PA Cyber teacher leads Pennsylvania Council of English teachers
Jun 30, 2016
An English teacher at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School is president-elect of the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts.
Amy Nyeholt is a teacher and English language arts curriculum coordinator for grades 6-8 at PA Cyber. She is the first teacher from an online school to head this professional association. Elected in April, she is to begin her three-year term as state president in October.
“Three years ago I went to my first PCTELA convention at State College with a couple of other teachers from PA Cyber. I wanted to be around other people who are doing what I do, who have the same passion for English and who are trying to make instruction in language arts better,” she said.
Nyeholt said she was warmly welcomed into the organization, and has been a member of the PCTELA executive committee for the past two years. She said she was encouraged to recruit more members from charter and cyber charter schools.
“I was accepted from the get-go. This is my professional organization family. These people have helped me to be a better teacher, person and employee.”
She estimates that 15 percent of the organization’s members now are from charter or cyber charter schools.
Two years ago, Nyeholt was honored by being selected to represent the state affiliate as its nominee for the National Council of Teachers of English Leadership Development Award. She has attended the organization’s national conferences the past two years, in Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis.
A native of Cleveland, Nyeholt holds a bachelor’s in education in English language from Geneva College and a master’s in education with a focus in online instruction from Franciscan University of Steubenville.
This is her sixth year at PA Cyber.
“I had graduated from Geneva and was looking for schools in the area,” she said. “I began substitute teaching in PA Cyber’s Virtual Classroom courses, and then was a VC teacher for three years, teaching high school English. In the past two years I’ve been a curriculum coordinator for grades 6-8. I teach an eighth grade English class, so I still get to teach, but I can affect a larger number of students in the job I do now.”
She works with about 20 middle school English teachers to support and guide them as they deliver content in “all things English” to their students. She has designed an Advanced Placement English course, maps courses, and is working with developers of a comprehensive new curriculum on its implementation.
Her responsibilities for PCTELA include partnering with affiliates in nearby states, organizing conferences, recruiting members who represent diverse types of schools and underrepresented groups, and advocating for teachers and students on issues including safety and access to learning.
Casie Colalella / firstname.lastname@example.org
About PA Cyber
Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.