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31 educators, college students join department as summer fellows

The Delaware Department of Education recently welcomed 31 summer fellows. All are promising future leaders and current educators who have a passion for education and want to gain hands-on exposure to policy work.


Fellows are charged with important projects critical to Delaware’s policy agenda. They also are participating in weekly leadership development and speaker series sessions with Delaware leaders in state government and non-profit organizations.  These sessions are intended to develop them as leaders and provide context on education issues of national importance. The fellowships will culminate in a presentation of their work and policy recommendations to department staff and leadership.


“I am excited to have the fellows working with us this summer. They bring deep and diverse backgrounds in education as well as other fields that will help inform and shape our work,” Secretary of Education Steve Godowsky said. “Having the expertise of current college students, recent graduates and current educators will contribute to a broader perspective that will strengthen our policy decisions.”


The fellows and their projects are:


·         Chantalle Ashford, chorus/English language arts/special education teacher at Indian River School District’s Indian River High School, strategies to increase the diversity of Delaware’s educator workforce

·         Jalisha Braxton, recent Princeton University psychology graduate, teacher and leader effectiveness data analytics

·         Nicole Bowe, early childhood education career instructor at New Castle County Vo-Tech’s St. Georges Technical High School, career technical education program of study for early childhood education

·         Zoe Callaway, University of Delaware history education student, blended learning training for the department’s human resource office

·         Amanda Chas, theatre/English teacher at Appoquinimink School District’s Middletown High School, establishing systems for recognizing exceptional novice educators

·         Zoe Collins, University of Delaware English education student, analyzing arts education standards

·         Terresa Dawson, Education Pioneers, charter school office project support

·         Thomas Dean, music and career and technical education teacher at Brandywine School District’s Mount Pleasant High School, open educational resource sharing in Schoology

·         Kevin DiCostanzo, social studies teacher at Milford School District’s Milford High School, school leader assessment research

·         Jordan Hudson, allied health teacher at Colonial School District’s William Penn High School, paid internship programs for post-secondary students

·         Lars Jensen, recent University of Delaware chemistry graduate and ARTC (Alternative Route to Certification) candidate, education funding research and analysis

·         Allison Joswick, elementary education student at Wilmington University, policy scan and recommendations for year-long teacher residencies

·         Deborah Long, social studies teacher at Sussex Technical School District’s Sussex Technical High School, ethics course implementation for comprehensive induction program

·         Mary Jane Long, art teacher at Capital School District’s Fairview and Hartly elementary schools, communications for the future of professional learning

·         Lindsay Luzier, previously fourth grade teacher at Indian River School District’s North Georgetown Elementary, Professional Standards Board regulation database

·         Anne Matthews, Education Pioneers, superintendent/school leader evaluation

·         Stephanie Morrison, special education teacher at Caesar Rodney School District’s Chartlon School, examining health and non-academic curriculum materials

·         Haley Clayton Moyer, English education student at Delaware State University, web site development for higher education approval

·         Julia Murphy, Boston College student, online learning library for higher education

·         Wendy Muth, art teacher at Christina School District’s Brookside Elementary, ESSA engagement

·         Michelle Ness, school health program coordinator for Cecil County (Md.) Public Schools, supporting healthy students through chronic disease management

·         Amanda Rees, recent Indiana University of Pennsylvania education graduate, Common Core math analysis and supports for English language learners

·         Pialee Roy, University of Delaware urban affairs and public policy doctoral candidate, innovative approaches in early learning workforce compensation and retention

·         Teresa Rush, reading specialist and English teacher at POLYTECH School District’s POLYTECH High School, articulating Delaware’s vision for professional learning

·         Sarah Sacksteder, social studies and special education teacher at POLYTECH School District’s POLYTECH High School, Professional Standards Board regulation database

·         Holly Schnittger, Italian teacher at Red Clay Consolidated School District’s McKean High School, communications for refreshed world-readiness standards for learning languages

·         Kelly Sipple, business education teacher at Lake Forest School District’s W.T. Chipman Middle School, professional learning for Business Professionals of America

·         Kathleen Swierzbinksi, English language arts teacher at Caesar Rodney School District’s Caesar Rodney School District, professional learning for career technical education teacher academy

·         Elizabeth Trachtman, political science and history student at University of South Carolina, establishing program standards and processes

·         Violet Wanta, Education Pioneers, State Board of Education policy audit

·         Michael Williams, math and AVID teacher at Indian River School District’s Georgetown Middle School, strategies for attracting and retaining exceptional educators for critical need subject areas


Find photos and more information about the fellows here.



About the programs


The fellows join the department through three programs, two department-led and one with national placements:


The Delaware Future Education Leaders Program was developed specifically for current students and recent graduates as they explore careers in education and seek exposure to state government.  Individuals from all programs of study were encouraged to apply.   


Educators as Catalysts Program was developed specifically for current Delaware teachers and specialists (of any experience level) who seek exposure to the education policy processes that impact their schools and classrooms.   


Education Pioneers is a national program that “recruits, develops and connects professionals from diverse backgrounds to solve problems from outside of the classroom so students and teachers succeed inside of the classroom.” Three Education Pioneer fellows are working at the department this summer.

Alison May
(302) 735-4006