For 2023 Cape Henlopen School District Teacher of the Year Dr. Rony Flechier, some of the most important lessons for students don’t involve his subject area of mathematics.
On the first day of school, he works to build a connection with students. Flechier tells them everyone is human, and sometimes kids just don’t want to get up and go to school.
“I tell them they have to make an effort,” he said. “Make an effort, and you’ll get something out of it. You must grow every time you come here, and if not, you must question the purpose of being here. You can’t walk out the same way you walked in.”
Math can be intimidating for students, Flechier said, so it’s important they know that hard work and effort can help them succeed. This year, he said he initiated a Math Fair so juniors and seniors could take ownership of their studies, reduce their fears and apply their learning to real-life situations to present to the school.
“When freshmen and sophomores see them apply math, it sends a message that you can do it, too, and this is what’s expected of you when you reach that level,” he said. “I’d like it to become a tradition.”
Flechier joined Cape High in 2018 after Principal Nikki Miller successfully recruited him from Seaford High, where she previously worked with him and where he was twice named teacher of the year during his 10 years there.
“Nikki allows you to grow as a person to the benefit of the students,” he said.
Miller said she had the pleasure of working with Flechier as a teacher and later as a supervisor within the Seaford School District.
“When I came to Cape, every year we had an opening in math I’d ask him to consider applying; then finally one day he did!” Miller said. “I’ve always known him not only as a wonderful teacher, but a kind and hardworking professional. I’m so proud of all he has accomplished, and I look forward to all he has ahead of him. I have no doubt he would be a wonderful representation not only for Cape’s teacher of the year but for the state of Delaware.”
At Cape, Flechier said, he is very pleased to serve students and partner with their parents, who are actively involved in their children’s education.
“Parent involvement is always welcome,” he said. “I really enjoy that aspect. You can’t accomplish much without strong parent support.”
Flechier said he was especially gratified to hear from parents when children were attending school remotely and their parents were working from home as well.
“Kind notes from parents pump you up and make you want to do even more for the kids,” he said.
Students in his precalculus and calculus AB & BC classes exhibit a strong thirst for knowledge, Flechier said.
“They don’t waste any time, and I appreciate that a lot,” he said. “Students want to learn. As a teacher, that’s very encouraging.”
Outside the classroom, Flechier serves as Cape High junior varsity boys’ soccer head coach. With the implementation of a freshman team this year, he said he expects a strong varsity team in the next couple years.
“I’ve been a soccer player all my life,” he said. “I enjoy being on the field.”
Flechier also assists with the Science Olympiad and recently took students to Salisbury University to take part in a high school math competition. He’s also scheduled to serve as a judge to help select next year’s leaders in the JROTC program.
Originally from Haiti, Flechier began teaching 19 years ago as an adjunct professor at the University of Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada, while also working as an industrial engineer.
Flechier earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Quisqueya University in Haiti, his master’s degree in industrial engineering from University of Moncton, and his doctorate in educational leadership with a specialization in educational technology from University of Phoenix.
The 2023 state teacher of the year will be named by the Delaware Department of Education this fall.