Collins named Caesar Rodney School District’s Teacher of the Year

Caesar Rodney School District Teacher of the Year Sabra Collins, center, a physical education teacher at Caesar Rodney High School, is joined by Caesar Rodney High School principal Dr. Sherry Kijowski and Caesar Rodney School District Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald.

CAMDEN — Sabra Collins, a physical education teacher at Caesar Rodney High School, is Caesar Rodney School District’s 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year.

“Sabra truly exemplifies the reason why Caesar Rodney is such a special place for our students. She has proven herself to be inventive and innovative in preparing the type of lessons that her students will be able to practice long after they leave her class. I am proud of her and believe that she is an outstanding representative of the type of teaching excellence found throughout the district,” Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald said.

Mrs. Collins received her Bachelor of Science in physical education and health education, Suma Cum Laude, from the Appalachian State University in 2010. She holds a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Walden University and is pursuing her Master of Education in educational administration from Lamar University.

In 2016, Mrs. Collins was named the Delaware Alliance for Health and Physical Education Recreation and Dance High School Teacher of the Year. She also was a Caesar Rodney High School Teacher of the Year nominee.

And in 2018, she was named the Society of Health and Physical Educators America Eastern District High School Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Collins has been a Caesar Rodney High School field hockey coach since 2010 and also serves as department chair for physical education.

“I have been extremely humbled by the entire Caesar Rodney Teacher of the Year experience so far, and I am overwhelmed by the amount of support my school and district have given me. I am thankful to have the distinct honor of teaching and working in the best school district in the state of Delaware,” she said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single teacher, staff member, and administrator within our Caesar Rodney School District for the outstanding work they do each and every day here in Rider Country. It is a great day to be a Rider.”

Caesar Rodney High School principal Dr. Sherry Kijowski praised Collins for her teaching excellence.

“She brings an energy and level of excitement to her classroom that is a model for all to emulate,” she said. “It is a privilege to work with her and see her lead students in the classroom, work with her colleagues in a collaborative manner, and coach young women to be the best version of themselves.”

The process for determining the district’s Teacher of the Year begins with recommendations from students, teachers, parents and administrators at each school building. Building teachers then vote to select the top five teachers.

Those nominees then 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 District Teacher of the Year candidate.

A more in-depth portfolio is then created by each candidate. It contains information including: educational history and professional development, awards and recognition, philosophy of teaching, community service, and letters of support. These portfolios are then read and scored independently by administrators, school board members, teachers, parents and students.

From this process, candidates emerge as finalists.

Teams consisting of the district superintendent, principals, teachers and parents then conduct classroom observations and interviews with the finalists.

Individually, each team member awards an overall score for each candidate. After a discussion and review of all scores, the District Teacher of the Year is selected.

Mrs. Collins will now represent Caesar Rodney School District and compete against 19 other Teacher of the Year nominees for the honor of becoming the Delaware’s Teacher of the Year. That announcement will be made by Gov. John Carney in October.

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