Education in the First State
October 28, 2020

Red Clay's Kimberly Stock named Teacher of the Year

McKean High School Teacher Kimberly Stock was named Delaware's 2021 State Teacher of the Year at a virtual celebration earlier this month (more pics). 
An English learner teacher from the Red Clay Consolidated School District is Delaware's 2021 State Teacher of the Year.
Kimberly Stock of McKean High School now is Delaware's nominee for National Teacher of the Year. She will use her position to share her message about how schools must adapt to give students equitable access and opportunities.
Secretary of Education Susan Bunting made the announcement by surprising family and colleagues gathered at McKean High to view the virtual celebration at a socially distanced watch party. The virtual celebration honored all 20 district and charter teachers of the year who, due to COVID-19 precautions, watched the televised and streamed broadcast at small gatherings across the state instead of joining together at the typical statewide banquet.
Stock's passion for supporting students who face difficult challenges comes from her own life experiences. Abandoned as a child in South Korea, Stock said she does not know her age, birth place or given name.
"After living with a foster family in Korea, I was adopted by a white family in Nebraska. Despite experiencing moments of trauma, racism, illness, loss and death caused by ethnic violence, I have been given new opportunities and second chances," she said. "Only through God's grace and many opened doors by people who believed in me do I stand here today."

Banquet video highlights Teacher of the Year nominees

Twenty Delaware educators were selected from among the 9,500 public school teachers in the state as nominees for the 2021 Delaware Teacher of the Year award, which was announced earlier this month 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 2020 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
Vitelli: 'Advocate for the change you want to see' 

Colonial Early Education Program special education teacher Rebecca Louise Vitelli reflected on what she learned serving as Delaware's 2020 State Teacher of the Year during her final speech as Delaware Teacher of the Year.

Editor's note: The following is the script of the speech delivered by 2020 Delaware Teacher of the Year Rebecca Louise Vitelli at the 2021 Teacher of the Year virtual awards ceremony.

Good evening and thank you so much for having me be a part of your celebrations tonight!  Though we aren't able to be together in the traditional way, tonight is still ALL about each and every one of our honorees for the 2021 Delaware Teacher of the Year - we could not be more proud and excited for you!

It's an absolute privilege to address you a year after the life-altering moment when I was announced the 2020 Delaware Teacher of the Year. I'm Rebecca Vitelli, an inclusive preschool teacher at the Colonial Early Education Program in the Colonial School District.  As I said when I was selected, one thing we really focus on in early education is modeling big feelings and how to handle them.... so, again, I'll do my best tonight as I deliver this speech, because reflecting on my experiences fills me with a lot of BIG EMOTIONS (ha-ha).

There was nothing "typical" about 2020.  Just as I felt my duties and honors picking up steam, it seemed to come to a grinding halt as COVID abruptly altered many plans envisioned for the year.  But it was still a tremendously impactful year.... a year of MANY firsts.... numerous lessons learned, and of imperative service.  Being Delaware's Teacher of the Year has been a constant source of pride for my family, in particular both my parents who are educators themselves.  It shined the light on my school, students, and families.  And it also gave me a greater responsibility to uplift our children and represent educators across our state.  It's been a year that's changed the way I will lead and teach for the rest of my career, and, I believe, a year that's revolutionized our profession, our schools, and our communities. 

Smyrna High wins first state counseling award
Smyrna High School's counseling team is Delaware's first Sapphire Award for Excellence awardee. (Picture taken last year.)

Smyrna High School is Delaware's first Sapphire Award for Excellence in School Counseling winner.

This new state recognition awards school counseling programs that are comprehensive, data-informed and designed to serve all students.

"Smyrna High's school counselors should be commended for their commitment to students and their dedication tobothself-evaluation andthecontinuous improvement of their services," Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.

Delaware students earn College Board scholarships
Seven Delaware students have won Opportunity Scholarships from College Board since January. Students from Cab Calloway School of the Arts as well as Middletown, Cape, Laurel, William Penn, Indian River and A.I DuPont high schools have received a total of $6,000 in scholarships so far this year. Five students have won $1,000 for completing a certain number of hours on SAT Practice. Three additional students have been awarded $500 scholarships for building or strengthening their college lists in Big Future. Current College Board Scholarship awardees are: 

  • Chloe Davis - Middletown High School (Appoquinimink) - $1,000
  • Nicholas Holcomb - Indian River High School (Indian River) - $500
  • Kylie Leung - Cab Calloway School of the Arts (Red Clay) - $1,000
  • Brandon Maravilla-Garcia - William Penn High School (Colonial) - $1,000
  • Caroline Maull - Cape Henlopen High School (Cape Henlopen) - $500
  • Joanna Perez-Rubio - Laurel Senior High School (Laurel) - $1,000
  • Benjamin Turk - A.I DuPont High School (Red Clay) - $1,000


The Opportunity Scholarships are part of a College Board program to help guide students through the often-complicated college application process. Rather than asking students to complete an essay, application or demonstrate a minimum GPA, College Board is rewarding student effort and initiative by asking them to complete one or a series of action steps that help students apply to college. 

Students must complete up to six key steps along the path to college for a chance to earn scholarships. Scholarships are awarded through monthly drawings to students who complete each action. Delaware already has many programs in place to encourage this work. Students are given increased opportunities to earn scholarships based on the number of action steps they complete. Those who complete all six steps are eligible to earn $40,000. More information is available at

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