State Teacher of the Year to be announced Oct. 29Milton Elementary's Allison Peet and Sussex Tech's Deborah Long among contenders
Nineteen Delaware teachers have been nominated for the honor of being named Delaware’s Teacher of the Year for 2014.
Selected from among the 9,000 public school teachers in the state, the nominees each represent one of the state’s 19 school districts. The winner will be announced Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the annual awards banquet. The reception begins at 5 p.m. at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover. The program begins at 6 p.m. with the winner named at the end of the night. Funding for the award ceremony is made in part by a grant from the ING Foundation.
Local nominees include Cape Henlopen School District's Allison Peet, Grade 4 teacher in Milton Elementary School, and Deborah Long, social studies teacher at Sussex Technical High School of Sussex Technical School District.
"I can vividly recall a few of the lessons from fifth grade. They included learning how to write a check, how to balance a checkbook, making a grocery list, how to set the dinner table and working as a team to put together difficult jigsaw puzzles [1,000 pieces to a fifth grader seems quite difficult!]. I didn’t know what the state standards were at the time, but I am sure that the Delaware state standards did not encompass all of the above tasks. My teacher was accomplishing more than covering the state standards, she was preparing us for life. This fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Layton, changed my passion for school," says Peet.
“I became a teacher because I truly love history," says Long. "In elementary school, my second grade teacher, Mrs. Mitchell from Lulu Ross, took us on a walking tour of our hometown, Milford, and we were able to learn about several of the fascinating buildings such as the Parson Thorne Mansion, Christ Episcopal Church and the Tower’s House, all built in the 18th century. In middle school, my parents would take our family on trips to Colonial Williamsburg, where we would enjoy walking around the grounds and hearing the stories of the past." Long also credits high school teacher Gus Rehnstrom and college professor Sue Fox for their influence on her as an educator.
The candidates were nominated by their districts during the 2013 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 portfolio exemplifying his or her teaching philosophy. Five Delaware Department of Education staff members independently evaluate each portfolio. A former state Teacher of the Year and a member of the DOE staff also visit each candidate’s classroom to observe his or her teaching.
Taking into consideration the ratings from the portfolio review and classroom observation, an independent panel of non-DOE judges then selects the one teacher who will serve as the 2014 State Teacher of the Year. The teacher chosen to become the State Teacher of the Year will become Delaware’s nominee in the national program. Sponsored by Target, it is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the ING Foundation, the University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador Programs.
The Delaware Teacher of the Year also takes on the task of representing all teachers in the state, addressing community groups, business leaders, legislators and educational organizations to inform the public about education in Delaware.
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, all nominees will receive a $2,000 grant from the state.