Middle School Technology Coordinator Named 2021 PA FLL Mentor of the Year
During the Western PA FIRST LEGO League Robotics Grand Championship held at Sewickley Academy on December 11, 2021, Erin Whitaker, Middle School Technology Coordinator, was named 2021 Pennsylvania FIRST LEGO League Mentor of the Year.
Three years ago, FIRST LEGO League began a process with the U.S. Mint to create a commemorative silver dollar specifically honoring teachers and mentors that have a tremendous impact on the world around them. The result was the creation of the Christa McAuliffe commemorative silver dollar, which is presented to a team mentor whose leadership and guidance were most clearly evident and exemplified the FIRST® Core Values.
Gordon Walton, FIRST Regional Partner, shared when announcing the award,
“This Team Coach has put in countless hours this year helping the FIRST program to be more successful here in Western PA - not only supporting their team’s efforts on this challenge - but also contributing directly to touching the lives of hundreds of additional students as well.
Since I’ve been running this tournament, one school has volunteered to host tournaments every year, and this is in large part due to the efforts of this individual. Several years ago, when we were really in a bind, this individual made it possible to hold a Grand Championship Event that year by volunteering to host that event - and for each year since (with a short break for COVID), Sewickley Academy has graciously hosted the Ultimate FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournament in our region.
Working diligently behind the scenes, this dedicated teacher has spent the last several months fearlessly addressing logistic problems and helping to coordinate the setup day for today’s championship event - all while coaching her team and encouraging them to embrace iterative engineering and focus on continuous improvement.
The 2021 Pennsylvania FLL Mentor of the Year Award is presented to Erin Whitaker from Sewickley Academy.”