Learning Points

Lord Baltimore students visit Ocean View historical complex

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: LB students gather around a painting of Lord Baltimore Elementary School at the Ocean View historical complex.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: LB students gather around a painting of Lord Baltimore Elementary School at the Ocean View historical complex.The Ocean View Historical Complex was buzzing with excitement last Friday, as all five fifth-grade classes from Lord Baltimore Elementary School were able to tour the facilities.

“It’s important, I think, for the kids to see physically what life was like in the past, what people had to deal with,” said Richard Nippes, president of the historical society.

Students were able to tour the Tunnell-West house, furnished with period furniture and artifacts; an 1800s outhouse; the town’s first post office, built in 1889; and an exact replica of Cecile Steele’s first chicken house.

While in the Tunnell-West house, students were given a tour and then sent on a scavenger hunt to find objects that they wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with today, such as a chamber pot.

They would also go outside to use a period water pump — to understand that indoor plumbing was not available when the house was built in the late 1800s.

School district to switch cafeteria payment system in June

The Indian River School District will begin using a new payment system in all cafeterias, starting June 1.

Currently, parents can prepay for their children’s meals online with the PayPAMS system. However, that payment system will be deactivated on May 27 and replaced later this summer.

Indian River students hitting Anaheim for HOSA conference

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The future of good health could be in their hands: Indian River High School will send four students to the national HOSA competition in June. Pictured, from left, are: Meghan Paulus, Taite Daisey, Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The future of good health could be in their hands: Indian River High School will send four students to the national HOSA competition in June. Pictured, from left, are: Meghan Paulus, Taite Daisey, Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush.Four local students are capping the school year with a June trip to Anaheim, Calif. After earning gold and silver medals at the state leadership conference, the Indian River High School students will represent Delaware at the national conference of HOSA: Future Health Professionals.

Formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, HOSA lets students learn and become leaders as they approach careers in the health field.

At state compeition in March, Meghan Paulus won first place for the Pathophysiology event; Taite Daisey won first for the Nutrition event; and Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush took second for the Health Career Display event. Coaches Shelly Robinson and Shirley Townsend led the team.

Paulus and Daisey demonstrated their expertise on paper at the state competition. Paulus won for pathophysiology, “the study of disease and functions in the body,” she said. That ranged from the stomach to the brain.

IRSD board members get re-elected

The Indian River School District will remain in the hands of incumbent school board members for another year. In the May 12 election, three candidates kept their seats on the Board of Education. The unofficial results were posted within an hour of the polls closing.

Bomhardt named top elementary school counselor in state

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Jan Bomhardt of John M. Clayton Elementary School was recently named Elementary Counselor of the Year for the state of Delaware after receiving an array of nominations from teachers and students alike.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Jan Bomhardt of John M. Clayton Elementary School was recently named Elementary Counselor of the Year for the state of Delaware after receiving an array of nominations from teachers and students alike.As she makes her way up the stairs of John M. Clayton School near Frankford — stopping every so often for an enthusiastic hug hello, careful not to miss one and unable to even if she might have — it doesn’t take long to tell that counselor Jan Bomhardt is... well, kind of “the bomb.”

That notion was made official on March 27, when Bomhardt was named the 2015 Elementary School Counselor of the Year for the state of Delaware and garnered some well-deserved recognition in the process.

“We knew she was going to be so excited,” said John M. Clayton Principal Charlynne Hopkins, who got the news a week before it was officially announced at a counselor’s luncheon in Dover. “So deserving. She’s part of our heartbeat every day. [We] couldn’t do it without her.”

While her colleagues were somehow able to keep the booming news a secret, Bomhardt still had her suspicions when both Hopkins and Vice Principal Allisa Booth accompanied her to the luncheon.

Keeping it professional: Making IRHS students into business pros

Coastal Point • Submitted: Trust us, they’re professionals. The Indian River High School BPA won eight awards at the state competition, leading them to compete at nationals in California. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Gabriella Castillo, Zoe Richard, Hannah Davis, Helen Davis, Lauren Lynch and Kennedy Butch; back row, David Chan, Griffin McCormick, Avery McCormick and Keaton Burke.Coastal Point • Submitted: Trust us, they’re professionals. The Indian River High School BPA won eight awards at the state competition, leading them to compete at nationals in California. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Gabriella Castillo, Zoe Richard, Hannah Davis, Helen Davis, Lauren Lynch and Kennedy Butch; back row, David Chan, Griffin McCormick, Avery McCormick and Keaton Burke.Business is the name of the game for Indian River High School’s BPA, which racked up another year of awards at the state competition this spring.

