2022 Delaware State Finalists For White House STEM Recognition Announced

The Delaware Department of Education has named five Delaware teachers as state finalists for the 2022 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest recognition that K-12 STEM teachers can receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Finalists’ applications now will move forward to the national level for final selection of the 2022 PAEMST Awardees.


The 2022 Delaware state finalists are:


  • Jason Orlen, East Millsboro Elementary School, Indian River School District
  • Michele (Missy) Snyder, Major George Welch Elementary School, Caesar Rodney School District
  • Allison Van Ness, Clayton Intermediate School, Smyrna School District


  • Maria Cobb, Mount Pleasant Elementary School, Brandywine School District
  • Jaime Swartz, John M Clayton Elementary School, Indian River School District


Find photos of the finalists here.


The goal of the PAEMST award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching (including technology, engineering and computer science) in addition to honoring individual achievement. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of STEM education.  The award alternates between teachers of kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.  Every year each state selects up to three mathematics teachers and three science teachers as state finalists. A national selection committee reviews state finalist applications and selects one awardee in each content area for every state. Teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science. As part of the recognition process, awardees take part in a weeklong series of networking and professional development activities in Washington, D.C., and receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.


Additionally, the 2021 DE state finalists also are awaiting final selection by the national panel. The 2021 DE state finalists who were announced last summer are:

  • Katherine Hoffecker (mathematics), Odessa High School, Appoquinimink School District
  • Tommie Polite (mathematics), Laurel Middle School, Laurel School District
  • Michael Reitemeyer (mathematics), Las Americas ASPIRA Academy Charter School
  • Corey Butterfield (science), George Read Middle School, Colonial School District
  • Brian Heeney (science), Delcastle Technical High School, New Castle County Vo-Tech School District
  • Erin Motley (science), Gunning Bedford Middle School, Colonial School District


The White House announcement of national awardees for both 2021 and 2022 are expected within the 2022 calendar year. Congratulations to all Delaware finalists!


For more information about PAEMST and to see nomination forms and application instructions, visit www.paemst.org.


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

DDOE, DuPont and Discovery Education Launch First-of-Its-Kind Partnership Supporting STEM, CTE Statewide


The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), DuPont (NYSE: DD) and Discovery Education today announced a new, first-of-its-kind partnership that will increase student access to high-quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) instructional resources, as well as instructional materials and other supports to enhance career and technical education programs across the state. The three-year partnership program directly supports the Delaware Pathways initiative — an innovative effort helping students develop the academic, technical, and employability skills needed for successful, in-demand jobs across Delaware.

“Acquiring academic knowledge, technical skills, and meaningful work experience gives students the freedom to choose their life’s path,” said Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting. “This new partnership provides Delaware students an even better opportunity to develop the skills needed for the careers of tomorrow. Thus, I look forward to supporting the progress of this exciting new collaboration.”

“Connecting what is being taught in the classroom to Delaware employers is critical,” said Luke Rhine, Director, Career & Technical Education and STEM Initiatives at the Delaware Department of Education. “The resources provided through this partnership will support middle school and high school teachers as they build bridges between classrooms and careers for all students. We are thankful for partners like DuPont who share our goals related to STEM- and career-focused education.”

DuPont is committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of people everywhere, inspiring and cultivating the next generation of problem solvers, innovative thinkers, and lifelong learners that fuel discovery. Through this partnership, DuPont is taking a leadership role helping to develop a stronger, more diverse, equitable and inclusive talent pipeline to fill critically needed STEM jobs across the U.S. This partnership also builds on the company’s long-standing support of increasing access to STEM education programs that provide hands-on, inquiry-based learning in elementary to post-doctoral classrooms, and the professional learning needed for educators to make these efforts possible.

“DuPont is proud to fully fund this new initiative benefiting the Delaware communities we call home,” said Jon Kemp, President, DuPont Electronics & Industrial. “Together with the Delaware Department of Education and Discovery Education, we are creating not only more equitable learning environments in which all students have access to the resources and experiences they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond, but also a deeper, more diverse pool of talent that will drive economic prosperity across Delaware. We are excited to get started on this important work!”

