Cape High driver education teacher Shannon Timmons’ positive impact on students has earned her top honors in the state.
Timmons was named the 2018-19 Driver Education Teacher of the Year by Delaware Driver and Safety Education Association at an annual statewide student driving competition at Dover International Speedway May 15. “I was very surprised,” she said. “It’s always an honor to be recognized by the people you work with.”
Timmons served as the association’s president for eight years and also sits on the Governor’s Teen Driver Safety Council.
She began her career as a physical education and health teacher at Smyrna High 20 years ago. Two years later, she transitioned to driver education; three years ago, she joined Cape High, where she is head varsity softball coach and a volunteer field hockey coach. “Teaching students to drive is exactly like coaching,” she said. “I like making a difference in our community and trying to reduce teen fatalities. Learning to drive is a huge rite of passage, and I want to impact them positively.”
Timmons said legislation has helped reduce teen fatalities by increasing practice driving. Students receive 30 hours of classroom instruction. Those who meet standards and requirements are eligible for 14 hours’ experience in the car: seven hours observing a partner, and seven hours driving.
If students pass, they are eligible for a graduated driver’s license. For the first six months, students may drive at any time but must be supervised at all times by an adult. After they log 50 hours of driving time, for the next six months they can drive alone from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and drive supervised from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. “Delaware is one of only a few states to still have a comprehensive driver education funded by the state,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s life and death, and I want to help make students safe and successful drivers.”