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District News - May 10, 2022

Caesar Rodney School District Announces 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year

Michele (Missy) Snyder, a second grade math teacher at Major George S. Welch Elementary School, has been selected as the 2022-2023 Caesar Rodney School District Teacher of the Year.  By being chosen as the District winner Mrs. Snyder is eligible for the State Teacher of the Year award that will be announced in the fall by the Delaware Department of Education.   


The announcement was made on Thursday, May 5, by District Superintendent Dr. Christine Alois and Director of Curriculum & Instruction Tara Faircloth, in a surprise visit to Mrs. Snyder and her students at Welch Elementary.  The District’s overall Teacher of the Year is selected from a group of 14 candidates, one from every school in the district. 


“Missy is a caring and thoughtful teacher to her students and a respected mentor and friend to so many of her colleagues.  Major George S. Welch Elementary is blessed to have such a strong advocate for educational success,” explained District Superintendent Dr. Christine Alois.  “She works every day to address the needs of her students, so they are prepared for success well after they leave her classroom.”


Mrs. Snyder has been a math teacher at Major George S. Welch Elementary since 2014.  She realized her passion to become a teacher while working in a school library. Pursuing her dream to become an educator she graduated from Penn State University - Harrisburg (B.A. Elementary Education) in the spring of 2014, and followed with a 2018 Master’s Degree in Applied Technology in Education from Wilmington University.  Among her many achievements, Missy was recently selected as a state finalist for the 2022 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She has also been a presenter at the District T3 Technology Conference for the past 7 years, is currently a mentor for the High School Student Peer Teaching Program and serves as the Lead Building Mentor for the Welch Elementary Comprehensive Induction Program (CIP). 

“Missy is a master teacher who spends countless hours planning her lessons to ensure student success.  She always makes sure to incorporate technology into the lesson for students to benefit. She is enthusiastic, encouraging, and purposeful,” Major George Welch Elementary Principal Jason Payne said.  “Because of her dynamic teaching and classroom atmosphere, she is a natural leader in our school.”


Choosing the district’s teacher of the year is a multi-step process. First, students, teachers, parents and administrators at each school building make recommendations. Then, building teachers vote for the top candidates. Those nominees develop portfolios that are then reviewed and scored by a committee of parents, teachers and students from each school. From that process, one teacher in each building emerges as a candidate.


Each candidate makes a more in-depth portfolio, including educational history and professional development, awards and recognition, philosophy of teaching, community service and letters of support. Administrators, school board members, teachers, parents and students then independently read and score them.


Teams consisting of the district superintendent, principals, teachers and parents then conduct classroom observations and interviews with the finalists. Each team member awards an overall score for each candidate. After a discussion and review of all scores, the district’s teacher of the year is selected.