State to name 2020 Delaware Teacher of the Year

Twenty of the state‚Äôs top teachers will be honored at a banquet next month, when one of them will be named Delaware’s 2020 Teacher of the Year.

The winner will be announced at the annual award dinner on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover. Funding for the award ceremony is made in part 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 charter network during the 2019 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. A former state Teacher of the Year and a member of the department staff also visit each candidate’s classroom to observe his or her teaching. Taking into consideration the ratings from the application review and classroom observation 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 2020 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, all nominees will receive a $2,000 grant from the state.

The 2020 District/Charter Teachers of the Year are:

District/Charters: Name, School, Content area

Appoquinimink: Stephen Landry, Appoquinimink High, mathematics
Brandywine:Lauren Conrad, Concord High, music (vocal)
Caesar Rodney: Sabra Collins, Caesar Rodney High, physical education
Cape Henlopen: Brennan Clarke, Shields Elementary, English as a second language
Capital: Erica N. Richard, East Dover Elementary, K-4 mathematics specialist
Charters: Kayla Sweet, Kuumba Academy, 6th grade mathematics
Christina: Lindsey Muldoon, Shue Medill Middle, 8th grade English language arts
Colonial: Rebecca Louise Vitelli, Colonial Early Education Program, Prekindergarten
Delmar: Donna Huston, Delmar High, English language arts
Indian River: Arthur Henry, Millsboro Middle, music (band)
Lake Forest: Christina Hughes-Gallo, Lake Forest High, social studies
Laurel: Donna Sava, Laurel Elementary, 1st grade
Milford: Jaime Hill, Morris Early Childhood Center, kindergarten
NCCVT: Anthony Webb, Delcastle High, mathematics
POLYTECH: Nick Post, POLYTECH High, electrical trades technology
Red Clay Consolidated: Richard F. Weaver III, AI duPont High, music (band)
Seaford: Laura Burke, Central Elementary, 3rd grade
Smyrna: Denise Balcerak, Sunnyside Elementary, kindergarten
Sussex Tech: Dontez Collins, Sussex Tech High, mathematics
Woodbridge: Stephanie Vodvarka, Phillis Wheatley Elementary, 4th grade

Photos of the teachers are available online here.

Media contact: Alison May, alison.may@doe.k12.de.us, 302-735-4006