Jason Zimmerman (‘12), a graduate of Lancaster Bible College, was named as a semifinalist for the 2019 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.
Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education honors, outstanding educators who are nominated from across the state. Two other educations from Lancaster County were also named as semifinalists. These nominations for Teacher of the Year are made by parents, colleagues and community members for their incredible work both inside of outside of the classroom. In the end, 12 finalists will be chosen from the nominees, followed by the final selection. In 2016, Lancaster Bible College celebrated as alumna Becca Foxwell (‘10) received the honorary title for the year.
Zimmerman is a fourth grade teacher at Fritz Elementary School in Lancaster. “I love teaching,” he said in an interview with the college. “Each day God gives me the strength, patience, and determination I need.” On top of his responsibilities in the classroom as a teacher, he also serves as the organizer of the school’s Odyssey of the Mind team. The team, which focuses on STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math – competes annually in an international problem-solving competition. Last year, his team of students placed 15th out of 57 teams in the world finals for the Odyssey of the Mind.
“The nomination for PA Teacher of the Year has been so humbling,” said Zimmerman. “I truly love my job and believe that God has called me into this profession for a reason. All the success I’ve had in and out of the classroom comes from Him.”
The newly-minted nominee says he plans to use this platform to advocate for his fellow teachers. “[I want to] help showcase the positive aspects of education. There are so many teachers that deserve this recognition. I also want our community and families to know that we need their support. School looks different than it did 20 or 30 years ago. Together, we can help to mold this new generation and prepare them for their future. I am a big supporter of STEM integration and having the students CREATE. Creation is the highest form and understanding and more students need to have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in that way.”
Zimmerman says his experience as an up-and-coming teacher in LBC’s education department shaped him in many ways. “My experience at Lancaster Bible College changed my life,” explained Zimmerman. “First, the biblical perspective that all the professors integrated in their classroom helped to give me a new worldview. The professors thoughtfully prayed and cared for us. In addition, the education department not only taught me about how to become a teacher, but they challenged me to give God my BEST. The rigorous program helped to prepare me for this profession and be the teacher I am today.”