Supporting this partnership is Discovery Education’s K-12 daily learning platform. Facilitating engaging instruction in the classroom, remote environment, after school programs or wherever learning is taking place, Discovery Education connects students and teachers to a vast collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, and more. These resources, sourced from trusted partners are made available to Delaware’s educators and students through Schoology, which is the statewide learning management system, and are aligned to state and national standards to help educators bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day.

As part of this new partnership, Delaware’s educators will also receive ongoing professional learning designed to help them realize the return on this education technology investment and connect them to the broader Discovery Education Community. This global community of education professionals connects members in school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.

DuPont’s support of Delaware Pathways is part of its commitment as the newest member of the STEM Careers Coalition (SCC). The Coalition unites a range of industries around the common goals of empowering educators to teach STEM effectively in the classroom, fostering and promoting quality education, and building the next generation of STEM solution-seekers with an intentional focus on fostering and improving racial and gender equity. The STEM Careers Coalition seeks to prepare 10 million students for the future of work by 2025 through equitable access to digital content and experiences that engage students in instruction, build foundational STEM knowledge, and develop the critical skills students need for college and career success.

“Discovery Education looks forward to collaborating closely with the Delaware Department of Education and DuPont on this exciting new initiative benefiting all middle school and high school students across the state,” said Scott Kinney, Discovery Education’s Chief Executive Officer. “Together, we are providing the resources that Delaware’s teachers need to provide students personalized learning pathways to fulfill their educational goals and career aspirations.”

Delaware educators can find out more about accessing the new resources available through this partnership by emailing deleducators@Discoveryed.com.

About DuPont
DuPont (NYSE: DD) is a global innovation leader with technology-based materials and solutions that help transform industries and everyday life. Our employees apply diverse science and expertise to help customers advance their best ideas and deliver essential innovations in key markets including electronics, transportation, construction, water, healthcare and worker safety. More information about the company, its businesses and solutions can be found at www.dupont.com. Investors can access information included on the Investor Relations section of the website at investors.dupont.com.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. Through its award-winning multimedia content, instructional supports, and innovative classroom tools, Discovery Education helps educators deliver equitable learning experiences engaging all students and supporting higher academic achievement on a global scale. Discovery Education serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and trusted organizations to empower teachers with leading edtech solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Delaware Pathways
Delaware Pathways is an education to employment partnership, connecting young people and employers. The program currently serves more than 55 percent of all youth in grades 9 to 12 across the State of Delaware offering young people the opportunity to earn college credit, industry recognized credentials, and relevant work experiences through in-demand career pathways that connect k12, higher education, and the workforce. The initiative is also working to expand the state’s registered apprenticeship system through youth apprenticeship models and is working with higher education partners to expand credential and degree opportunities for youth and adult learners. The program centers student identity and empowerment within the context of a high-quality education system, caring community partners, and dedicated employers. For more information please visit: https://delawarepathways.org/.

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DuPont™, the DuPont Oval Logo, and all trademarks and service marks denoted with ™, SM or ® are owned by affiliates of DuPont de Nemours, Inc. unless otherwise noted.


Media Contacts:

Stephen Wakefield
Discovery Education
(202) 316-6615

Dan Turner
(302) 299-7628

Alison May
Delaware Department of Education
(302) 735-4006

Delaware STEM students honored at national student conference

Students from 16 schools represented the First State at the National Virtual Technology Student Association (TSA) conference in June.  Finalists competed in events such as computer-aided design; chapter team; coding; cybersecurity, debating technological issues; essays on technology; forensic technology; foundations of information technology; junior solar sprint; leadership strategies; tech bowl; on demand video; video game design; website design and more. The virtual conference included nearly 7,000 individuals from across the United States participating in advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM); leadership; and service-focused events.

