Education in the First State
October 25, 2017
Sussex Tech educator named State Teacher of Year

Virginia Forcucci becomes Delaware's nominee in national competition.

A high school English teacher from the Sussex Technical School District is Delaware's 2018 State Teacher of the Year.
Governor John Carney made the announcement October 17 at the annual banquet honoring the 20 district and charter teachers of the year at Dover Downs Hotel and Conference Center in Dover.
Virginia "Jinni" Forcucci became an educator because of her love of literature, but her students are the inspiration for her 20-year career.
Video highlights 2018 Teacher of Year nominees

Delaware Teacher of the Year video spotlights 20 amazing educators.

Twenty Delaware educators were selected from among the 9,000 public school teachers in the state as nominees for the 2018 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 2017 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 the video to learn more about what makes these teachers so amazing.
Top math, science educators recognized

Delaware's 2017 PAEMST finalists will be recognized at a November 9 event. 
Seven Delaware teachers have been named finalists for the highest recognition that K-12 mathematics and science teachers can receive for outstanding mathematics and science teaching in the United States. These finalists will be honored at a banquet November 9 in Dover alongside the state's Lifetime Achievement Award winners, who will be named at the event.
The 2017 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) finalists include three math and four science teachers from Appoquinimink, Caesar Rodney, POLYTECH and Indian River school districts, MOT Charter School, and the private Tatnall School. PAEMST finalists earn a chance to be named a 2017 math or science awardee by the U.S. Department of Education.
Awarded each year by the White House, PAEMST is given to mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions. In addition to honoring individual achievement, the goal of the PAEMST award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.
Governor hosts Wilmington schools town halls

Governor Carney and Office of Innovati on and Improvement Director Dorrell Green hosted a Facebook Live question-and-answer event on October 18. Join them in person tonight or on Nov. 1 to talk more about Wilmington schools. Watch the Facebook Live session here.

Governor Carney is hosting town hall meetings to gather feedback from families and educators on the joint letter of intent he recently signed with Christina School District Superintendent Richard Gregg and Christina Education Association President Darren Tyson. This letter forms the Wilmington Schools Partnership, which is designed to improve educational opportunities for all students in the City of Wilmington.

The community is invited to hear more about the partnership and ideas for improving Wilmington schools at these town hall events :
  • 6:30 p.m. tonight, Bayard Middle School200 S. DuPont Street, Wilmington
  •  6:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 1, Bancroft Elementary School700 N. Lombard St., Wilmington
Enhanced assessments to elevate science instruction

Teachers such as  Forwood Elementary's Leona Williams continue to elevate Delaware science instruction.

Leona Williams, teacher at Brandywine School District's Forwood Elementary School, has made significant changes to how she teaches science as a result of her years as a NextGen teacher leader. Now she says she is looking forward to transforming her instruction even further with the information she and others will gain on Delaware's new science assessment, set to be operational in the 2018-19 school year.  
"The data we'll be able to gather as a state will help shape science instruction and future assessments," she said. "For teachers, we'll be able to better identify our students' strengths and needs to guide our next steps in the classroom. The assessments will help us understand if we've been successful in facilitating broader student learning rather than having [students] narrowly focus on a specific topic." 
For more than a year,  Delaware educators have been working collaboratively across districts and charter schools to create a system of assessments that measures students' true science mastery. Phase I of the assessment planning began in Fall 2016 when  students and educators participated in a research and development process to create test items. Final drafts of these items are now available  online  for all educators to use in classrooms. 
Other Good News in Delaware's Public Schools