News Release

Nicole S. Rowe
Administrative Assistant, Public Relations
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720

Wilmington University Alumna, Amber Augustus, Named Delaware Teacher of the Year

Last night, in a ceremony honoring the many great teachers that work hard in classrooms throughout the state, Governor Jack Markell announced the 2012 Delaware Teacher of the Year. Of the 20 Delaware teachers nominated (representing 9,000 public school teachers in the state) there was one that stood out among the crowd: Amber Augustus. A teacher in the John Bassett Moore Intermediate School in Smyrna, Augustus teaches math, science and social studies. She received her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Wilmington University in 2005.

In her acceptance speech Augustus said, “It's an honor to be here tonight representing Delaware's teachers...I work for a fabulous district with teachers and administrators I respect and admire. Thank you to my Smyrna family." As part of being named Delaware Teacher of the Year, Augustus will received a $5000 grant to use for “educational benefits” for her students, two personal grants (totaling $5000), and an educational technology package from SMART Technologies valued at $18,000.

Wilmington University’s President, Dr. Jack Varsalona, has also offered Augustus a full-tuition scholarship to the University to pursue her doctoral degree.

Amber Augustus became a teacher in 2005 after making a complete career change. It all began when she started following the careers of her mother- and father-in-law, both educators. “I started asking to come to their classrooms,” she wrote in her nomination packet. “Their days were fast paced and busy, yet what impressed me more was how much fun it was!”

This exchange prompted Augustus to go back to school, earning her Master’s in Elementary Education from Wilmington University. She completed her student teaching at William Henry Middle School in Dover before accepting a full-time teaching position at John Bassett Moore in 2005. Now in a profession that she is passionate about, Augustus says the people she cares most about are the little ones she sees every day: her students. “I cannot control the lives of my students outside of my classroom,” she explains. “However, when they are with me they know they are with an adult who cares about their well-being and success.”

Wilmington University’s Dean of the College of Education, Dr. John Gray, congratulated Augustus on this great accomplishment. “Amber has stated that her primary goal as an educator is ‘to teach [her] students to be problem solvers, whether through individual or group effort’,” says Dr, Gray. “And to help them become “competent, compassionate, intelligent people who are capable of finding solutions to the challenges and struggles we face as a country and in our everyday lives.”  It is obvious that she does those things very well, indeed.”

As Delaware Teacher of the Year Augustus will now represent the state as part of the national program and will compete to be named the National Teacher of the Year.

Three Wilmington University graduates have been honored as Delaware Teacher of the Year in the past six years: Joseph Masiello (2011), Mark Teesdale (2009), and Kathleen Thomas (2005). Additionally, Wilmington University graduate, Kimberly Oliver, was named National Teacher of the Year in 2006.

Wilmington University congratulates Amber Augustus and all the nominees who were chosen to compete for the honor of Delaware Teacher of the Year 2012!


Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - New Castle, DE