YOUNGSTOWN City teacher wins top honors

The honoree has worked with Youth for Justice and Odyssey of the Mind.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Penny Wells, a veteran teacher in the city schools, has been named the district's Teacher of the Year for 2001-02.
Wells, a native of Dallas, Texas, graduated from Brown University and spent two years in West Virginia working with Volunteers in Service to America before starting her 32-year teaching career in Youngstown.
She taught history at Princeton Junior High School for 26 years. She has taught civics and history at Volney Rogers Junior High School for the past six years.
Experience: Wells has worked with students in the Youth for Justice program sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law Related Education. In the program, students pick an issue, research the topic and develop solutions. The group has been honored twice by The Vindicator for making a difference in the community.
In the past two years, the Youth for Justice students have proposed a bill, first to the Youngstown City Council and then to the Ohio General Assembly, that would ban cigarette vending machines in public places frequented by youths and require that all tobacco products be kept behind the store counter. The bill was introduced by State Rep. Sylvester Patton and is in committee.
Wells also has coached Odyssey of the Mind teams, worked with History Day participants and organized a recycling program at Volney using money earned to purchase trees for the school.
She also has been a supervising teacher for Youngstown State University student teachers and has served on many school district committees.
Other honors: Wells was selected as a Jennings Scholar, nominated for the American Lawyers Auxiliary Law Related Education Teacher of the Year and a Jennings Master Teacher. She also was selected by the People to People Program to visit China as part of a middle schools delegation.

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