Rodel Teacher Council

The 2017-18 class of the Rodel Teacher Council, composed of 22 exemplary teachers from throughout Delaware, is officially underway. Members represent all three counties, a variety of grade levels and subject areas, and bring a broad cross-section of leadership perspectives. In all, the council members boast over 369 years of combined teaching experience. The 2017-18 Rodel Teacher Council Members are:

Stephanie Alexander, Southern Elementary, Colonial School District
*Sherlynn Aurelio, Harry O. Eisenberg Elementary School, Colonial School District
*Kate Bowski, Milton Elementary School, Cape Henlopen School District
*Tim Brewer,* Hodgson Vocational Technical High School, New Castle County Vo-Tech School District
*Lyndsey Cook, Kent County Community School, Capital School District
Stephanie Diggins, William Penn High School, Colonial School District
*Karen Eller, Stubbs Elementary School, Christina School District
*Robyn Howton, Mount Pleasant High school, Brandywine School District
Lindsay Hudson-Hubbs, Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center, Woodbridge School District
*Jessica Inskeep, Forest Oak Elementary School, Red Clay Consolidated School District
*Cheryl Jones, First State Montessori Academy
Kevin Lair, Freire Charter School of Wilmington
*Jared Lelito, Fred Fifer III Middle School, Caesar Rodney School District
*Joyce Lester, Bayard Middle School, Christina School District
*Lisa Mims, Pleasantville Elementary School, Colonial School District
Kendra Rosner-Moritz, John S. Charlton School Program, Caesar Rodney School District
*Kimberly Neal, Brandywine High School, Brandywine School District
*Lori Nichols, Brandywine Springs School, Red Clay Consolidated School District
Michael Paoli, Hodgson Vocational Technical High School, New Castle County Vocational Technical School District

*- Returning member

Read the members full biographies here.

Teacher Council Members, All Delaware Colleges Advance Competency-Based Learning

Admissions offices from all of Delaware’s six colleges and universities agree to accept competency-based transcripts as part of an application to their institution, according to the Rodel Teacher Council.

Competency-based learning (CBL), a model that several Delaware schools have already adopted, ties a student’s advancement through school to demonstrated proficiency in certain areas, rather than an average grade covering a range of topics. For more details on CBL, check out these FAQs.

Despite its growth, CBL marks a drastic shift away from the commonly accepted A-through-F grade averages and transcripts—something that may cause anxiety for parents, students, and educators, who worry colleges might not accept a competency-based transcript.

In response, representatives from every single Delaware college and university stated they would not disadvantage a student with a competency-based, proficiency-based, or standardsbased transcript, as long as they meet admission requirements. More than 70 colleges nationally have made similar statements. For more, check out this press release and statements from all Delaware colleges.

After 27 years in the classroom, I believe grades should reflect what a student knows and can do in relationship to the concepts being taught in my class. Traditional grades make it difficult for me to indicate a student’s true academic achievement.Robyn Howton, English teacher, Mount Pleasant High School

Rodel Teacher Council releases Educators Speak Up: Social and Emotional Learning in Delaware

Nine out of 10 Delaware educators agree that social and emotional learning (SEL) is critical to student success and should be emphasized more in school, according to the results of a survey conducted by members of the Rodel Teacher Council.

This week the council released Educators Speak Up: Social and Emotional Learning in Delaware, a brief that reveals findings from a survey of more than 200 educators, representing pre-k through 12th grade, novice and veteran educators, from every school district in Delaware, including vo-tech and charter schools. The survey results include:

  • Educators believe SEL improve students’ academic success, engagement, and behavior
  • 97 percent of educators want more training on best practices in SEL, with 51 percent indicating they were “very interested”
  • More than 40 SEL initiatives are happening in Delaware schools, without strong coordination or an understanding of what’s working

Click here to read Educators Speak Up: Social and Emotional Learning in Delaware. And click here to dive into more SEL resources from Delaware and beyond.

Six Teacher Council Members Launch ESSA Principles

Continuing in their tradition of impacting local and national education policy conversations, six members of the Rodel Teacher Council has released the Every Student Succeeds Act Recommendations and Guiding Principles for Policymakers.

Rodel Teacher Council Policy Briefs Released

rodelbrief_student-centered-lsf-1Members of the Rodel Teacher Council released a series of education policy briefs and recommendations they hope will inform our state’s policymakers and elected officials.

The four policy briefs delve into a variety of topics relating to personalized learning—an approach that utilizes technology and other strategies to address students’ individual needs and maximize their strengths.

They include:

About The Rodel Teacher Council

The first Rodel Teacher Council was convened by the Rodel Foundation of Delaware in 2013 to elevate the voices of teachers, represent the diversity of the teaching force in Delaware schools, provide a venue for teachers to weigh in on important issues affecting their work, and help set the course for education improvement in Delaware.

The council is a group of teacher leaders dedicated to finding solutions, improving their craft, and leveraging their voices for the benefit of their students.


Blueprint for Personalized Learning in Delaware


In October 2014, the Rodel Teacher Council published the Blueprint for Personalized Learning in Delaware, which identifies state and local policy improvements that would enable personalized learning. The document is one of the first examples of educators developing policy recommendations for personalized learning in the nation. So far, the Blueprint site has garnered over 3,500 page views from all over Delaware and the country, and as far away as Russia and Australia.

From our Alumni:

The Rodel Teacher Council was valuable because it was a chance to have important conversations with teacher colleagues from all different backgrounds, grade levels, and content areas. People might have thought we wouldn’t have a lot in common, but it was a really wonderful way to get out of my classroom and connect with like-minded colleagues and contribute to the larger conversations around education in Delaware.

– Tricia Dallas, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Richardson Park Learning Center, Red Clay Consolidated School District

I really appreciated the work we did around the capstone projects: the Blueprint for Personalized Learning and the teacher workshop. We have something to look back on and say ‘We did this.’ The whole concept of having teacher input on statewide efforts to improve education was very positive and exciting to me.

– Sharon Hardnett, Secondary Mathematics Teacher, Concord High School, Brandywine School District

My experience with the Rodel Teacher Council was unique because of the opportunities to collaborate with teachers outside of my school on a variety of projects—that was the most valuable element of the program for me. I also really appreciated the opportunities to go on field trips and see things that were happening beyond the walls of my own classroom—this gave me lots of ideas for things I could do with my students and helped me to think outside-the-box about my work.

– Paul Ramirez, Assistant Head of Academics at Freire Charter School Wilmington, and former English Teacher and English Chair at Howard High School of Technology

I really appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers who were so driven and dedicated to improving their craft, as well as the dedication to improving students’ experiences and outcomes. The Rodel Teacher Council was a great professional development opportunity and I highly recommend it to colleagues.

– Kacie Versaci, 8th Grade Math and Upper School Chair, Prestige Academy Charter School

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