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Ford City woman falls short in 'Top Teacher' contest

| Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 12:06 a.m.

Danielle Kephart, a science teacher at Divine Redeemer School in Ford City, may not have made it to the Top Teacher finals on “Live! With Kelly and Michael,” but she won't let that slow her down.

Kephart, 40, was one of 12 semi-finalists selected from around the country in an online voting contest sponsored by producers of the morning television show.

Voting closed at 5 p.m. Monday. Teachers from Tennessee, New York, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina were named as finalists on Tuesday during the show.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for me and helped spread the word,” Kephart said.

She said coming from a small, rural Catholic school community made it tough to compete with teachers from larger cities with more potential voters, but she appreciated the support she received.

“It was truly an honor to be one of the top 12 semi-finalists,” she said. “As educators, we all put our hearts and souls into our work.”

She and her students will be busy for the remainder of the school year wrapping up projects and heading outdoors on field trips.

Kephart will receive this year's Carnegie Science Award for elementary education in May, Principal Nicalena Carlesi said.

“Award or no award — she's still great in our hearts,” Carlesi said.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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