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IRWIN, Pa. (KDKA) — A teacher in Westmoreland County is really making the grade.

Karen Longo’s enthusiasm for teaching, dedication to her student’s and unshakable belief in kindness stand out. In her classroom, kindness and making a connection are what matter most.

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“She’s probably the best teacher I’ve ever had,” said sixth-grader Presley Kelly.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

For 15 years, Longo has been teaching at Queen of Angels Catholic School in Irwin. Her accomplishments in Catholic education include being recognized by the Greensburg Diocese with the Golden Apple Award.

“That was an amazing honor, that was a career high, “said Longo. “That was great.”

Longo’s skills with the kids are admired by those who work with her. But her impact transcends the classroom and the staff room.

“She’s the first to step up and offer help to anybody on staff that needs it, including me,” said Queen of Angels Catholic School Principal Jennifer Silak. “Her way of connecting with her students, she does as well with her peers and they respond so positively as well.”

Longo’s classroom is bright, engaging and warm in many ways. That is what her personality is essentially all about, but there’s one element in her teaching prowess and that’s being silly.

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“A few years ago, she turned into a witch in third grade, danced around and made us make a potion. A few weeks ago, she wrote a rap to Earth Day,” said Kelly.

Anthony Longo’s a big fan of his teacher in another way.

“She’s a really good mom. She makes sure she helps me and my sisters and makes sure she has something planned for us,” said Anthony.

One of Karen’s proudest accomplishments is the “Kindless Club.”

“It’s making sure you are thinking of others before you are thinking of yourself,” the teacher said.

So here’s to Karen, who according to her students and peers, is nothing short of an angel.

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“A huge asset to our community. We’re blessed to have her here,” said Silak.

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President Bidens charter-school dis

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In a fresh sign of teacher-union sway over President Joe Biden, this is the first Charter School Week in 30 years not to be marked by a presidential proclamation.

That’s right: Every president going back to Bill Clinton saw fit to recognize these alternative public schools and the work they do in uplifting poor and minority students across the nation. And Biden’s old boss, President Barack Obama, was instrumental in supporting the growth of charters, even shooting down bogus teacher-union attacks.

Charters are laboratories of innovation that operate largely without union interference; their successes regularly show up the failure of union-dominated schools, especially in high-poverty minority neighborhoods. That’s why teachers’ unions despise them. But what’s Biden’s excuse?

Well, American Federation of Teachers leader Randi Weingarten and National Education Association head Becky Pringle were among the Biden administration’s first and most frequent White House guests. And pressure from the top is the only explanation for how Weingarten was able to literally dictate language to the Centers for Disease Control for its “scientific” guidance on school reopenings.

In short, this president stands with his teacher-union allies against the principles of Barack Obama, the best interests of children and even good public-health policy amid the pandemic. Can he sink any lower?

Filed under charter schools ,  editorial ,  education ,  joe biden ,  National Education Association ,  Randi Weingarten ,  teachers union ,  white house ,  5/13/21

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