Business Professionals of America introduces students to the real world of business, and IRHS students emerged triumphant from the spring competition at Dover Downs, where hundreds of students showed their business prowess in research, administration, finance, communication, marketing and more.

With their months of hard work, IRHS students earned a chance to represent the First State at the BPA National Leadership Conference. On May 10, the finalists returned from the five-day event in Anaheim, Calif.

“It’s a really neat experience. I’m excited for everyone to go,” Hannah Davis said beforehand, having attended in 2014. “Everyone’s arriving on the same day. You’re already kind of scouting your competition.”

That mirrors a real-world business conference, advisor Jeff Bunting said.

“Not only are they there to compete, they’re there to learn in numerous seminars, workshops, networking opportunities and general informal schmoozing.”

Eagle Scout project takes some weight off IR’s shoulders

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Surrounded by parents, principal and coaches, Eagle Scout candidate Charles Wayne donated three equipment boxes to Indian River High School Athletic Department. The dedication included, from left, Brandi Lecates, Chuck Wayne, Phillip Townsend, John Jaskewich, Wayne, Steve Kilby, Jerry Sheridan and Bennett Murray.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Surrounded by parents, principal and coaches, Eagle Scout candidate Charles Wayne donated three equipment boxes to Indian River High School Athletic Department. The dedication included, from left, Brandi Lecates, Chuck Wayne, Phillip Townsend, John Jaskewich, Wayne, Steve Kilby, Jerry Sheridan and Bennett Murray.Although he had to take a break from athletics, Charles Wayne still wanted his Eagle Scout project to help Indian River High School. So the Eagle candidate built three portable equipment boxes for the IRHS Athletic Department.

To reach the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts plan their own community service project, and as an IR senior and equipment manager for football, Wayne knew the team “didn’t really have an equipment box.” With that in mind, he also approached the other sports teams: “Hey, would you like one, as well?’”

In the end, lacrosse, soccer and football said yes.

“This is your equipment box,” Wayne told soccer coach Steve Kilby on April 23. “The idea behind it is to outfit a whole player.”

The 4-by-1.5-foot wooden cart is 2 feet deep, with two compartments. The larger is wide open, while the smaller latches shut. With wheels at one end and a handle on the other, the cart only needs one person to tote it, like a wheelbarrow. Or it can stand up, like a closet.

Candidates get final say before school board election

Three candidates are vying for one seat on Indian River School District’s Board of Education in the May 12 election. Voters in District 4 will choose between incumbent Charles M. Bireley, and challengers Gregory Michael Goldman and Judith Ladd Teoli.

Each term on the board is now five years. The winner will represent District 4, which includes Frankford, west Dagsboro and points east.

School district locked down after East Millsboro threat

East Millsboro Elementary School received a threat on Tuesday, May 5, which placed the entire Indian River School District in a low-level lockdown.

According to Delaware State Police, around 9:50 a.m. “an unknown person called the main office of East Millsboro Elementary School, located at 29346 Iron Branch Road, Millsboro, and threatened to harm the children at that school.”

Cordrey wins Indian River School District Teacher of the Year

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Jennifer Cordrey, center, poses with all the IRSD Teacher of the Year school winners.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Jennifer Cordrey, center, poses with all the IRSD Teacher of the Year school winners.For 14 years, Jennifer Cordrey has inspired students, delighted parents and earned praise from her administrators at Indian River High School. Now the agri-science teacher has been named IR School District’s Teacher of the year.

The surprise announcement was made April 30 at the annual Teacher of the Year celebration, held near Long Neck. She was chosen as the district’s overall winner from a pool of 16 candidates — one from each school.

The audience watched video presentations about each candidate. They chuckled to see Cordrey handling a dog in her classroom. A voiceover described Cordrey’s dedication to education, as written by her coworkers, students and their parents.

“Mrs. Cordrey’s encouragement shaped me into the person I have always wanted to be, and her faith in me unlocked the potential I never thought I had,” one student said.

