Teacher of the Year

Kristin Cashman - 2022 WCTOY


Teacher of the Year Header Graphic

 April Anft April Anft completed her undergraduate degree at Salisbury University, her Master’s degree in Special Education at University of Maryland Eastern Shore, an Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate at George Mason University, and both TEACCH Classroom trainings and Beyond the Basics trainings through University of North Carolina. In her 16th year in special education, April teaches middle school at Cedar Chapel. April believes having high expectations for her students is key in helping them work to reach their full potential. She is a member of her School Improvement Team, teaches during the summer program, and volunteers with Autism on the Seas.
 Kristin Cashman Kristin Cashman* graduated from Salisbury University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree as a reading specialist.  She holds four education certifications and is finishing up her fifth.  Along with teaching English at Pocomoke High School, she is the coordinator for Worcester on Wheels (a mobile community engagement/outreach program), facilitator of the Women Who Rise (reach and inspire students through education) program, a member of her school and county’s technology teams, an equity champion and lead for Pocomoke’s equity team, the new teacher liaison at Pocomoke, and an adjunct faculty member in Salisbury University’s education department. 
 Melanie Coleman Melanie Coleman earned her Bachelor of Science degree, in Early Childhood and Childhood Education, from SUNY Oneonta.  She received her Masters +30 in Administration from Salisbury University.  This is her eighteenth year of teaching, currently teaching first grade at OCES.  She believes that building positive student and family relationships, where they feel loved and appreciated, is most important.  Her classroom is full of laughter, joy and active learning.  She makes learning fun and memorable.  She is a member of the science and social studies curriculum writing team, WCPS Environmental Literacy team, Social Studies fellows committee, and a Summer Academy teacher. 
 Blake Cropper Blake Cropper earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Stevenson University and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at University of Phoenix.  In her fifth year at Pocomoke Middle School, Cropper teaches fifth grade English Language Arts. She loves using her expertise in technology to improve student engagement and comprehension. Cropper also values the importance of meeting the social and emotional needs of her students to best support their academic success. She also enjoys participating in the Apple Vanguard Cohort and serving as an instructor in the Ocean City Fire Department’s Junior Fire Academy.
 Steven Deakyne Steven Deakyne* earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Delaware, and Masters of Education from Wilmington University. In his eighth year at Stephen Decatur High School, Deakyne currently teaches Physics, AP Physics, and Physical Science. Deakyne believes in creating a positive learning environment with an emphasis on student engagement. When students are actively engaged and thinking critically, learning naturally results. Deakyne has also coached the Stephen Decatur Swim team for eight years, is a member of his School Improvement Team, a co-chair of the SDHS chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and member of MSAP. 
 Danielle DiMichele Danielle DiMichele graduated from Stephen Decatur High School, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Towson University, and a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Wilmington University. She is currently in her 13th year at Buckingham Elementary School teaching third grade, all subjects. DiMichele’s strength is her ability to build trusting relationships with her students and their families. She personally invests herself in every child’s success. DiMichele is the third grade team leader, and has served on the BES Minority Achievement Team, Math SIP Team, and PBIS Team. She also coordinated the BES College and Career Fair.  
 Saudi Evansky Saudi Evansky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Florida International University.  She taught ESOL and Gifted for twenty-seven years in Miami, and is currently in her fifth year teaching 3rd Grade at Pocomoke Elementary School.  Saudi believes great teachers create energy and excitement.  When a teacher enjoys teaching, kids just know it!  When they see your excitement for teaching, they feel excited to learn.  Kids deserve that excited teacher.  Saudi has led several after school academies, and regularly helps her school and community by serving as a translator for Spanish-speaking students and families.
 Matthew Haelig Matthew Haelig received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Kutztown University, and he is currently pursuing a master's degree in Music Technology from West Chester University. In his seven years as Snow Hill’s band director, the marching band has won first place in 21 of 22 competitive events. In 2020, the band qualified for the state band festival for the first time in school history. In addition to band, Mr. Haelig applies his Apple Teacher expertise by leading the school’s Communication Arts program. Mr. Haelig promotes teamwork, collaboration, and the pursuit of creativity in all his classes.  
 Lindsay Harrington Lindsay Harrington* graduated from Stephen Decatur, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Randolph Macon College and a Master of Education degree from Salisbury University.  In her twelfth-year teaching science at Stephen Decatur Middle School, Lindsay believes students should become curious, lifelong learners. Lindsay teaches her students how to be observant of the world around them and how to use the skills she has instilled in them to solve problems. Her passion for teaching is shared with other teachers as she helps others create learning experiences for students to develop a deeper understanding of their world beyond the science classroom.
 Samantha Keyes Samantha Keyes earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Salisbury University, and her Masters of Education in Science Curriculum and Instruction through the University of Massachusetts. In her eleventh year of education, she currently teaches fourth grade at Showell Elementary. Samantha strives to create life-long learners through engaging hands-on activities that have real world connections while creating a safe and inclusive classroom climate. Samantha is a member of the Science and Social studies lead teams for the county, participated in SDI training, mentors university interns, and spent five years advising her local fraternity chapter of Delta Gamma.
 Michael Levy Michael Levy* retired from the United States Air Force in 2003 after serving 20 years in the Security Forces. He was a member of the Ocean City Police Department from 1989-2013. In his 9th year, at Worcester Technical High School, he teaches Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Homeland Security.  Levy endeavors to create collaborative learning environments that build problem-solving skills and believes his purpose in education is to prepare students for situations they might encounter in Criminal Justice and Public Safety careers. To date, he has developed cooperative internships for program alumni with nine public safety entities across the county.
 William Tignor William Tignor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Education Reading Specialist degree from Salisbury University. He is currently in his 17th year at Snow Hill Elementary and teaches First Grade. Wiiliam focuses on making learning fun, meaningful, and social, by creating strong, positive, lasting relationships within the school community. He was an Outstanding Mentor award recipient and has been an adjunct professor at Salisbury University. He is the VP of the Bearded Men’s Society of OC, which supports Diakonia, Making Strides for Breast Cancer, and other local charities through service and fundraising.
 Olivia Tyndall Olivia Tyndall is a Worcester County native who graduated from Stephen Decatur High School. She attended Salisbury University and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Masters of Applied Technology in Education from Wilmington University.  Currently, in her third-year teaching in Worcester County, she strives to help middle school students develop a love for math.  She teaches both Math 7 and Compacted Math and is a member of her School Improvement Team. She holds students to high expectations daily through engaging lessons that incorporate technology.  She loves to see the “ah-ha” moment for students when problem-solving.
 Melissa Vit Melissa Vit, Stephen Decatur graduate, earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Salisbury University, and a Master of Education in Technology in Education from Wilmington University. In her nineteenth-year teaching, the past sixteen years, at Berlin Intermediate, Mrs. Vit believes that learning should be interactive with student discussions and hands on with activities to enrich lessons taught in sixth grade Social Studies. Mrs. Vit, Apple Teacher, active member of the PBIS team, mentor teacher to university interns, works with the After School Academy, and has worked with community partnerships organizing canned food drives, and pajama and book collections.