Fourteen of the Appoquinimink School District's finest educators will attend a special gala dinner in Odessa next week. But only one will be named the district's 2015 Teacher of the Year.

Fourteen of the Appoquinimink School District’s finest educators will attend a special gala dinner in Odessa next week.

But only one will be named the district’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.

“I don’t think anyone attends the gala thinking it’s going to be them, because there’s just such high quality teachers there in the room with you,” said Appoquinimink High School French teacher Lea Wainwright, the district’s 2014 Teacher of the Year who went on to earn Delaware Teacher of the Year honor last fall. “I think most of the time, everyone is trying to guess who it’s going to be.”

The process of choosing a new Teacher of the Year began in January when nominations were solicited from school staff, students, parents and community members.

This year, 238 of the district’s nearly 600 teachers received nominations.

Qualified nominees interested in pursuing the honor were required to submit a resume, three reference letters and essay on their teaching philosophy before undergoing interviews with a selection committee at their own school.

From that pool, a teacher of the year was named at each of the district’s school last month.

Those building-level winners are now undergoing another round of interviews as a part of the district-level competition.

The following is a list of those teachers currently in the running for the Appoquinimink School District’s 2015 Teacher of the Year:

Appoquinimink High School

NAME Ryan Moseley

SUBJECT Instrumental Music

YEARS AT SCHOOL 6

YEARS IN DISTRICT 6

YEARS TEACHING 9

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Brass Ensemble, Spring Musical Pit Ensemble/Sound Director, Music Booster Association

MEMBERSHIPS Delaware Music Educators Association

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in leadership and consumer economy from University of Delaware; master’s degree in instruction from University of Delaware; state certification in music education from University of Delaware

FAMILY Wife, two children

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Middletown High School

NAME Jeff Billings

SUBJECT Agriscience

YEARS AT SCHOOL 4

YEARS IN DISTRICT 4

YEARS TEACHING 5

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP Middletown High School chapter of Future Farmers of America, Plant Science Club, Middletown Ag Day, Adopt-A-Highway, Ag Literacy/Public Speaking

MEMBERSHIPS DuPont National Agriscience Teacher Academy, Tech Prep Delaware coordinator, Delaware Association of Agriscience Educators, National Association of Agriscience Educators, U.S. Harness Writers Association, Delaware Envirothon, Delaware FFA Alumni

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in agriculture and natural resources from University of Delaware; master’s degree in education technology from American College of Education

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Alfred G. Waters Middle School

NAME Rebekah Mazer

SUBJECT Seventh-grade science

YEARS AT SCHOOL 4

YEARS IN DISTRICT 4

YEARS TEACHING 4

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP AGW science fair advisor

MEMBERSHIPS AGW science department chairwoman, AGW STEM coordinator, AGW school leadership committee, Stetson Model special education liaison, AGW scheduling committee

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and middle school science from University of Delaware; master’s degree in instruction, teaching and learning from Wilmington University

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Everett Meredith Middle School

NAME Lisa Spedden

SUBJECT Seventh-grade math

YEARS AT SCHOOL 11

YEARS IN DISTRICT 11

YEARS TEACHING 15

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP Math League coach

MEMBERSHIPS EMM School leadership committee, EMM Grade 7 lead teacher

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Judson University in Elgin, Ill.; master’s degree in teaching and leadership from Xavier University in Chicago

FAMILY Husband, 2 children

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Louis L. Redding Middle School

NAME Toni Hvizdzak

SUBJECT American Sign Language

YEARS AT SCHOOL 4

YEARS IN DISTRICT 4

YEARS TEACHING 10

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP American Sign Language Club, American Sign Language Lunch Brunch

MEMBERSHIPS Positive Behavior Supports, RMS student mentor, district teacher mentor, Parent-Teacher Association liaison, Appoquinimink Education Association

EDUCATION Bachelors’ degree in speech pathology and audiology, and sign language interpretation, from Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pa.; master’s degree in leadership in teaching from College of Notre Dame in Baltimore

FAMILY Husband, two children

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Brick Mill Elementary School

