In front of more than 500 invited guests, Amber Augustus was named Delaware’s “top teacher.”
The fifth grade teacher from the Smyrna School District was named Delaware State Teacher of the Year for 2012 on Tuesday. Augustus teaches math, science and social studies at John Bassett Moore Intermediate School, where she began her teaching career in 2005.
“I cannot control the lives of my students outside of my classroom,” Augustus said. “However, when they are with me they know they are with an adult who cares about their well-being and success. I encourage them when they are struggling, identify areas in which they can direct their efforts to improve, and celebrate with them when they make progress.”
And it’s that nurturing environment that John Bassett Moore’s Principal says earned Augustus the accolade.
“While Mrs. Augustus is an amazing instructor, her talents lie in her ability to connect with her students by cultivating a learning environment that is warm and welcoming,” said Elyse Baerga, John Bassett Moore’s Principal. “Each time you enter her classroom you witness students engaged, participating, sharing and excited about learning.”
Stephanie Bowser is the mom of two of Augustus’ former students.
“Not only is Mrs. Augustus concerned about her students’ academic progress, she also has regard for them as individuals,” Bowser stated. “While others may see a child as ‘challenging,’ Mrs. Augustus recognizes the positive aspects of different points of view.”
As Delaware’s Teacher of the Year, Augustus inherits the responsibility of representing all teachers in Delaware. Her duties include addressing community groups, business leaders, lawmakers and educational organizations to inform them about where Delaware schools stand.
Along with the honor, Augustus will receive $10-thousand in grants, an educational technology package valued at about $18-thousand from SMART Technologies and other prizes. She will also represent the state as she vies for national recognition.