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.
“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.
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.
The Indian River School District, in partnership with Academic Partnerships LLC, will host a teacher recruitment fair on Feb. 21 at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City, Md.
Several fire departments responded to a three-vehicle collision on Monday, Jan. 5. Although a school bus was involved, no children were passengers at the time.
Millville Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched at 7:40 a.m. to a reported collision with one entrapment at Route 17 and Pepper’s Corner Road.
Three children and three adults were injured, but only five people were transported to local hospitals.
Roxana Volunteer Fire company assisted with patient care and debris cleanup. Delaware State Police continued the investigation.
For students in the National Junior Honor Society, even the most special celebration is an opportunity to help others. After wrapping up a successful canned food drive, the Southern Delaware School of the Arts Honor Society held a fancy holiday dinner — and wrapped gifts for homeless teens.
“I just feel helping out people who don’t have what the average human should have [is important],” said Zachary Ables, an eighth-grader. “It’s such a great thing to be helping out those children.”
The dinner at One Coastal was meant to celebrate the hard work the Honor Society had already done in the fall. The group consists of 16 eighth-graders. Besides dressing up and enjoying a buffet with their families, they giftwrapped the hats and gloves they had purchased for 75 teenagers at the Hope & Life Outreach (HALO) homeless shelter in Salisbury, Md.
“I was really proud of them,” said Amy Hughes, teacher and Honor Society advisor. “They’re just so into it.”
Ables said the students were impressed with their guest speaker, who fundraises to donate items for HALO.
Student council members are helping their classmates give back this holiday season. Indian River High School recently finished its second annual food collection for Home of the Brave, a Milford nonprofit helping homeless veterans transition to more stable homes and jobs.
“It feels like you’re doing something,” said senior and Council President Clayton Hardy. “This is meant to feed a veteran’s home.”
“They serve our country, so we have to give back on some level,” senior Alison Jennings said.
Regarding the most basic of human needs, junior Sami Mumford expressed the root of the problem: “I don’t like to be hungry,” she said simply.
Staff advisor Frank Shockley helped the students organize the food drive. Last year, he said, it was “really nice” to deliver the food in person and meet the facility director and some vets.
“They actually helped us unload. They were very thankful, a very nice group of individuals,” Shockley said.
He described the donations building, which serves the homeless:
“When they finally find a home for them,” the veterans “go shopping” to fill their homes with furniture and food.
“It’s the nice thing to do,” said junior Sofia DiGirolamo of the effort.
Selbyville Middle School has taken leadership to the next level, as local students fill four of five positions on the state student council (Delaware Student Council Association).
“We have had a great run of leadership at the state level in the student council,” Superintendent Susan Bunting has said. That’s due to help and encouragement of SMS advisor Patricia Jennings.
This year SMS students swept the entire council, aside from the presidency, held by Jordan Ide of Smyrna Middle School.
SMS councilmembers include Vice President Dominic Patille, grade 8, Secretary Gabrielle “Gabby” Tierney, 7th, Treasurer Chloe McCabe, 7th, and Historian Maddie Weber, 8th.
Half the battle was showing up, the students said. Statewide, only a few middle school delegations could break away from regular classwork to participate in elections.
The young leaders heard speeches by Delaware’s First Lady, Carla Markell, plus Carrie Hart of Volunteer Delaware.
After 15 years, a friendly face is retiring from the Frankford Public Library children’s program. “Miss Dorothy” Fisch led her last preschool storytime for a handful of wiggling children before she retired on Dec. 17.
But these youngsters are just a few of the hundreds of children Fisch read to since she arrived in 1999.
Although she turned 71 this month, Fisch grabbed a box of jingle bells and led a round of Christmas carols at her final storytime session. She and the children jumped up and down to the beat of the bells.
“She has a lot of energy,” parent Crystal Blakeney said. “She’s really joyful, and they love it when she sings.”
Fisch even filled a request for “The Alphabet Song.”
Shelley Stevens has seen her grandchildren cry at the thought of missing storytime. She takes young Bridget to library programs year-round.
After one basketball season, one graduation, two volleyball seasons, two banquets and several performances, the opening of a new Arts & Athletic Center became a reality on Wednesday, Dec. 10, for Delmarva Christian High School.
The following students at the Southern Delaware School of the Arts were named to the school’s honor roll for the first marking period of the 2014-2015 school year.
Receiving Honors were:
Although not quite so packed as its meeting in October, the Indian River School Board still had a larger audience than usual on Nov. 24. Nearly every member of the public present wanted to discuss the proposed health curriculum and, more specifically, Board Member Shaun Fink’s comments in favor of abstinence-only sexual education and the exclusion of homosexuality from the curriculum.
