By Lynn Schofer 

Melissa Pinkerton was announced as the new Seaford School District Teacher of the Year at the 2021 district celebration of retirees, educational support professionals, and teachers of the year for each school within the district last week.

Superintendent Dr. Corey Miklus congratulated the retirees and nominees, “Sometimes you have to step back and think about the impact you have on people. Teaching is one of those professions that sometimes is overlooked but the impact that you make on families and children every day is amazing. I’d like to thank you for all your years of service.”

Seaford School District 2021-2022 Teacher of Year Melissa Pinkerton is shown with the district nominees Monika Kittell (Frederick Douglass), Alison Perdue (West Seaford), Jordan Crockett (Seaford Middle School), Susan DeFord (Central Elementary), Jennifer Brewer (Blades Elementary) and Mark Murphy, the Seaford School District Educational Support Professional of the Year. Photo by Lynn Schofer

The 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 district retirees were announced by each of the school principals and are as follows: Blades- Kathleen Cramer, Jan Griffin, Adriene Custis, Kathi Adams; Central Elementary- Laurie Phillips, Cheryl Filipiak, Norman Nichols, Laura Burke, Gwen DiCarlo; West Seaford Elementary- Debra Speicher, Karen Tull, Wallace Handy, Mamie Handy; Frederick Douglass- Sharon Parker; Seaford Middle School- Dixie Whaley, Kathy Young, James Mueller, William Misita; Seaford High School- Jeffrey Friedel, Martini Wise-Cannon, Sean Oates; Seaford District Office- Chester Cox, David Perrington, Cynthia Walsh, Ron Hulligar, Larry Hollis, and Frank Passwaters. The retirees, depending on the years of service, received a clock or rocking chair as well as a life-time athletic pass for admission into all Seaford School District home sporting events. 

In the second year of the state’s Educational Support Professional of the Year the Seaford nominees included Jessica Hunt (West Seaford), Sunday Kilgoe (Blades Elementary), Olivia Bivens (Central Elementary), Lisa Bailey (Frederick Douglass Elementary), Mark Murphy (Seaford Middle School), and Susan Massey (Seaford High School). Jason Cameron, Director of Human Resources, spoke of each nominee and said of the winner, Mark Murphy, “A dedicated employee for over 30 years who is always willing to do whatever is asked of him and does it with a smile. Mark, when not permitted to work during COVID, would come to the parking lot just to say hello and ask when he can come back to work. If you spend any time with Mark it is impossible not to have a smile on your face.” 

Murphy will represent the Seaford School District for the State Educational Support Professional of the Year award.

“Everything that we accomplished this year as a district, we did together. We lean on, rely on, and learn from each other. When we rise, we rise together,” said 2021 Teacher of Year Kathi Adams. “This school district is filled with amazing staff. We are very proud of our educational support staff and talk about being a team player and doing whatever it takes.” Adams said of the current year nominees, “They represent our district well and are top notch.”

The finalists for teacher of year included Alison Perdue-Tingle of West Seaford Elementary, Jennifer Brewer of Blades Elementary, and Melissa Pinkerton of Seaford High School. The remaining individual school teachers of the year were Susan DeFord of Central Elementary; Jordan Crockett of Seaford Middle School, and Monika Kittell of Frederick Douglass Elementary.  

Pinkerton was introduced by Jason Cameron, “Her passion and commitment to Seaford High School is unmatched. She is dedicated to ensuring all students are successful and this year her ability to adapt to current teaching stretched her far beyond the call of teaching.”  Pinkerton will go on to represent Seaford in the State of Delaware Teacher of The Year.