Danielle Black Named 2018 PHM Teacher of the Year

On Friday, May 4th, Mrs. Danielle Black was surprised to find not just her students, but also her family, her coworkers, and members of the media in her classroom. As Black looked around in shock, PHM Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker announced that Black is the 2018 PHM Teacher of the Year.

Black has been teaching at Penn for 5 years. Many of her students have made memories and established connections with her, especially because she has taught the same students for 4 years in a row as part of the Early College Academy. One of these students, senior Jared Hummer, explains what makes Mrs. Black so great: “One of her most defining qualities is definitely her attitude…she’s always in a good mood, she always has a smile on her face, she always wants us to have fun and learn at the same time.”

Early College Valedictorian James Gaines said that Black has been influential on his academic experience. “I go through struggles, just like everyone else does, and just being able to talk to her about some of those struggles helps a lot… [she has] allowed me to not only be a more positive person, but more impactful on everyone else.”

Black’s parents explained that she has had success in the academic world since her childhood. Mom Beth Lugbill said, “She was always a leader in her classroom and her school [as a child], so that began preparing her [for the classroom].”

Black says that her students make her want to come to work each day. “I love teaching, I love my students, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”