A 1982 graduate of the University of Delaware College of Education and Human Development with a bachelor's degree in education, Masiello has been an educator for more than 26 years in the First State.
“Teaching is one of the few careers that allows you to make a difference in the lives of young children," said Masiello. "It is a blessing to be able to wake up each morning with a new chance to change the world."
Masiello's first teaching experience was at Corpus Christi School and then he spent eight years as a third grade teacher at Shortlidge Elementary School.
In 1992, Masiello joined the effort to design Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington, going to every elementary school in the district to help market the school. He joined the school staff that same year and has taught there for 17 years.
“It is important to me that my students realize that they are a part of a community, not just a person in a class of 27 students," wrote Masiello. "I believe it is my responsibility to provide my students with opportunities to interact with their surrounding community through many service-related activities.”
On Oct. 26, Masiello received the honor of Delaware's “top teacher” in front of more than 470 invited guests at the Dover Downs Hotel and Conference Center in Dover. He was chosen out of 19 candidates who had been selected by their school districts to compete for the state title.
Masiello had previously been chosen as the Red Clay School District Teacher of the Year and nominated for the state honor in 2006 and 2008.
Out of the 19 nominees this year, eight of them have taken coursework or are alumnae of the University of Delaware.
“I have never met a student who did not adore Joe Masiello," said Sally McBride, co-founder of Cab Calloway School of the Arts. "He represents the best in education and exemplifies the best in teaching. A teacher, besides communicating the material, should motivate, inspire, and create an environment that makes the student an active participant in his learning. Joe achieves all of this, while making learning fun.”
Masiello also has a master's degree in education from Wilmington University.
He will receive a $5,000 grant to use for the educational benefit of his students, as well as two personal grants totaling an additional $5,000. The remaining 18 school district candidates will each receive a personal grant of $2,000.
As the state's Teacher of the Year, Masiello will address community groups, business leaders, legislators, and educational organizations in an effort to inform the public about the status of Delaware schools. He will also go on to compete in the National Teacher of the Year program. The winner will be announced this spring.
Article by Cassandra Kramer
Photos courtesy of the Delaware Department of Education