Leadership Profile

What's Happening at Cedar Crest College

‘Star Educator’ Earns 2011 Howard L. Klopp Exemplary Teacher Award

Robert Boehmer, an art teacher at Schnecksville Elementary School in the Parkland School District for most of his 38-year teaching career, is the 2011 recipient of Cedar Crest College’s Howard L. Klopp Exemplary Teacher Award, presented annually by the education department.

Robert Boehmer and Nancy King

Faculty members from Cedar Crest presented the award to Boehmer during an assembly program at the school on November 11. According to Cedar Crest College Education Chair Nancy King, Boehmer was chosen because he exhibits all of the qualities that meet the selection criteria for the award: a devotion to quality in education; the ability to focus on each student’s strengths; a commitment to helping students achieve their full potential; concern for the students that extends beyond the classroom; outstanding service to school and community; and dedication to helping colleagues and advancing the profession.

Boehmer said he was excited to accept the award in front of a packed house of cheering students, faculty and staff. He said the honor was especially gratifying because he earned his education certificate at Cedar Crest College while studying with Howard Klopp in the 1980s. He considers Klopp a mentor.

“You do your job day after day and hope to inspire kids to be artists, doctors, mathematicians, etc. This is my last year of teaching so I’ll remember (this day) fondly,” Boehmer said. “Professor Klopp was a very special individual and I am much honored to get an award with his name on it.”

Boehmer was nominated for this prestigious honor by William Bowen, principal of Schnecksville Elementary School. In his nomination letter, Bowen wrote: “The Space Shuttle ‘Blake’ is probably the world’s most amazing, most unique educational tool. Bob has brought his love for teaching both art and science to the lives of so many students. His drive, passion, and creativity make him an excellent candidate for the Howard L. Klopp award.”

Boehmer has spent many hours, and solicited donations of materials and labor from countless local, regional and national companies—especially Mack Trucks Inc.—in order to create the Space Shuttle ‘Blake,’ a hands-on science lab built like a space shuttle. It is a half-size replica of the Space Shuttle on the exterior and a state-of-the-art classroom inside that is housed at Schnecksville Elementary. Bowen said one former Boehmer student has gone on to work for NASA as an engineer.

“I don’t know how we’re going to replace him. His are large shoes to fill,” added Bowen.

About Cedar Crest College’s Howard L. Klopp Exemplary Teaching Award:

Cedar Crest College’s Exemplary Teacher Award is presented in honor of Howard L. Klopp, Ph.D., a former education professor and chair of the education department at Cedar Crest College. Klopp was a professor emeritus at Cedar Crest, where he taught in the education department for 25 years before retiring in 1986. He passed away in November of 2002.

Each year, Cedar Crest presents the Klopp Award during National Education Week to honor its namesake and to focus attention on the outstanding teaching taking place in elementary, middle and secondary schools in Lehigh and Northampton counties.