Sussex Technical High School math teacher Dontez Collins, a nine-year teaching veteran and a Sussex Tech alumnus, has been named the district's 2020 Teacher of the Year.
"He is involved in the fabric of our school system, as a teacher and coach," said High School Principal Dr. John Demby. "Dontez embodies everything I would want in a new teacher "“ strong relationships with students, a passion for instruction, and unending positivity."
District Superintendent Stephen Guthrie said Collins' reputation is of a teacher who serves as a constant role model for excellence.
"Dontez's enthusiasm and dedication to Sussex Tech are his greatest assets," Guthrie said. "We are lucky to have him on our team helping guide young minds and prepare students for their future, whether that is career or college."
Collins said he was honored to represent Sussex Tech as Teacher of the Year on the state level.
"Teaching is not just about sharing knowledge and information. It's about helping students grow and succeed and push their limits," Collins said. "Building relationships with students outside the classroom is a core part of that, and I love being part of the Sussex Tech family."
Collins was nominated by fellow teachers who praised his ability to connect with students and motivate them, in the classroom and on the track.
"Dontez is an exceptional teacher, coach and leader. I see him in the mornings interacting with kids in a way that is real and natural, and I hear him coaching his athletes in the halls after school. He is knowledgeable, demanding, and motivational," said English teacher D.J. Forcucci.
Current Teacher of the Year Anthony Natoli said Collins works to cultivate excellence. "Time and time, he goes above and beyond," Natoli said. "He models the way to dress to impress. He gives haircuts. He drives up and down the state supporting students. He is a Raven for life."
A 2006 graduate of Sussex Technical High School, Collins earned his bachelor's degree from Delaware State University in mathematics education in 2010 and his master's degree in career-technical education from Wilmington University in 2013. In addition to teaching mathematics, Collins also serves as the head track and field coach.
Collins lives in Millsboro with his wife, Sussex Tech Spanish teacher Shaila Collins, who serves as assistant track and field coach.