The 2013 American Board Teacher of the Year Shelley Dalpiaz had an opportunity to meet with South Carolina’s U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, as well as former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige, during her trip to Washington, DC, on September 25th. Joined by her husband Stephen, who is in the Air Force reserves, Shelley shared with them her thoughts on teaching.
“Showing students the real life applications of math, how they use it on a daily basis, and why it is important is why I go to class each and every day,” said Dalpiaz, an Algebra teacher at Cane Bay High School in Summerville, South Carolina. “The most rewarding part of my job is watching a student’s face light up as they say, I get it.”
“Often times students enter my classroom and will let me know up-front they do not like math or are not confident in their math skills; I will even hear this from parents. By the end of the semester, though, my students have mastered the content needed for the current class and are well prepared for their next math class. Seeing their confidence change from what they believed on day one, to knowing what they can now do, brings joy to my heart. These students are the most rewarding part of my teaching career.”
Dalpiaz worked as a microbiologist at the University of Utah before her husband’s military career moved them to South Carolina. She told the Senators and Dr. Paige that the American Board program gave her “the opportunity to become a teacher without having to start from scratch.”
American Board President and CEO Shawn Arévalo McCollough said, “As a career-changer and former microbiologist, Shelley brings a unique, invaluable, and inspirational perspective into the classroom. We’re proud to have Shelley represent the American Board as our National Teacher of the Year.”