Highlights include:

  • 141 students representing 16 schools qualified to represent Delaware at national STEM conference.
  • Delaware students earned 21 top ten national honors.
  • D Morelli of Sussex Central High School and Norman Pierce of Fred Fifer Middle School were honored as National Chapter Advisors of the Year.
  • Priya Gupta of Caesar Rodney High School and Divita Taduvayi of MOT Charter High School were inducted into the TSA Technology Honor Society.

Delaware’s Results:

List of competition results

Participating Schools:

  • Alfred G. Waters Middle School, Appoquinimink School District
  • Appoquinimink High School, Appoquinimink School District
  • Cab Calloway School of The Arts (High School), Red Clay Consolidated School District
  • Cab Calloway School of The Arts (Middle School), Red Clay Consolidated School District
  • Caesar Rodney High School, Caesar Rodney School District
  • Concord High School, Brandywine School District
  • Conrad Schools of Science (MS), Red Clay Consolidated School District
  • Fred Fifer Middle School, Caesar Rodney School District
  • Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, Christina School District
  • H.B. duPont Middle School, Brandywine School DIstrict
  • Middletown High School, Appoquinimink School District
  • MOT Charter High School, charter school
  • Newark Charter High School, charter school
  • Odessa High School, Appoquinimink School District
  • Postlethwait Middle School, Caesar Rodney School District
  • Sussex Central High School, Indian River School District

The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) dedicated to students interested in the future of invention, innovation, engineering, and technology. Through TSA, members have the opportunity to participate in technology-focused competitive events, take part in community service work, and become leaders for the organization in their school, state, and at the national level. TSA incorporates curricular and co-curricular experiences to emphasize the importance of knowledge, leadership, skill development, and teamwork.

To learn more about DETSA, please contact Mike Fitzgerald by phone at: 302.857.3334 or by email at: Mike.Fitzgerald@doe.k12.de.us.

Delaware Launches Free CyberStart America Challenge

National online cybersecurity talent search and competition open to all Delaware high school students

 – Governor John Carney today announced Delaware’s participation in CyberStart America – an innovative, online cybersecurity talent search and competition sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation and SANS Institute. Delaware’s high school students are encouraged to explore their aptitude for cybersecurity and computer science by participating in the program and will have the opportunity to win scholarships, as well as prizes and recognition for their schools.

The CyberStart America program is a series of 100% online challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents, solving cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore related topics such as code breaking, programming, networking, and digital forensics. The program can be assigned as part of homework, can form the basis of an extracurricular club, or students can just try it on their own. Participating students and their teachers do not need knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to take part. Everything they need can be learned in the game. The program is free for schools and students, and all Delaware students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate. Building on the success of last year’s Girls Go CyberStart program, this year’s CyberStart Game is open to all high school students. Anyone who reaches level 5 in Game will qualify for the national competition to win scholarships. To further encourage participation of young women and JROTC cadets, communities are offering additional support and community-specific awards within the overall scholarship competition.

“This is a great program that builds on our statewide efforts to provide students with real-world experience and technology skills that will be valuable in any career,” said Governor John Carney. “These competitions offer fun activities for young people to explore and learn about the high-tech, high-impact field of cybersecurity.”

“CyberStart is a great way empower and inspire young people to pursue STEM fields including cybersecurity,” said Acting Chief Information Officer Jason Clarke. “In a pilot of the program last year we had over 180 students participate and 16 succeeded in reaching the national finals. This year we hope to triple the number of students participating and reaching the scholarship round.”

“The CyberStart challenge is both a fun and educational experience that gives students the chance to engage in lively hands-on learning and the opportunity to earn valuable college scholarships. We hope even more students will participate in the challenge this year,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.

The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation anticipates awarding scholarships worth a total of $2 million for use at any accredited college to 600 high-scoring students across the nation who participate in the competition in 2021, with students able to compete for state-specific and community-specific prizes as well as national championship status. There will also be incentives for Delaware high schools to encourage more students to reach the qualifying level in CyberStart Game, including exclusive access to additional cybersecurity education resources and recognized cyber skills mastery badges for their students.