NAME Annie Rosenthal

SUBJECT First grade

YEARS AT SCHOOL 8

YEARS IN DISTRICT 8

YEARS TEACHING 12

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP Student mentor, Parent-Teacher Association representative, Girls on the Run, teacher mentor at Wilmington University and University of Delaware

MEMBERSHIPS BME math lead teacher, Delaware Writing Project, National Writing Project, BME school leadership team, district grading committee, Learn Zillion Dream Team, district Common Core committee for math and ELA

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in human services from University of Delaware; master’s degree in education from Wilmington University

FAMILY Two children

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Bunker Hill Elementary School

NAME Joanne Willits

SUBJECT First grade

YEARS AT SCHOOL 5

YEARS IN DISTRICT 8

YEARS TEACHING 13

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP Former Girls on the Run coach, former chair of United Way donation drive, former student mentor, Partners In Print, BHE Walkathon

MEMBERSHIPS BHE Parent-Teacher Association liaison, teacher mentor at University of Delaware Cooperating Teacher Program, BHE school success team, BHE Professional Learning Communities Response To Intervention data coach

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from University of Delaware; master’s degree in education from McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.

FAMILY Husband, two children

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Cedar Lane Elementary School

NAME Wayne Wyatt

SUBJECT Second grade

YEARS AT SCHOOL 5

YEARS IN DISTRICT 5

YEARS TEACHING 5

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP CLE Science Expo coordinator

MEMBERSHIPS CLE lead science teacher

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz.

FAMILY Wife, two children

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Olive B. Loss Elementary School

NAME Lisa Pragg

SUBJECT Second grade

YEARS AT SCHOOL 9

YEARS IN DISTRICT 9

YEARS TEACHING 17

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP None

MEMBERSHIPS OBL second-grade team leader, district ELA committee, volunteer firefighter with Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder in Newark

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from University of Delaware; working towards master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University

FAMILY Husband, daughter

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Old State Elementary School

NAME Dana Patton

SUBJECT Fifth grade

YEARS AT SCHOOL 2

YEARS IN DISTRICT 7

YEARS TEACHING 11

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP None

MEMBERSHIPS OSE Light House Team, OSE student achievement team, OSE ELA lead teacher, district grading committee, Delaware Dream Team of Common Core Ambassadors, NEA Master Teacher

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.; master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Old Dominion University

FAMILY Husband, daughter

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Silver Lake Elementary School

NAME Cathy Guza

SUBJECT Second grade

YEARS AT SCHOOL 9

YEARS IN DISTRICT 12

YEARS TEACHING 20

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP None

MEMBERSHIPS Learning Focused Strategies trainer, SLE math leadership committee, SLE second-grade team leader

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Penn State University in State College, Pa.

FAMILY Husband, three daughters

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Cedar Lane Early Childhood Center

NAME Tanya Belitskus

SUBJECT Kindergarten

YEARS AT SCHOOL 1

YEARS IN DISTRICT 4

YEARS TEACHING 4

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP None

MEMBERSHIPS Former TECC math lead teacher, Parent-Teacher Association liaison, Learning Focused Strategies trainer

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in elementary and kindergarten education from Penn State University in State College, Pa.

FAMILY Husband, two daughters

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Spring Meadow Early Childhood Center

NAME Tracy Calhoun

SUBJECT Kindergarten inclusion

YEARS AT SCHOOL 2

YEARS IN DISTRICT 13

YEARS TEACHING 13

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP Old State Elementary school play volunteer

MEMBERSHIPS SMECC science lead teacher, Parent-Teacher Association liaison, Professional Learning Communities lead teacher

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and special education from University of Delaware; master’s degree in education from University of Delaware

FAMILY Husband, two children

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Townsend Early Childhood Center

NAME Daryl Zarzycki

SUBJECT Kindergarten reading specialist

YEARS AT SCHOOL 6

YEARS IN DISTRICT 6

YEARS TEACHING 25

EXTRACURRICULAR LEADERSHIP ELA Curriculum Nights

MEMBERSHIPS TECC ELA lead teacher

EDUCATION Bachelors’ degrees in elementary education and special education from University of Delaware; master’s degree in instruction and reading specialist certification from Wilmington University

FAMILY Husband, three children, six grandchildren