Learning Points

Welcome to the show: IR Variety Show returns this weekend

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Krista Carroll prepares for the spotlight at this weekend’­s IRHS?Variety Show.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Krista Carroll prepares for the spotlight at this weekend’­s IRHS?Variety Show.Teens are running the show at Indian River High School’s Variety Show, for one weekend only, March 27 and 28.

“We hope to continue to maintain that high level” of performance that the community is used to “and provide nice entertainment for the public,” said IRHS Music Director Nathan Mohler.

The musicians are getting creative, with a drum line, sax quartet and rocking Bruno Mars finale. There’s even an acoustic cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”

The lineup ranges from music to stage routines, including a comedy game show. Musical renditions include a variety of genres: country (Aaron Lewis), R&B (Whitney Houston), pop rock (One Republic), Christian music and more.

Most of the acts have live accompaniment from a 27-piece pit band.

“We have a very good variety,” Mohler said.

The student performers also decided what they wanted to put on stage, choosing their own songs and acts.

“I’ve always felt, in the music world, a performer’s gonna get more out of it [based on] what they put in,” Mohler said. “If they’re doing what they want, they’re gonna care more about it… harbor that same passion and intensity.”

SMS teacher makes a difference at her home school

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Kelsea Dell hopes to make a difference in her students’ lives at Selbyville MIddle School, starting with giving them ownership of their ‘textbook.’Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Kelsea Dell hopes to make a difference in her students’ lives at Selbyville MIddle School, starting with giving them ownership of their ‘textbook.’Kelsea Dell wouldn’t want to do anything else besides teach eighth-grade math at Selbyville Middle School.

“Even though it can be challenging, with the hormonal changes that goes on between sixth and eighth grade … they’re a super-cool group of kids. It’s fun,” Dell said.

After teaching her first year at SMS, she spent four at Millsboro Middle School and has come home to be named Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016 at her own alma mater.

“I wouldn’t do anything else. I graduated from this district,” Dell said. “I loved Millsboro Middle, [but] this is where I came from. … I wanted to get back home.”

Now, her former teachers are her SMS colleagues.

“That’s the good thing about this area,” she said. “It’s so small — even when you come back, in education they still remember you.”

IR students Gonzalez, Hall present research at HOSA event

The future of medicine was on display at the A.I. DuPont Hospital in Wilmington last Friday, in an event organized by HOSA-Future Health Professionals (formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America) that included Indian River High School seniors Krystal Gonzalez and Montanyah Hall, who presented their research on achondroplasia.

Kids ask questions, get messy at Sussex County Science Fair

Do video games alter our awareness of time? Does your gender affect your memory? Which is stronger: bamboo or phragmites?

These are just a few of the questions students asked for the 2015 Sussex County Science Fair.

IRHS announces honor roll for second marking period

Indian River High School recently announced its honor roll students for the second marking period in the 2014-2015 school year.

Students receiving high honors (grades 93 to 100) included:

Students spend less time, more thought, on state tests

Delaware public students are already spending a lot less time in standardized testing. This year, the State shifted to the Delaware System of Student Assessments (DeSSA), meaning that, after years of interrupting classrooms three times annually for state standardized tests, Delaware is returning to a one-time student assessment.

Students spend less time, more thought, on state tests

Delaware public students are already spending a lot less time in standardized testing. This year, the State shifted to the Delaware System of Student Assessments (DeSSA), meaning that, after years of interrupting classrooms three times annually for state standardized tests, Delaware is returning to a one-time student assessment.

McDowell named to Dean’s List at Alvernia University

David McDowell of Millsboro has been named to Alvernia University’s Dean’s List for the fall 2014 semester as a junior. A graduate of Cape Henlopen High School, McDowell is a communication major at Alvernia.

To be eligible for the Dean’s List, students must carry a semester GPA of 3.5 or better and take a minimum of 12 credits.

Schultz named to JMU president’s list

Selbyville resident Amanda Michelle Schultz has been named to the president’s list at James Madison University for the fall 2014 semester. Students who earn president’s list honors must carry at least 12 graded credit hours and earn a GPA of 3.900 or above. Schultz is a senior whose major is psychology.

Coastal Carolina University announces Dean’s List

Approximately 2,125 students, include three local students, have made the Fall 2014 Dean’s List for academic achievement at Coastal Carolina University. They include: Carly Bartell of Frankford, a freshman majoring in early childhood education; Kasey Keith of Ocean View, a senior majoring in communication; and Matthew Tribbitt of Ocean View, a senior majoring in sociology.

Atkins makes Dean’s List at Washington College

Washington College in Chestertown, Md., recently announced its Dean’s List for the Fall 2014 semester, and Marisa Atkins (Class of 2015) from Selbyville was recognized for academic excellence and achieving a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the semester.

Lynch graduates from Albright College

Cody Lynch of Frankford recently graduated from Albright College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration/digital media, the college announced recently. More than 100 graduates received diplomas at Albright College’s 2014 Winter Commencement ceremony on Dec. 13, 2014.

Downing named to dean’s list at Wesleyan College

Morgan Downing of Dagsboro has been named to the 2014 fall semester dean’s list at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Being named to the dean’s list requires students to earn a grade point average of 3.5 to 3.9 in 12 or more semester hours.

McCollum makes Mount St. Mary’s University dean’s list

Elizabeth McCollum of Millville is among the 556 students who earned dean’s list honors for the fall 2014 semester at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.

The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McCollum, McCollum made dean’s list by maintaining a 3.4 or higher grade point average.

Girardi named to Dean’s List at VMI

Abdias B. Girardi Jr. of Millsboro was among 768 cadets who were recently named to the Dean’s List for the first semester of the 2014-2015 academic year at Virginia Military Institute. Girardi, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, is the son of Maria A Morgan.

