Twenty of the state’s top teachers will be honored at a celebration next month, when one of them will be named Delaware’s 2021 Teacher of the Year.
The winner will be announced virtually Oct. 13 on Comcast Channel 28 or online via DETV and Delaware Department of Education’s social media channels. Funding for the award ceremony is provided by a grant from Voya Financial. The program begins at 6 p.m., with the announcement coming at the end of the night.
The candidates were nominated by their districts or the Delaware Charter Network during the 2020 calendar year because of their superior ability to inspire students with a love of learning, exemplary demonstration of professional traits and strong sense of dedication and devotion to teaching.
Each nominee submitted a detailed online application exemplifying his or her teaching philosophy. Five Delaware Department of Education staff members independently evaluate each application. Because COVID-19 prevented the typical classroom observations that are part of the process, the teachers instead were interviewed by a panel of former State Teachers of the Year and department staff members. Taking into consideration the ratings from the application review and interviews as well as a recorded presentation by the nominees, another independent panel of non-department judges then selects the one teacher who will serve as the 2021 Delaware Teacher of the Year.
The teacher chosen to become the State Teacher of the Year will become Delaware’s nominee in the national program, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the Voya Foundation.
By action of the General Assembly, the Delaware Teacher of the Year will receive a $5,000 grant to use for the educational benefit of his or her students, as well as a personal grant of $3,000. Additionally, nominees will receive a $2,000 grant from the state.
The 2021 District/Charter Teachers of the Year are Karen Seciale, Spanish, Brick Mill Elementary, Appoquinimink School District; Judson Wagner, physics and engineering, Brandywine High School, Brandywine School District; Beth Schmidt, first grade, Stokes Elementary, Caesar Rodney School District; Jorge Moreno Jaen, first grade Spanish immersion, Milton Elementary, Cape Henlopen School District; Julie Eaby, fourth grade, Booker T. Washington Elementary, Capital School District; Melissa Tracy, high school social studies, Odyssey Charter; Jeffrey Dombchick, instrumental music, Christina High and Middle School Honors Academy, Christina School District; Khayree Bey, health and physical education, McCullough Middle, Colonial School District; Kate Hakeem, English learner, Delmar Middle, Delmar School District; Brandon McCabe, agriculture structures and engineering, Sussex Central High, Indian River School District; Amber Hobbs, kindergarten, North Elementary, Lake Forest School District; Lindsay Parsons, prekindergarten, North Laurel Early Learning Academy, Laurel School District; Kimberly Webb, fourth grade, Lulu Ross Elementary, Milford School District; Anthony Reid, mathematics, Howard High School of Technology, New Castle County Vo-Tech; Cameron Sweeney, social studies, POLYTECH High, POLYTECH School District; Kimberly Stock, English/English learner, McKean High, Red Clay Consolidated School District; Kathi Adams, kindergarten immersion, Blades Elementary, Seaford School District; Holly Hufford, agricultural science, Smyrna Middle, Smyrna School District; Kelli Gehrke, digital publishing/design, Sussex Technical High, Sussex Technical School District; and Jessica Leone, agriculture, Woodbridge Middle, Woodbridge School District.
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