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Four teachers representing the districts within Department of Defense Schools-Pacific and Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools-Guam have been selected as "District Teacher of the Year" and will go on to compete in a regional competition this fall, according to a news release.

Each teacher was nominated by a peer, administrator, parent or student. A panel, selected by the district superintendent, then chose the "District Teacher of the Year."

Teachers were selected based on their dedication to education and their students, the release said.

Next, the teachers will compete in the Department of Defense Education Activity’s "Teacher of the Year." Participants have prepared an application packet and will be selected by a DODEA panel.

The winner will be announced in the fall and will advance to the national competition against teachers from the 50 states, according to the DODEA Web site.

District Teachers of the YearGuam District

Jan Goldhorn, a music teacher at McCool Elementary/Middle School. Goldhorn has been with the Department of Defense Elementary and Secondary Schools–Guam since 1997. Goldhorn’s educational philosophy revolves around the community and fostering partnerships to advance student achievement.

Korea District

Chad Casciani, a kindergarten teacher at Daegu American School. Casciani joined DODDS in 2000 as an early childhood educator and literacy facilitator at Seoul American Elementary School. Casciani said he tries to make his classroom an engaging place for kids with "learning centers" for them to participate in.

Japan District

Deirdre McAlpin, a fifth-grade math, science and health teacher at The Sullivans School in Yokosuka. McAlpin has taught under DODDS for six years, and is a former DODDS student. McAlpin said education should have connections and meaning for students.

Okinawa District

Kathleen Smith, a second-grade teacher at Kadena Elementary School. Smith was nominated by her principal, Stan Hays, who lauded her as a dedicated and skilled educator. Smith has served as the school improvement co-chair and is on the executive board of the Parent-Teacher Organization.

Source: Chip Steitz, spokesman for Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Pacific

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