Updated: Brandywine Educator Named Delaware's 2017 Teacher of th - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Brandywine Educator Named Delaware's 2017 Teacher of the Year

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Wendy Turner (Photo: Brandywine Valley School District) Wendy Turner (Photo: Brandywine Valley School District)

DOVER, Del. - Delaware Gov. Jack Markell on Tuesday announced the 2017 Teacher of the Year. Wendy Turner becomes Delaware’s nominee in 2017 national "Teacher of the Year" competition.

Wendy Turner is a second grade teacher at Mount Pleasant Elementary School in the Brandywine School District. However, teaching was not Turner’s original career plan.

After starting her career working in a large accounting firm, she found herself unfulfilled, she said in her application: “I just did not want to work in corporate America anymore … being a parent greatly changed my perspective and was a significant factor in influencing my deep desire to do something meaningful.”

After going back to school, Turner received her Master’s degree in elementary education while continuing to work full-time; and at the age of forty, she became a teacher.

As an educator she strives to make learning relevant to life outside the classroom, teaching every lesson through a real-world lens. “In each subject area, if I present opportunities for students to connect the work they do in class to the real world, students overflow with enthusiasm,” she said. “Writing about current issues that reflect students’ personal beliefs has meaning and passion. Learning the science of how plans grow is more compelling when students cultivate plants in an outdoor garden.”

Turner has also helped the community surrounding the school district as well. In one of her first years of teaching, one of Turner's student's lost their mother to cancer, and the student's father expressed his need to learn to cook. With Turner at the helm, 500 cookbooks were printed and sold to raise $5,000 for the American Cancer Society.

“Through the process, we engaged the community in a project that helped many trying to process a senseless loss. We channeled grief into a positive endeavor, a life lesson that cannot be measured,” Turner said. “My students learned how to organize, work together and champion a cause they had a direct connection to."

Turner has also been named a 2016 state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She previously has been honored by the Delaware Valley Green Building Council as a Green Schools “Change maker” and by the Delaware Nature Society as Outstanding Environmental Educator.

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