Cape Henlopen school district's elite eight teachers exemplify the best of what the district has to offer.
Teacher of the Year winners represent each of the district's eight school buildings and will now compete for the district Teacher of the Year title. Then it's on to the state Teacher of the Year competition in the fall.
"The Cape Henlopen School District is extremely proud of each of our building teachers of the year. These outstanding educators represent what is best about our district: quality people dedicated to our students and to the teaching profession," said Cape Superintendent Robert Fulton.
A selection committee has interviewed and observed each of the eight candidates and the winner will be chosen Tuesday, May 14, during a dinner honoring the nominees.
This year's finalists are:
M. Andrea Elling is a teacher with the Sussex Consortium. She earned a bachelor's degree in school psychology from Sabana University in Columbia and master's degrees in both elementary special education and school counseling from Wilmington University. Elling has been a teacher with the consortium since 2009; she also teaches Spanish at Wilmington University. Before coming to Cape, Elling worked at Early Choices, North Georgetown Elementary, Howard T. Ennis, Child Development Watch and Parents as Teachers.
Lisa Cruig is a first-grade teacher at Rehoboth Elementary School. She earned a bachelor's degree in early education with a specialty in psychology in 1992. She began teaching at RES in 2006 as a kindergarten teacher. She also worked at Kids Cottage and for schools in Virginia.
Nicole Hughes is an eighth-grade English teacher at Beacon Middle School. She earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education at Michigan State University and a master's degree from Salisbury State University. She has been at Beacon Middle since 2005 when she was hired as a sixth-grade language arts and social studies teacher. She began teaching eighth-grade in 2007. Hughes also was Henlopen Conference Field Hockey Coach of the Year from 2008 to 2012.
Marybeth Peet is a fourth-grade teacher at Shields Elementary School. She earned an elementary and special education degree from Misericordia University and a master's degree from Wilmington University in school leadership and administration. She has worked as a language arts, science and social studies teacher for Shields since 2010. She previously worked for the Sussex Consortium, starting in 2007.
Allison Peet is a fifth-grade teacher at Milton Elementary School. She earned a bachelor's degree in education from Salisbury University where she also was certified for kindergarten to eighth-grade regular education and earned highly qualified elementary generalist honor. She has been teaching at Milton Elementary since 2005.
Kathy Lynch is a physical education teacher at H.O. Brittingham Elementary. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in special education from Delaware State University. She began working for the Cape Henlopen School District in 1993 when she was hired to teach physical education and special education at Milton Middle School. She moved to HOB in 2004 when a physical education job opened there. "I have to confess I thought that teaching physical education to younger children would be a piece of cake," she said. " I soon found out that there were challenges to overcome."
Margaret McDaniel is a sixth-grade science teacher at Mariner Middle School. She earned a bachelor's in English and media communications from High Point University and later a master's in elementary studies from Wilmington College. She has been at Mariner Middle since 2009. Before that, she worked at Milford Middle School from 2000 to 2009 teaching science, social studies and math. She is advisor for the Mariner Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society.
Eileen Springfield is an English teacher at Cape Henlopen High School. She earned a bachelor's in communication from Rowan State University and a master's in school leadership from Wilmington University. She has worked at Cape High since 2003; before that she worked three years at Burlington County Regional High School in New Jersey.
"Every day is a new challenge to learn something new for my students as well as myself," she said. "I take every opportunity to learn new information and apply it in the classroom."