Delaware 2017 Teacher of the Year Wendy Turner, joined by the state’s 2017 District and Charter Teachers of the Year, addressed legislators in both chambers March 21 after lawmakers passed a concurrent resolution honoring the educators.

The resolution sponsors were Rep. Earl Jaques, D-Glasgow; and Sen. David Sokola, D-Newark, who chair the House and Senate’s respective education committees.

In her address, Turner, a second-grade teacher at Brandywine School District’s Mount Pleasant Elementary School, talked to lawmakers about the importance of educating the whole child.

“We do it by attending to students’ emotional, physical and intellectual development,” Turner said. “What good is mastery of academic content, skills and standards if students do not have the vehicle to take it forth out in the world to make a difference, using compassion and empathy to build relationships and succeed?”

Turner advocated for support of the Compassionate Schools framework, which is being used in some Delaware schools.

“The program implements compassionate and effective restorative practices in discipline, trains and supports staff on trauma and learning and weaves compassionate strategies into school improvement planning,” Turner said.

The program also trains and supports staff in regards to trauma and learning, restorative practices and teacher self-care, Turner said. “So by committing to this work, we will commit to teachers as well.”

The 2017 Delaware District/Charter Teachers of the Year are:

— Olivia A. Suchanec, Appoquinimink School District’s Everett Meredith Middle School, grade six social studies.

— Wendy Turner, Brandywine School District’s Mount Pleasant Elementary School, grade two.

— Melissa Rapp, Caesar Rodney School District’s Caesar Rodney High School, grade nine history.

— Melissa Dawson, Cape Henlopen School District’s Rehoboth Elementary School, grade one.

— Michele Johnson, Capital School District’s Towne Point Elementary, gifted and talented program/library media specialist.

— Kristin E. Roberts, Christina School District’s Bancroft Elementary School, grades K-2 special education English language arts and mathematics.

— Sarah Bateman, Colonial School District’s New Castle Elementary School, grade three.

— Kristen Jones, Delmar School District’s Delmar Middle School, grades five-eight business education.

— Melissa L. Grise, Indian River School District’s John M. Clayton Elementary, grade four.

— Heather M. Melvin, Lake Forest School District’s Lake Forest North Elementary, grade one.

— Emily Edmonds-Eveland, Las Americas ASPIRA Academy Charter School, grade four.

— Erin Brennan, Laurel School District’s North Laurel Elementary School, grade two.

— Julie A. Hickman, Milford School District’s Mispillion Elementary, grade five.

— Jermaine Anthony Williams, New Castle County Vo-Tech School District’s St. Georges Technical High School, culinary arts/co-op coordinator.

— Dennis J. Haley, POLYTECH School District’s POLYTECH High School, grades nine through 12 computer engineering technology.

— Holly M. Golder, Red Clay Consolidated School District’s Cab Calloway School of the Arts, grades eight, 12 social studies.

— Nikki Bean, Seaford School District’s Blades Elementary School, grade one.

— Jennifer McCutchan, Smyrna School District’s Smyrna Middle School, grades seven-eight music.

— Vincent James Colombo, Sussex Technical School District’s Sussex Technical High School, grades nine and 10 physical science and biology.

— James R. Weiler, Woodbridge School District’s Woodbridge High School, grades nine, 11 English language arts.

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