Education in the First State
October 31, 2018
Seaford educator named 2019 Teacher of the Year

Dana Bowe becomes Delaware's nominee in national competition.

An elementary special education teacher from the Seaford School District is Delaware's 2019 State Teacher of the Year.

Governor John Carney made the announcement on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the annual banquet honoring the 20 district and charter teachers of the year at Dover Downs Hotel and Conference Center in Dover.

Dana Bowe, who teaches kindergarten through second grade for the Sussex County Orthopedic Program at West Seaford Elementary School, now is Delaware's nominee for National Teacher of the Year, a title she hopes will allow her to share her message about all children's abilities.

One in six children in the United States has a developmental disability, ranging from speech or language impairments to intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy or autism.

"But all of these children have capabilities. Their value and worth are beyond measure. Each student has a different story, different journey, and different abilities," Bowe said.

After the Sussex Orthopedic Program moved to West Seaford Elementary School, Bowe helped start a "Spread the Word-Respect" campaign at her school, part of a national effort to discourage the use of the derogatory word "retard" and to promote acceptance, compassion, understanding, and inclusion of people with disabilities. This was important for the culture of the school, where some students had not before seen children walking in orthopedic braces, communicating with speech generated devices, or using assistive technologies, she said.

"Sometimes it is difficult to see the initial impact of an initiative. Other times, although it is not blatantly obvious, there is a quiet victory: Students holding hands walking down the hallway; a child in a wheelchair tutoring other children in class; or a regular education student asking a child to be his partner even though they can communicate only through gestures, signs, or the use of a 'talker,' " Bowe said.

Bowe said she also had the chance to witness "a big, loud victory.

Video highlights 2019 Teacher of Year nominees

Delaware Teacher of the Year video spotlights 20 amazing educators.

Twenty Delaware educators were selected from among the 9,500 public school teachers in the state as nominees for the 2019 Delaware Teacher of the Year award, which was announced last week in Dover. The nominees each represent one of the state's 19 school districts and network of charter schools.
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. Check out this video to learn more about what makes these teachers so amazing.

Laurel sets clear vision for students, educators

Laurel School District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Larrimore kicked off homecoming earlier this month with the help of Reed, a real-life Laurel Bulldog owned by Laurel Elementary School Teacher Betsy DeBord.
Once one of the lowest-performing school districts in Delaware, Laurel School District has been among the state leaders in student growth in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics for three consecutive years.
While Laurel leaders cite several factors as contributing to such gains, connecting them all is strong leadership. That starts at the top with Superintendent Dr. Shawn Larrimore and includes the district- and building-level administrative teams he has built over the past three years.
"Our leadership team definitely has a vested interest in Laurel," said Amy Handy, a seventh-grade reading enrichment teacher at Laurel Middle School. "In my 26 years of teaching experience, I have never experienced a leadership team who honestly believes that ALL students can achieve success when given the necessary tools." (Related: This video highlighting Laurel for educational justice.)
Larrimore himself is a Laurel success story. A native of the rural Sussex County town, he lived in many of the low-income housing units that many of Laurel's students reside in today. An All-State football player and captain for Laurel when the school won consecutive state championships in 1986 and 1987, he graduated from Laurel High School in 1988 before heading to Salisbury University (Md.) to pursue an education degree.
He started his career in the classroom teaching American literature at Seaford Senior High School and Delmar High School before taking administrative posts in Delmar as an assistant principal, principal and chief academic officer.  

Hodgson, Delcastle students radio space station

Video: Delcastle Technical High School students pose questions to astronauts aboard the International Space Station last week using amateur radio technology.   

Delcastle Technical High School students spoke live to astronaut Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor last week as the International Space Station (ISS) orbited overhead. Hodgson Vocational Technical High School Manufacturing and Engineering students built a temporary antenna to radio contact the space station. The project used amateur radio technology from Radio Newark, a station at 99.9 FM that focuses on science and technology. This is the first-ever direct communication between Delaware students and ISS. Hear their conversation on New Castle County Vocational Technical School District's Facebook Live video.
Delaware celebrates National Principals Month

In honor of October as National Principals Month, the Delaware Department of Education has partnered with Royal Farms to celebrate Delaware principals. Principals have been applauded on social media this month for their leadership, hard work and commitment to Delaware students.
The first 100 current Delaware principals with a shout out received a coupon for a free coffee from Royal Farms. Check out who has received a coffee so far. There is still time to leave a message for a Delaware principal you want to honor with a free cup of coffee. T hese wonderful messages have been left for district and charter school principals so far:
Other Good News in Delaware's Public Schools


  • Delaware high-needs educator loan repayment apps due Nov. 1