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Teacher awarded for going 'above and beyond' at Riverview High in Oakmont

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 3:09 p.m.
Teacher Rachelle Dene Poth at her desk at Riverview High School. She recently received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune-Review
Teacher Rachelle Dene Poth at her desk at Riverview High School. She recently received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

Rachelle Dene Poth spent the last 20 years teaching technology to Oakmont and Verona youths. She recently received recognition for her extra effort.

Poth was given the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology's Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.

“I am motivated by the students,” the Riverview High School teacher said. “I want to find ways to make learning different for them to open up opportunities.”

Poth uses iPads, 3-D design, virtual reality, gaming programs and other technologies in her classes to offer project-based learning — all key to earning the award from the association.

“She is active on social media, always sharing her ideas on best practices and resources,” association past President Ann Noonen said in an email. “She is a strong advocate for the importance of collaboration. I think collaboration is her middle name.”

Principal Eric Hewitt said the district is lucky to have her around.

“We could not be more proud,” Hewitt said in an email. “She goes above and beyond to bring meaningful and current strategies into her classes. Her students are gaining skills that go beyond foreign language acquisition — leadership, collaboration, and digital literacy, skills that will serve them well in the years to come, whatever they decide to do.”

Poth began her career at Riverview in January 1997 and has taught Spanish, French and STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and math — courses. She also has served as an assistant track coach and a color guard sponsor.

Poth earned teaching degrees from Penn State University in 1993 in French and 1997 in Spanish. She earned a law degree from Duquesne University in 2006, and a masters in instructional technology from that school last year. She and her husband, David, an engineer with Norfolk Southern Railroad, live in North Huntingdon.“I'm completely honored and overwhelmed,” Poth said.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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