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Middletown Transcript
  • YEAR IN REVIEW: Appo High French teacher named Del. Teacher of the Year

  • Appoquinimink High School’s Lea Wainwright was named Delaware’s 50th Teacher of the Year during a gala dinner in Dover on Oct. 26.
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  • THE STORY
    Appoquinimink High School’s Lea Wainwright was named Delaware’s 50th Teacher of the Year during a gala dinner in Dover on Oct. 26.
    The French teacher became the first Appoqunimink School District educator to win the honor since her first-grade teacher, Phyllis G. Schabinger, was selected in 1971.
    Wainwright grew up on a dairy farm in Middletown and initially turned down a teaching job at the The Broadmeadow School, a former private school next to what is now Everett Meredith Middle School.
    It was only while on maternity leave from her marketing career that she later rediscovered her love of teaching, which lead her to begin her current career in 1993.
    In addition to her teaching duties, Wainwright also serves as a lead mentor for new teachers in the district.
    THE IMPACT
    The honor bestowed on Wainwright brought a considerable amount of positive attention to Appoquinimink High School, which first opened in 2006.
    It’s also put her in high demand among legislators, various education organizations and community groups as they seek input on how to improve the state’s public schools.
    “It’s really made me realize that we all want our children to be the best they can be,” she said. “Until now, I don’t think I understood just how much people are interested in providing the highest quality education in Delaware. It’s been really exciting.”
    As a result of being named Delaware Teacher of the Year, Wainwright also has received four grants totaling $11,000, an $18,000 educational technology package for her classroom, a commemorative license plate from the Division of Motor Vehicles; free graduate-level courses from Delaware’s higher education institutions, including a full doctorate program from Wilmington University and the University of Delaware; a gold watch from the Delaware State Teachers of the Year Association and a 10-karat gold ring from Jostens.
    WHAT’S NEXT
    Wainwright is now in the running for National Teacher of the Year.
    Four finalists for that honor are expected to be announced later this month.
    In addition, she’ll also join her fellow state teachers of the year at the White House in April, when the National Teacher of the Year will be named.

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