A high school special education teacher from the Brandywine School District is Delaware’s 2022 State Teacher of the Year.
Jahsha Tabron of Brandywine High School now is Delaware’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year. She will use her position to share her message to fellow teachers about the importance of teachers building strong communities.
“As a special education teacher, I have witnessed the power of inclusive classrooms. Inclusion erases educational barriers, embraces diversity, develops resilience in students, and fosters their perseverance,” Tabron said. “Teachers, our ability to persevere and succeed is dependent on the communities we build; we cannot and should not do this alone! Our greatest resource is each other.”
Governor John Carney made the announcement during a Dover ceremony to honor the 20 district/charter teachers of the year.
As a co-teacher in grades 9 to 12 English classes, Tabron works to make learning relevant to her students. She maintains academic rigor while helping students make connections to themselves, the text, and the real world. Her primary focus is ninth-grade special education students who are transitioning to the high school setting. Her expertise is in working with students and families to foster community connections between home, school, and educational agencies.
Tabron also works to uphold equitable educational practices; she facilitates opportunities for fellow educators to foster student-centered growth. She mentors new teachers in special education compliance requirements necessary for developing individualized education programs.
A former colleague, M. Dwayne Caldwell, wrote in a letter recommending Tabron for the honor that she lives by a three-step guide in all that she does: “1) be truthful about what is actually happening; 2) determine the steps that need to be taken to change; and 3) hold yourself accountable for taking the steps. This approach has guided all of her work – as a building leader, as a mentor to new teachers, with special needs students, and with me.”
Tabron believes the most important thing an educator can teach a student is the power of self-advocacy. She speaks for the voiceless. She helps the often-overlooked students find their voices whilst advocating for them. She connects with students and encourages them to become active participants in their learning. Tabron believes that success lies in self-reflection. She is always willing to re-examine her work and the impact that it has on her students.
DaSheena Robinson, a Brandywine High alumna who went on to become a teacher herself, also recommended Tabron for the honor. While in high school she applied to be a teacher’s assistant in Tabron’s class because she wanted to learn from her.
“Mrs. Tabron ensured social emotional learning, conflict resolution and goal setting permeated through each of her daily lessons,” Robinson said. “Through this experience I noted first-hand how society could discourage students due to socioeconomic status, race, or intellectual level, but it only took one person to truly believe and invest in order to counter the negativity. When students were tired and frustrated with life’s circumstances, Mrs. Tabron served as a voice of compassion and hope for a better tomorrow.”
Tabron earned her Bachelor of Science in elementary and special education from Delaware State University and her Master of Education in school leadership and instruction from Wilmington University.
In addition to serving as her school’s special education department chair, Tabron also is a district transition facilitator to assist students with disabilities transition to post-secondary education or employment opportunities.
Tabron inherits from outgoing Teacher of the Year Kimberly Stock the responsibility of representing all teachers in Delaware. She will address community groups, business leaders, legislators, and educational organizations to inform the public about the status of Delaware schools. She also will become Delaware’s candidate in the National Teacher of the Year Program, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers sponsored by the Voya Foundation.
By action of the General Assembly, she will receive a $5,000 grant to use for the educational benefit of her students, as well as two personal grants totaling an additional $5,000. The remaining 19 school district/charter candidates each will receive a personal grant of $2,000. All 20 teachers also received gifts from Advantech Incorporated and their district superintendents or charter principal.
Tabron also received gifts from the Office of U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Delaware School Boards Association and Delaware State Teachers of the Year Association; State of Delaware Teacher of the Year commemorative plates from the Division of Motor Vehicles; a full doctorate program from Delaware State University and University of Delaware; and a 10-karat gold ring from Jostens.
This year’s celebration was sponsored by Voya Financial.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Those interested in arranging interviews with Tabron on Tuesday should contact Brandywine School District public information officer Danielle Pro-Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the virtual celebration and announcement online here.
Find information on all 20 nominees here.
Media contact: Alison May, email@example.com, 302-735-4006