Michael Soskil, the 2017-2018 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, is determined to make learning meaningful for every child and to empower students and teachers as positive change agents in their communities. As an elementary science teacher at the Wallenpaupack South Elementary School, he inspires young scientists to use their curiosity and learning to make the world a better place. His students have gained international attention for initiatives that have included designing a bridge for a rural village in Africa, connecting with students in Kansas and Greece to provide clean drinking water for hundreds of families in the Kibera Slum of Nairobi, and starting a Distance Teaching Project that expanded to include videos from students on six continents sharing their learning with others. In 2012, Michael's innovative work was recognized by the White House and National Science Foundation with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. In 2016 he was named a Global Teacher Prize finalist and one of the top ten teachers in the world by the Varkey Foundation. His message of student empowerment and teaching through empathy has been shared with teachers, policy makers, businesspeople, and students around the globe. Outside the classroom, Michael is a founding organizer of EdCamp NEPA, an annual, free professional learning day for teachers. He serves as an advisor to several NGOs and non-profit organizations focused on global education, and sits on the governing board for the Pennsylvania Teachers Advisory Committee, which is providing a pipeline to connect teacher voice with education decision makers.