One of 20 outstanding public school teachers from across the state will be named Delaware's 2019 Teacher of the Year next month.
The winner will be announced at the annual awards banquet on Tuesday, Oct. 16 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 candidates were nominated by their districts or the charter network during the 2018 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 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 department 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 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 2019 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 2019 District/Charter Teachers of the Year are:
Appoquinimink: Sara Anderson, Cedar Lane Elementary, grade 5 inclusion
Brandywine: Bonnie Yurkanin, Claymont Elementary, library media
Caesar Rodney: Ashlee Upp, Allen Frear Elementary, grade 3
Cape Henlopen: Robert Harrod, Cape Henlopen High, grade 9 biology
Capital: Joseph Fuller, Dover High, Intensive Learning Center math/science
Christina: Jennifer Montanez, Etta J. Wilson Elementary, grade 5
Colonial: Mark McKenzie, William Penn High, Grades 11-12 chemistry
Delmar: Michelle Howard, Delmar High, Grades 9-12 physical science/chemistry
Indian River: Courtney White, North Georgetown Elementary, grade 5
Lake Forest: Sara Bushey, Lake Forest North Elementary, grade 3
Laurel: Carly Carrier, Laurel Middle, grade 6 science
Milford: Veronica Evans, Milford Senior High, grades 10-12 U.S. government and politics/social studies
New Castle County Vo-Tech: Lindsay Hoeschel, Howard High School of Technology, grade 11 English language arts
POLYTECH: David Watson, POLYTECH High, engineering/calculus/physics
Red Clay Consolidated: Lia Zucchino, Evan G. Shortlidge Academy, grade 2
Seaford: Dana Bowe, West Seaford Elementary, K-2 special education
Smyrna: Virginia Hoye, Clayton Intermediate, grade 5 English language arts/social studies
Sussex Tech: Anthony Natoli, Sussex Technical High, grades 9 and 11 English language arts
Woodbridge: Heather Kerrick, Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center, grade 1 reading/social studies