Educators gather for the Worcester County Teacher of the Year banquet

April 13, 2018


Educators and community stakeholders gathered to celebrate the 14 teachers of the year, as well as to recognize the Worcester County Teacher of the Year at the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet at the Clarion Hotel on April 6.

SDHS Teacher of the Year and math teacher Jody Stigler stated, “I am most excited about representing Stephen Decatur, all the teachers and students.”

The winner of this year’s banquet was special education teacher Karen Holland from Cedar Chapel Special School. Holland is a Stephen Decatur alumna, and attended University of Maryland Eastern Shore to earn her bachelor’s degree, and Wilmington University for her master’s in Elementary School Counseling. She is currently working on getting her doctoral degree.

About ten teachers from Stephen Decatur, mostly from the math department, attended the event to support Stigler.

The process of becoming Teacher of the Year incorporates a reflection, a large amount of writing, and at the end, a comprehensive interview. It is a large commitment and takes up a great deal of time.

When asked about the experience of becoming Teacher of the Year, English teacher and 2016 Worcester County TOY Kristina Belcher responded, “Absolutely, it’s so rewarding.”

Since Belcher was previously Worcester County’s Teacher of the Year, she was able to experience many different things that she would not have if she had not gone through the process. She has given many speeches at different events, such as when new teachers are hired in Worcester County, has toured the White House, and has met many other distinguished teachers that she still keeps in contact with today.

The one thing Belcher disliked about being Worcester County Teacher of the Year was how much school she missed and how many times she was out of the building during the year.

Stigler added that in the future, to improve the process, the Teacher of the Year selection committee should watch you in the classroom and see how you work with students.

Principal Tom Zimmer commented on the process saying, “Many teachers don’t pursue it because of the big commitment, especially if they are coaches or have little kids.”

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