Most students at Indian River High School aren’t old enough to join the armed forces. But that doesn’t mean the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) can’t celebrate the ideals and 239th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
“It’s honoring the Marines and the way they celebrate their founding. Without them, we wouldn’t have this,” said sophomore Kayla Emerson.
The U.S. Marine Corps was founded Nov. 10, 1775. Every year, JROTC cadets stand tall at the annual school dinner celebration, hosted with friends and family, this time on Nov. 13.
Those families are “integral to our success” — fundraising, driving students, cleaning uniforms and much more, said instructor Maj. Frank Ryman (Ret.).
“It’s fun giving them a taste of what we do every day at school and sharing fellowship with them,” Emerson said.
Now dressed in camouflage and taking a leadership class, she joined JROTC because she was impressed by a middle-school recruitment day. But she stayed because of “the support from everybody. And you get really close to Gunny and Major,” she said of instructors Lester “Gunny” James and Ryman.
For the second year, the Indian River Band Boosters are raffling off a “Wreath of Wealth,” full of gift cards, to raise money for the upcoming spring band trip.
An American military force that’s older than the United States, the Marine Corps was immensely proud to celebrate 238th birthday last week, and Indian River High School JROTC cadets stood just as tall as their military counterparts at the annual school dinner celebration on Nov. 7.
Founded in 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps now use the cake-serving ceremony as “a symbol of passing traditions, customs and courtesies from the old corps to the new corps,” said JROTC instructor Maj. Frank Ryman (Ret.).
After cutting the cake with a sword, the oldest cadet passes a slice of cake to the youngest cadet. Therefore, C/Pvt. Annel Calles Vildiva ceremoniously passed more than 200 years of history to C/PVT Jessie O’Neal in front of their classmates, families, guests from AMVETS, American Legion, Indian River School Board and more.
Special guest 1st Sgt. Jonathan Dixon told the story of his first experience driving tanks in a training exercise. Smashing through the wilderness was “the best thing in the world” for the 18-year-old, until he drove the tank into a ditch. That night, he was terrified of the flak he might receive from his comrades.
Suspected of swallowing heroin while at Selbyville Middle School, a 13-year-old student now faces drug charges.
During an after-school dance on Friday, Oct. 31, a male student allegedly went into the boys’ bathroom and ingested suspected heroin, said school district spokesman David Maull.
In the guidance office of Indian River High School, senior Logan Hearn is typing on a computer, dreaming of a future in marine biology. With just a few clicks, he could apply to more than 500 colleges through one single website, no postage stamps needed.
Between free applications and the online Common Application, it’s easier than ever for Delaware students to apply for college. And now is the best time, according to education officials.
During College Application Month, Delaware is waiving college application fees for six colleges, until Friday, Nov. 21. All Delaware students are eligible for the waiver from the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, and students can also apply to Delaware Tech, Wilmington University, Wesley College and Goldey-Beacom College without charge until Nov. 21.
Approximately 140 students at Lighthouse Christian School were able to honor area veterans last week at the school’s annual Veterans Day program. During the program, students sang songs to the veterans in attendance, including “God Bless America” and “My Country ’Tis of Thee.”
Army veteran and VFW Post 7234 Commander Fulton Loppatto spoke to the students about the area’s Operation SEAs the Day program, whose mission is “to organize and facilitate a beach week event for our wounded soldiers and their families as a means of showing our appreciation for their service and sacrifice. It is our hope that such a community-based gesture of support will be comforting and help ease their transition back into civilian life.”
“This is something we can all get involved with,” said Loppatto.
He said that, in the creation of the nonprofit, it was important for the founders, Becky Johns, Diane Pohanka and Richard Katon, to provide a week for the warriors and their families, who are with the veterans through thick and thin.
Lynch to share letters from her popular column
Where would a journalist be without her source? During the Vietnam War, American troops sent Nancy E. Lynch nearly 1,000 letters and hundreds of photos from overseas, which she published in her popular column, Nancy’s Vietnam Mailbag.
Story edited online Oct. 31, 2014.
On Oct. 27, for the first time in many years, students flooded the Indian River School District’s school board meeting, to denounce a board member’s recent comments about the place of homosexuality and abstinence in health education.
This is just another civil rights movement, said Sussex Central High School senior Matt Price.
Board Member Shaun Fink has made no secret of his desire to eliminate the discussion of homosexuality from the new health curriculum, based on his own religious beliefs. He prefers an abstinence-only course that excludes even the definitions of homosexuality and transgender and related terms.
