Dover, Del. - October 25, 2005 Garrett Walton Lydic, a Physical Education teacher in grades 2-4 at North Laurel Elementary School in Laurel has been chosen as Delaware's Teacher of the Year for 2006. His selection marks the first time a teacher has been chosen from the Laurel School District. Mr. Lydic becomes the forty-second Teacher of the Year since Delaware's recognition program began in 1965.
As Lieutenant Governor John C. Carney, Jr. announced Lydic as Delaware's "top teacher," 415 guests at the Sheraton Inn and Conference Center in Dover, including educators, administrators, legislators, former State Teachers of the Year and business leaders, provided a standing ovation for Delaware's newest Teacher of the Year who has nine years of teaching experience including the last five years in Laurel.
In an earlier letter to the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, Cristy L. Greaves, Ed.D., Principal at North Laurel Elementary School, strongly supported Lydic as her choice for Teacher of the Year. "He is one of the most highly disciplined, professional and energetic people I have ever known. Throughout his tenure at North Laurel Elementary, he has proven to be a dedicated, enthusiastic and highly effective teacher." Added Greaves, "He takes his job very seriously and is totally dedicated to his students as well as his content area, doing whatever it takes to ensure their success in all aspects of their educational experience, especially in the area of physical fitness and achieving a healthy lifestyle."
In 1992, Lydic received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Service Administration from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Three years later, in 1995, he received a Master of Science degree in Health and Fitness Promotion, also from James Madison. In 1996, Lydic became an adjunct instructor in the Kinesiology and Human Anatomy Department at Madison. In 2000, he received a Master of Arts in Teaching at Salisbury State University in Salisbury, Maryland. One year later, in 2001, Lydic began teaching in the Laurel School District, first at Paul Lawrence Dunbar Elementary School then at North Laurel Elementary School.
Garrett has been extremely active in improving the quality of education in Delaware. He is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations; International Association of Approved Basketball Officials; American Heart Association Volunteer Coordinator of "Jump Rope for Heart;" the Laurel Education Association and National Education Association. He also serves as member of the school improvement and building leadership teams; and is a cooperating teacher for three Salisbury University student teachers.
The newly-selected Teacher of the Year is also an active member of the community. Lydic has organized several community events including the Lieutenant Governor's Fitness Challenge which includes health and physical fitness initiatives. He has been involved in Adopt-A-Family; PTA; Delaware's "Get Up and Do Something" media ad campaign; Little League; basketball officiating; annual Field Days; Lion's Club Hoops Contest; and other activities to provide contributions towards local student scholarships. The importance of community involvement is stressed by Lydic in his Teacher of the Year portfolio. "I believe that it is only when we give to others, whether in education or in our neighborhoods, that we are able to fully realize and appreciate what is within ourselves. Community involvement is a critical component of every society." Added Lydic, "It is especially necessary that we see beyond our own lives and into the lives and conditions of others; therefore, we have the enormous opportunity and responsibility to model this dedication for each child who enters our classroom."
When recently asked about why he wanted to be a teacher, Lydic stated, "I chose to be a teacher because I want to inspire the world. While I realize what I am able to accomplish may be limited in scope, I am confident that education is where I can have the greatest impact." Added Lydic, "I believe that each individual student who becomes a life-long learner will also become a leader in his/her community and will insist that community schools emphasize the nurturing of mental and physical attributes, coupled with academic growth of all learners."
The process of selecting Delaware's Teacher of the Year is very demanding and is designed to find that teacher who is most representative of the entire teaching profession. Through in-class observations, portfolio reviews and consideration of finalists by a representative panel, the process finds that one person who will become this year's Teacher of the Year for Delaware.
Delaware's new Teacher of the Year now inherits an enormous task from outgoing Teacher of the Year Kathi Thomas by representing all teachers in Delaware. Lydic will address community groups, business leaders, legislators, and educational organizations in an effort to inform the public about the status of Delaware schools. He will also become Delaware's entrant in the national program presented by ING Foundation which is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers and sponsored by Scholastic, Inc.
By action of the General Assembly, Lydic will receive a $5,000 grant to use for the educational benefit of his students, as well two personal grants totaling an additional $5,000. The remaining 18 school district candidates will each receive a personal grant of $2,000.
Lydic will also receive an educational technology package valued at approximately $17,000 from the SMARTer Kids Foundation. The package includes a SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard, floor stand and software; an NEC VT465 portable projector from NEC Solutions America; creative-learning software from Immersive Education; and a 32-pad Classroom Performance System from eInstruction Corporation.
The new Teacher of the Year will also receive a Dell laptop computer; an interactive "Whiteboard" from Peripheral Vision, LLC., a $1,000 grant for educational/classroom use from Harcourt Assessment, Inc.; grants from the Delaware State Education Association, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and Delaware Professional Standards Board; a State of Delaware Teacher of the Year license plate from the Division of Motor Vehicles; free graduate-level courses from Delaware's higher education institutions; a gold watch from the Delaware State Teachers of the Year Association and lunch in the Senate Dining room in Washington D.C. with Senator Thomas R. Carper.
Other organizations that made presentations to the newly-selected Teacher of the Year include: the Delaware Chief School Officers Association; Delaware Association of School Administrators; Delaware School Boards Association; University of Delaware; Delaware State University; Wesley College; Delaware Technical and Community College; Delaware Association of Student Councils; and the Future Educators of America.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
Other Press Releases