IRSD seeks candidates for school board seats

Election season is approaching for the Indian River School District’s Board of Education.

Four seats are up for election this year: two seats in District 1 (northern Georgetown), one seat in District 2 (north Millsboro to south Georgetown) and one seat in District 4 (Frankford, west Dagsboro and points east).

Each term is for five years, ending June of 2020.

School board election nears, and four seats open

Four seats on the Indian River School District’s Board of Education’s will be up for grabs during a May 12 election, and the deadline to file for one of those seats is right around the corner on March 6.

Quarter Auction aims to help make IR prom affordable

Editor's Note: The Quarter Auction is rescheduled again for Friday, March 13. The inclement weather date will be March 27.

The mission continues to plan a more affordable prom. The junior class of Indian River High School will host a Quarter Auction on Friday, Feb. 20, to raise funds for the prom.

Science simmers for Selbyville second-graders

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Corey Dietrich teaches second graders how to build a mousetrap race car at Selbyville Public Library, in preparation for the Phillip C. Showell Science Fair.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Corey Dietrich teaches second graders how to build a mousetrap race car at Selbyville Public Library, in preparation for the Phillip C. Showell Science Fair.It’s science fair season, and Phillip C. Showell Elementary School recently hosted a Science Night to get students in the mood. Second-graders and their parents attended a special presentation at Selbyville Public Library, where they learned how to create an experiment.

“We’re exactly one month out from the Science Fair,” said Corey Dietrich, a second-grade teacher.

So it’s time to start brainstorming.

Dietrich’s class had created a homemade car, powered by a mousetrap (don’t worry, parents — he adjusted the safety snapping mechanism). He explained the entire process, from the first hypothesis to building a car, as well as collecting and organizing data.

There will be live judging for the first time at the March Science Fair. So kids will present their projects and answer questions, rather than leaving their project in an empty gym for judges to see.

Local student named finalist for youth volunteerism awards

A Millsboro Middle School student was recently named as one four Delaware finalists for the 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism, conducted in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Village Square Academy bringing childcare and education back to Whites Neck

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Two children play at Village Square Academy in Millville, which will hold an open house on Saturday, Feb. 21, to allow prospective students and their parents see the new learning center on Whites Neck Road.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Two children play at Village Square Academy in Millville, which will hold an open house on Saturday, Feb. 21, to allow prospective students and their parents see the new learning center on Whites Neck Road.Bright colors splash inside Millville’s newest children’s learning center, despite the deceptively stoic brick exterior. Village Square Academy Learning Center just opened on Whites Neck Road, enrolling infants to 12 years.

Village Square Academy provides daylong childcare, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., or just before and after school.

“It’s not a daycare at all. It’s a learning center. It’s gonna be structured, educational,” said owner Tecola Gibbs-Hernandez. “The best start is an early start. The earlier, the better prepared they are when they get to the schools,” she said.

That means kids can get used to a structured environment, learn rules of the school and adapt to different cultures. Plus, kids are learning social skills.

“They learn through each other,” verbalizing what they want, using good manners and, of course, making friends, she said.

School board approves sex-ed curriculum

For months, Indian River School District officials have plodded through the divisive topic of how to teach Human Sexuality to 600 ninth-graders each year. This week, the Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a new sex-ed curriculum for high school. (The middle school curriculum process has yet to begin.)

The people speak

Ready for the new state test? IRSD hosts information session

Every year, public school students take a comprehensive state test. And, as the Indian River School District prepares to use the newest version of that test, parents and guardians can learn more, at a pair of public forums set for this week.

LB fifth-grader sweeps his second geography bee

Heavy snowflakes fell outside the gymnasium while, indoors, students talked about the icy Yukon Territory and Scandinavia. The National Geographic Bee had returned to Lord Baltimore Elementary School.

Star students stand out at Indian River High School

Whether the students earned stellar grades or just gave their best in the classroom, Indian River High School wants to celebrate its Students of the Month.

Moms Club to hold Preschool & Activity Fair this weekend

Not sure what activities are available in the area for children enjoy?

This weekend, the Moms Club of Coastal Delaware will be holding its Fifth Annual Preschool & Activity Fair to help give local families the opportunity to visit face-to-face with local preschool representatives, as well as businesses and organizations offering extra-curricular activities for children.

Stefan Botchie recognized for efforts as S.C. educator

BotchieBotchie“Outstanding Young Music Educator” is yet another accolade Selbyville native Stefan Botchie can now add to his resume.

“An outstanding educator is one who is dedicated to the success of their students and their craft of educating students. This is more than a full-time commitment and requires a tremendous of energy and enthusiasm,” said Dr. David Stern, associate professor of music in the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University, who nominated Botchie for the South Carolina Music Educators Association (SCMEA) award.

“Stephan is extremely dedicated to excellence in music teaching. He is the comprehensive educator and model for all of us. This is easily demonstrated by the recent Emerald High School Teacher of the Year award that acknowledges the respect and admiration of his school community, as well as the numerous greater community activities in which he participates.”

Botchie, who previously received the Teacher of the Year award for 2014-2015 for his work at Emerald High School in Greenwood, S.C., said he learned he would be receiving the award after Stern, his close friend and former college professor contacted him.

Having ‘the Talk’: School district to host public forum for sex-ed curriculum

Although the Indian River School District has finished the first leg of the sex-education marathon by drafting a new high school curriculum, the next hurdle looms, with a public forum. Fulfilling a promise made to the public by district officials, the forum is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. at Millsboro Middle School.

The public is welcome to attend.

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