by Lisa Tome
When school starts this week, there may be a little bit of confusion at Cecilton Elementary.
Mrs. Fletcher and Ms. Fletcher have classrooms next door to one another. Ms. Dana Fletcher has been assigned to room B105. Mrs. Judy Fletcher is in B106.
"This is literally my dream. I've wanted this forever," said Dana Fletcher. "This was always my dream job since first grade. I can't believe it's really happening."
Fletcher, 24, a first year teacher, was hired to work at the school on August 12. She'll teach second grade.
Judy Fletcher teaches third grade. She is beginning her 31st year teaching at Cecilton. But the connection between the two women goes deeper than a shared last name and classroom proximity - they are mother and daughter.
Judy was helping Dana get her classroom set up last week. They talked about Dana's journey getting hired. After she graduated from college in May, she applied in numerous counties. But her dream was to work at Cecilton, because she attended there. On August 1, after a teacher transferred from the school, Dana was called for an interview. Judy helped her prepare.
"I'm excited about it. She's been my biggest supporter. We pick each other's brains for strategies," said Dana said.
Judy said Dana landed in the right place. "How lucky Dana is to be working with so many talented, caring people in our school community," said Judy. "Our colleagues are innovative and have taken the time to put Cecilton on the map."
Judy Fletcher has been around long enough that she has taught multi-generations of the same family. "I have grand students now. I get to share stories about their parents and they get to bring in old pictures of me," she laughed.
In working as educators, the two women are carrying a rich family tradition. Judy's father, Jim Wilson, served on the Cecil County School Board in the 1970s and 1980s. There are also about 10 members of their immediate family who teach and/or work for the school board.
Dana Fletcher is just one of the 77 new Cecil County Public Schools teachers who started work last week.
Of those newly hired, 13 graduated from the University of Delaware. Eleven graduated from Wilmington University. Thirty eight have earned a master's degree, 39 have a bachelor's. Eleven completed student teaching requirements in the county. A dozen students graduated from county high schools - one each from Bo Manor, Elkton, and Perryville High. Four are North East High graduates. Five are from Rising Sun High.