Complete details may be found at www.cyberstartamerica.org. High school students may register for the program beginning October 30 and may begin playing the CyberStart Game at 12:00 AM EST, November 15. They may continue playing, and invite their friends to join them, through February 28, 2021. Students will be informed that they qualify for the CyberStart National Scholarship Challenge Round (the “Nationals”) as soon as they have achieved sufficient progress, but they are allowed to continue playing and learning in order to build more skills that will be useful to them in the Nationals. To see the types of challenges students will face in the games, visit https://go.cyberstart.com.

Participating students and schools are encouraged to share updates on social media with #cyberstartDE.


About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.



About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS provides cyber security training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 50 different courses at more than 200 live cyber security training events as well as online. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community.




UPDATE: Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the DigiGirlz event scheduled for May 20, 2020 at Delaware Technical and Community College’s Terry Campus in Dover has been postponed. Once a new date has been selected, event organizers will be reaching out directly to all currently registered attendees. Those individuals who have already registered for the event will be given priority for attendance regardless of grade. Information will also be made available on Digiknow.delaware.gov.

Media Contact:
Christina Dirksen, Strategic Communications Manager, DTI
(302) 739-9500 Christina.Dirksen@delaware.gov

DigiGirlz Program Contacts:
Claudette Martin-Wus, DTI
(302) 739-9636, claudette.martin-wus@delaware.gov


 DOVER, Del. — Registration is now open for Delaware DigiGirlz Day 2020, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary! Girls in the 8th and 9th grades (or ages 13-15) are invited to spend a day filled with hands-on learning that feature careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.  DigiGirlz Day is designed to encourage young women to explore the possibilities available in those fields.

DigiGirlz Day is May 20, 2020 at Delaware Tech’s Terry Campus in Dover starting at 8:30 a.m. It is free and open to 8th and 9th grade girls (ages 13-15) in Delaware public, private, charter and home schools. Individual students are also encouraged to participate. Pre-registration is mandatory – continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

“DigiGirlz Day is such a creative and fun way to empower young women and get them excited about STEM careers,” said Governor John Carney. “We want to thank Microsoft, as well as all the partners who have made this event possible for the last 10 years and inspired more than a thousand young Delaware women.”

“Providing inclusive opportunities is a priority and we’re pleased that since Delaware began hosting DigiGirlz Day we’ve been able to reach more than 1,200 young women,” said Delaware Chief Information Officer James Collins. “With the ongoing support from our partners, it is our goal to encourage young women to pursue STEM opportunities that can potentially turn into the careers of tomorrow. This is a great example of how we can leverage public/private partnerships for the greater good.”

“The girls who have attended this annual event in the past have gained a better understanding of potential STEM careers – from being a video game designer, a drone pilot, or a robotic coder to a 3D digital artist or cyber security professional,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said. “The day is a lot of fun, and the girls leave with valuable experiences, which we hope will influence their career exploration in the future.”

“Microsoft is proud to be a part of the 10th Annual Delaware DigiGirlz event. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. It is especially important for us to give back to young women in technology,” said Microsoft Community Development Specialist Nick Christine. “As an organization we want to continue to ensure that the technology field is a place where everyone feels welcome. This is due in part to people traditionally viewing technology as a male dominated field.  This is not the case and we want everyone to feel welcomed and empowered with technology.”

This year’s DigiGirlz Day features several different career track explorations including game design, drones, 3D digital art and mixed reality robotic coding.  Creating 3D Jewelry, learning about phishing, virtual reality, circuitry, social media and photo/video editing are additional offerings during the event.

DigiGirlz is sponsored by Delaware’s Department of Technology and Information, Microsoft, Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Technical and Community College, Wilmington University, University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Cyber Streets, and the Delaware Center for Educational Technology.

Registration information can be found at https://2020digigirlz10yearsindelaware.eventbrite.com


About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.