For seven years, Lighthouse Christian School has been doing their part to honor the nation’s veterans. Each year, around Veterans Day, the school holds a program to honor veterans in the community.
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) recently presented a Congressional Record detailing the leadership skills and accomplishments of Auburn University student Carol Linde on Oct. 7 at the Auburn Student Center.
Next week, leaders from across the state will visit Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) to attend the 21st Annual Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference.
Earlier this year, Stefan Botchie was selected as the 2014-2015 Emerald High School Teacher of the Year in Greenwood, S.C.
Just three Delaware schools were named 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools, including Frankford’s own John M. Clayton Elementary School. JMC, Lake Forest North Elementary and the Academy of Dover charter school and are among the 337 schools that will be officially honored in November in Washington, D.C.
For nearly a decade in Dagsboro, Indian River High School has made a name for itself in sports, service, academics— in all ways, but one: literally.
IRHS has never had a school sign, until now.
A rainy Saturday couldn’t stop the new 10-by-14-foot electronic sign from proudly glowing on its dedication day. Funded by the IRHS Alumni Association, with support from the community and local legislators, the new sign was dedicated on Oct. 11.
When the new school building opened in the fall of 2005, former principal Mark Steele began socking away extra funds to eventually buy a sign. Principal Bennett Murray continued the tradition and brought that request to the IRHSAA, which began fundraising for it one year ago.
The dedication this week might not have happened for another decade without significant contributions from local lawmakers. State Reps. John Atkins and Ron Gray and state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. all donated thousands of dollars, footing the majority of a $40,000 bill.
There is excitement amongst the fourth-graders at Lord Baltimore School in Ocean View. Their school is becoming a sister school with Samata Shiksha Niketan, near Kathmandu, in Nepal. The special focus will be an exchange of art and culture.
Each of the five fourth-grade classes taught by art teacher Melissa Kelly has been visited by Holly Kaufman and her mom, Amy Kaufman, to present the program and answer questions. Holly was herself a student of Kelly’s at Lord Baltimore about 10 years ago, and she has also taught at Samata.
Holly started her presentation with the typical Nepali greeting “Namaste,” her hands prayerfully together and with a little bow. She then proceeded to talk to the students in fluent Nepali, just to give them an idea of how the language sounds. They were impressed. Then Holly used slides to tell the children about Nepal and the differences between their schools and daily lives.
The children at first had difficulty understanding where to find Nepal on a map. Then one remembered that Nepal is where Mount Everest is located and another realized it must be in Asia, and another guessed it was sandwiched between China and India. Nepal is approximately the size of Tennessee. Holly told the students that, because of the high altitude, the Nepalese think their country is at the top of the world.
In just a few weeks, Indian River High School alumni can relive their glory days on the football field — with the band. The Indian River High School marching band is inviting all band alumni to join the field show on Friday, Oct. 24.
“I’d love to get 30, 40 people out there, get a whole bunch of people. There’s a lot of band alumni who live in this area,” said longtime band director Mark Marvel.
This year’s field show is a Beatles tribute, featuring “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Twist and Shout,” “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “Yellow Submarine” and a few verses of “Hey Jude.”
People can polish off their old horns, or borrow one. Those in need of a borrowed instrument should reserve one early by calling Mark Marvel at IRHS at (302) 732-1500.
“If I have it, they can borrow it, but if they just show up at 6 o’clock … it may or may not happen,” Marvel said.
Indian River High School senior Taite Daisey recently attended the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Leadership Academy in Washington, D.C. Held Sept. 20-23, the event was attended by HOSA student leaders from across the United States. Daisey is vice president of Delaware’s HOSA chapter and plans to pursue a career as a physician after graduation.
Students were divided into 10-person teams during the four-day academy. They attended leadership courses, participated in team-building activities and toured Washington, D.C. Daisey’s team included students from Hawaii, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan and Wisconsin.
“It was a lot of fun to meet new friends from all over the country,” she said. “I think I learned a lot to bring back to the state.”
Shirley Townsend, an instructor in Indian River High School’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program, said Daisey has played a major role in building the school’s HOSA chapter, which is only two years old. Daisey also serves as vice president of the IRHS chapter.
“Taite is in a class by herself,” Townsend said. “She’s very much a go-getter.”
This fall, the South Coastal Library will continue its mission to provide service to the community, not only through providing information resources and reading materials, but also through its wide variety of programming.
“In the programming, we try to touch on everything that people might be interested in or needing in their lives,” said Barbara Litzau, assistant director of the library.