Spotlight on Teacher Leaders

Spotlight on Teacher Leaders
Posted on 02/18/2016

By Carrie Sterrs, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs and Coordinator of the Teacher of the Year Program

Every year, the Worcester County Teacher of the Year (TOY) program adopts a relevant theme which reflects what exceptional teachers are thinking about and doing. The 2016 theme is New Horizons.

The field of education is an ever evolving, changing tide, and as the steward of a child’s education, educators must learn how to adapt and navigate each ebb and flow all the while keeping a steady eye on the horizon, or the end goals for each student. In preparing the students of Worcester County for their futures, our teachers are implementing new tools and strategies to help their students reach their desired destinations – whether it is higher education or successfully entering the workforce.   

Our Teacher of the Year program recognizes teachers who use innovative and original approaches as they help their students traverse a vast ocean of knowledge. These exceptional teachers inspire not only their colleagues but have left a remarkable impression on their school and their communities as well. The fourteen candidates for 2016, one from each school, have been selected through a nomination process that began in November. During a celebratory banquet in early April, one candidate will be named as the 2016 Worcester County TOY.

Candidates will be introduced in the Worcester County Times by region. This week, candidates are featured from our Pocomoke area schools:

Dr. Aimee Bergonia is currently in her third year teaching English at Pocomoke High School, however she has eighteen years of experience in compulsory to higher education. She recently graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where she earned an Ed.D in educational leadership.  Aimee’s love of leading and learning is the foundation for her creative classroom.  She strives to ignite a love of words in her students using art, music and poetry to construct successful experiences for all. Aimee is a mentor teacher, an afterschool and summer academy teacher, and a member of the National Portrait Gallery Teacher Advisory Board. 

At Pocomoke Middle School, sixth grade math teacher Undrea Blake is in her ninth year of teaching. A graduate of Salisbury University, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education and is currently completing her Doctorate degree from the University of Phoenix.  She believes that students’ circumstances do not define their future but rather through perseverance and attitude. Blake instills hope, confidence and perseverance in all her students through positive relationships and high expectations.  Blake is a mentor and a head coach for SHHS girls’ basketball. When Blake isn’t coaching basketball, she is mentoring students to help them become the best person they can be.

Staci Stonnell earned Bachelor degrees from Salisbury University in early childhood education, elementary education, and is certified in special education. She earned a Master’s of Education in School Counseling from Wilmington University. In her seventh year in WCPS, Stonnell has taught high school, second grade, and currently teaches Kindergarten at Pocomoke Elementary School.  Stonnell is an active member of numerous school committees, leadership teams, a leader teacher and mentor.  An early childhood advocate, her passion for teaching extends beyond content. With building relationships and guiding young children to believe in themselves, Stonnell believes every child can grow, learn, and care.

If you have questions about our TOY program, please call me at 410-632-5092.