Lewes Elementary paraeducator Brittany Hoeller has been named the Cape Henlopen School District Educational Support Person of the Year.
Now in her third year at Lewes Elementary, Hoeller said she wears many hats in her role supporting the school reading specialist. One day she may pull students who need extra support into a small reading group, while other days she’s busy assisting students in the classroom.
Hoeller also serves as the Lewes Elementary mentor coordinator, matching community volunteers with children who need positive adult role models. One rewarding aspect of this role is watching students and mentors come together at the end-of-year ice cream social.
Among her favorite things about working in the school is the camaraderie formed by getting to know her coworkers on a personal level.
Before joining Cape, Hoeller was the childcare coordinator and preschool teacher for the ESL School at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Rehoboth.
“I have had many preschool students there that I taught English to and now are here at Lewes Elementary School and thriving,” she said.
Hoeller has deep roots in Lewes; in fact, during the 1950s, her grandfather John Evans taught sixth grade at the Lewes school, in the same classroom where her second-grade daughter now has class. Her father graduated from Cape in 1970 and her mother graduated in 1971.
Hoeller also previously taught preschool at Rehoboth Cooperative, Kids Cottage and Bethel Christian School, and taught parenting education courses through Children & Families First.
“Watching these kids grow up before my eyes is rewarding and exciting,” she said.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Wilmington University and is certified through the state as a curriculum coordinator and early childhood teacher.
Hoeller lives in Lewes with her husband Rob Fuller and children Vivian Hoeller, second grade, and Abigail Hoeller, a Mariner Middle seventh-grader.
In addition to Hoeller, ESPY recipients for each district building include Nicole Dispoto, Sussex Consortium; Terry Hazzard, Mariner Middle; Carrie Lewis, Cape High; Lisa McGough, H.O. Brittingham Elementary; Terrance Slayton, Beacon Middle; and Cuartney Tingle, Milton Elementary.
The ESPY program is administered by the Delaware Department of Education to recognize outstanding service by school employees who provide direct or indirect services to students and their families.
Employees considered for the award include paraeducators, custodial staff, secretaries, nutritional staff, IT staff, and school- and district-employed bus drivers and bus aides. One employee is selected at the building level, and from those nominees, a district winner is chosen.
Each district winner receives a $1,000 personal award from the district, and the DOE then chooses one person each year to serve as the Delaware ESPY. State winners receive an additional $1,500 personal award from DOE and $2,500 to be used for the educational benefit of their students.
The state winner is set to be announced at a Wednesday, Dec. 7 banquet in Dover, Hoeller said.