Recently, two teachers were recognized for excellence in their teaching fields. Katie Marianiello was named Health Teacher of the Year by the Delaware Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (DAHPERD) and Stacy Walls Bartkowski was named 2016 Geography Teacher Fellow by the American Geographical Society (AGS).

Health Educator of the Year

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Katie Marianiello, health and physical education teacher in the Jr./Sr. High School, was an original pilot teacher for Nemours “Navigating the Health Care System” unit of instruction for teens. Nemours’ KidsHealth.org identified ‘Helping teens take charge of their health care’ as the number one kids’ health issue to watch. There is a lack of research regarding how to appropriately help youth transition to adult-focused care. The health unit was tested in 14 Delaware high schools with the goal of encouraging students to be their own health care advocates while building the necessary skills to navigate the health care system. It teaches adolescents the importance of having a health care provider, being aware of personal and family medical history, understanding symptoms, medications, vaccines, health insurance, and using self-advocacy skills to navigate a doctor’s appointment.

Mrs. Marianiello was named to the program’s Advisory Board. “I understood the importance of the information that was being delivered, but it was not engaging for our students,” she said. “Nemours was conducting research on the effectiveness of this program, so I could not change the way it was delivered because they were collecting initial data.”

During the 2015-2016 academic year, Katie received the go-ahead from Nemours to change the delivery of the health unit. She presented the revised version to Nemours employees and saw great success with her own students. Since then, Katie has turned the curriculum into a more robust unit by redeveloping the PowerPoints, activities, teacher’s guide and videos for the entire unit. “The activities I created took health care concepts and made them real life examples students could relate to as well as connect it to the Common Core State Standards,” said Katie.

This redesigned unit is currently being shared in Delaware with high school health teachers who have previously taught this unit at Brandywine, Mt. Pleasant and Hodgson. In addition, eight high schools will begin teaching the new health unit this year: Newark Charter School, St. George’s, A.I. DuPont, William Penn, Laurel, Woodbridge, Concord and DelCastle. The unit will also be taught in high schools in Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas and California later this year.

In October, Mrs. Marianiello received the Health Teacher of the Year award. She was also recognized by the Delaware Charter Schools Network with the Innovation Award for being “a visionary for significant educational improvements, while inspiring others, sharing ideas and helping to sustain awareness.”

2016 Geography Teacher Fellow

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Stacy Walls Bartkowski was named a 2016 Geography Teacher Fellow by the American Geographical Society (AGS). Ms. Bartkowski teaches 9th grade history and Advanced Placement Human Geography in the high school. She is one of 50 teachers selected from across the country to participate in this first year of the program. As part of the award for being selected as a Teacher Fellow, she will attend the AGS Fall Symposium at Columbia University in New York City. The Symposium will enable the Teacher Fellows to gain valuable content knowledge and awareness of the real-world geographic workplace skills demanded by today’s geospatial companies. The Teacher Fellows will have a unique opportunity to interact with, and become one of, the nation’s thought-leaders who are involved in the multi-year dialog about the future of geography. “We are very pleased to be able to have Stacy among 50 of the best teachers in the country join us in New York City,” said Dr. John Konarski, CEO of the American Geographical Society.  Established in 1851, the AGS is the oldest professional geographical/geospatial organization in the United States.