Lake Forest Teacher of the Year chosen: Heather Melvin

Lake Forest School District Teacher of the Year Heather Melvin with fellow staff members from North Elementary School at the Lake Forest 46th Annual Recognition Ceremony. Special to The Journal

Lake Forest School District Teacher of the Year Heather Melvin with fellow staff members from North Elementary School at the Lake Forest 46th Annual Recognition Ceremony. Special to The Journal

FELTON – The Lake Forest School District is proud to announce that it has selected Mrs. Heather Melvin as its Teacher of the Year for the 2016-2017 school year.

Ms. Melvin is a first grade teacher at Lake Forest North Elementary School in Felton. Her selection was announced at Lake Forest School District’s 46th Annual Recognition Ceremony on May 19.

She has 15 years of teaching experience, all in the Lake Forest School District.  She started at Lake Forest East before moving to Lake Forest High School for a short time.  She has been at Lake Forest North for the past nine years.

At the school level, she is heavily involved as a teacher leader serving as the grade level chairperson for first grade and is on the School Improvement Team, the Positive Behavior Support Team and the District Curriculum Writing and Assessment Committee. She has committed a large amount of time to participating in state-level professional development through projects such as the University of Delaware’s Elementary Math Teacher Leader program as well as becoming a certified Learning Focused Solutions trainer.

Lake Forest School District 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year From left to right: Travis Moorman-Human Resources Director; Dr. Brenda Wynder-Superintendent; Andrea Miller-School Board; Heather Melvin- LF Teacher of the Year; Rhonda Swenson-School Board; Earle Dempsey-School Board; John Schulties-School Board. Special to The Journal

Lake Forest School District 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year
From left to right: Travis Moorman-Human Resources Director; Dr. Brenda Wynder-Superintendent; Andrea Miller-School Board; Heather Melvin- LF Teacher of the Year; Rhonda Swenson-School Board; Earle Dempsey-School Board; John Schulties-School Board. Special to The Journal

Mrs. Melvin is also heavily involved in the community through the Felton Fire Company, the Manship Chapel Food Bank and works in the Manship Chapel Vacation Bible School program each Summer.

The selection process for the district Teacher of the Year is a grueling one, according to LFSD’s Director of Human Resources Travis Moorman. Each school in the district selects a teacher of the year who is then eligible to represent the district at the state level.

The six candidates this year were: Brandi Short from Lake Forest South Elementary School, Jennifer Watterton from Lake Forest East Elementary School, Heather Melvin from Lake Forest North Elementary School, Aubrey Johnson from Lake Forest Central Elementary School, Diane Kemp from W.T. Chipman Middle School and Heather O’Connor from Lake Forest High School.

Each candidate was asked to submit a summary of their educational history, professional development activities, and community involvement. A committee of nine members representing all elementary and secondary schools, school principals and the Central Business Office interviewed the candidates, reviewed the written requirements and observed classrooms to make the selection.

Ms. Melvin will now represent the Lake Forest School District in the State of Delaware Teacher of the Year selection process.  The State Teacher of the Year will be announced in October.


Melvin PictureGet to know Heather Melvin

Name: Heather Melvin

Age: 36

Hometown: Windber, PA

Occupation: First grade teacher

Educational Background: Bachelor’s degree in primary education, Master’s degree in special education and post-graduate level coursework; all through Wilmington University

Were you recognized by the school?

“Mrs. Lands announced that I was North’s Teacher of the Year over the intercom during morning announcements.”

Were your students excited?

“My students started clapping and cheering. Many of the students ran up and gave me a hug.”

What makes you North’s Teacher of the Year material? 

“At North Elementary, the entire staff works hard every day make sure all of our students are successful.  I feel that my strengths include my communication with parents and fellow teachers, my ability to meet and exceed challenges and motivating and challenging my students to reach their full potential.

“I take pride in my students’ accomplishments and attend their after school activities.  I enjoy volunteering in my community.  As a team leader, I feel that it is my responsibility to ensure that the teachers and students have what they need in order to succeed.”

What is your favorite part of teaching?

“My favorite part of teaching is making the connections with the students that they will remember for a lifetime. Each student brings a unique personality and personal experiences to our classroom.  We learn from each other and appreciate what each one has to offer.”

What is your least favorite part of teaching?

“My least favorite part of teaching is the last day of school. The students in my classroom who I have loved and nurtured all year walk out my door for the last time. We spend a lot of time together over the course of the year and when they walk out the door, a piece of my heart goes with them.”

Do any teaching memories stick out for you?

“One thing I have learned while teaching kindergarten and first grade is that children are honest, and their honesty is funny!”

If you had free time, what would we find you doing?

“In my spare time, I enjoying spending time with my husband Aaron, daughter Erin Elizabeth and step-daughter Shelby. We like to travel, ride four-wheelers, and go to amusement parks.”

What would you like to see changed in education?

“I would like to see a Special Education reform throughout our state.”

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

“Mrs. Durst, my fourth grade teacher, was my favorite. She really made a personal connection with her students. I loved to play basketball and I remember her coming to see me play on Saturday mornings. She was always happy and smiling and made you feel special in her classroom.”

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