Debate gives voters a look at candidates

School board candidates got to face their electorate directly last week, answering questions in a District 4 debate on April 21. The League of Women Voters in Sussex County hosted the non-partisan debate among candidates for the Indian River School District’s Board of Education

Indian River School District makes first step toward solar power

The Indian River School District’s school board is looking on the sunny side, having voted April 28 to take the first step toward solar power.

Sussex Central High School was one of five Delaware locations chosen for a Solar Resiliency Pilot Program.

Not only would the school “go green,” but the solar array saves money and is installed at no cost to the school district.

Lighthouse Christian hosting breakfast to raise funds

Lighthouse Christian School in Dagsboro will be hosting its annual Spring Breakfast Fundraiser this weekend to help collect funds for the school’s Learning Assistance program.

“Every penny goes to helping needy families keep their kids in the private school,” said Rudy Viguie, whose wife, Pat, is the event planner for the school.

Take it from the top: County Chorus returns after more than two decades

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Middle-schoolers in the Sussex County Junior Honor Choir sang their hearts out at the April 1 concert, according to guest director Jane Grudzina.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Middle-schoolers in the Sussex County Junior Honor Choir sang their hearts out at the April 1 concert, according to guest director Jane Grudzina.More than 20 years have passed since the county chorus concert, as they can recall. But a group of Sussex County teachers decided to start up the music again, forming the 2015 Sussex County Junior Honor Choir, which performed for one grand night, on April 1.

The project began last summer, with a group of teachers lamenting the lack of a choral equivalent to the county band.

“Do you want to just do it? Who says we can’t do it?” Laura Day, Georgetown Middle School choral and band teacher, recalled the group asking.

According to anecdote, the last junior concert was in 1986. A current chorus teacher remembers senior chorus in 1993.

“The only thing chorus has is All-State Chorus, but it’s very selective,” said Eric Tsavdar, Selbyville Middle School chorus director. “It gives the opportunity for students who maybe aren’t All-State level singers yet to kind of break out of their school choir and sing with a more [advanced] group.”

High schools will be invited to participate next year, and auditions will be added in future.

Boys and Girls State students take over County chambers

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: High school juniors from across Sussex County filled Sussex County Chambers last week as part of the American Legion's Boys and Girls State program.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: High school juniors from across Sussex County filled Sussex County Chambers last week as part of the American Legion's Boys and Girls State program.About 40 high school juniors filled the Sussex County Council chambers last Thursday, April 16. They were not in chambers to request a grant or make public comment on a proposed ordinance, but rather as representatives of Girls and Boys State.

Boys and Girls State are programs through the American Legion, offering high school juniors the opportunity to become part of the operation of local, county and state government.

“The national organization requires them to be a member of the junior class, becoming seniors in the fall,” explained Lyman Brenner, chairman of Delaware Boys State. “The state of Delaware has added, too, that they must be in the upper third of their class academically.”

Boys State has existed in Delaware since 1946, and those who wish to participate may be recommended from their school, previous Boys and Girls State participants, American Legion posts or military service academy nominees.

Sussex Central serious about mock trial

Coastal Point • Submitted  : Sussex Central High School is rocking the Mock Trial. The 2015 team includes (front row, from left) Coach Tom Murphy, Helen Gonzalez, Hallie Smith, Holly Williams, Anya Klimitchev, Attorney Coach Ashley Bickel, Coach Helen Elliott, (back row) Faith Kinsler, Derya Sen, Danny Keenan, Charlie Megginson, Nathan Greenlee, Bryce Molnar, Devon Lynch, Maaz Nasir and Emily Ritter.Coastal Point • Submitted : Sussex Central High School is rocking the Mock Trial. The 2015 team includes (front row, from left) Coach Tom Murphy, Helen Gonzalez, Hallie Smith, Holly Williams, Anya Klimitchev, Attorney Coach Ashley Bickel, Coach Helen Elliott, (back row) Faith Kinsler, Derya Sen, Danny Keenan, Charlie Megginson, Nathan Greenlee, Bryce Molnar, Devon Lynch, Maaz Nasir and Emily Ritter.

“The courtroom is a stage,” a judge once told a local mock-trial team. If that’s the case, then Sussex Central High School is putting on a show. SCHS was the top-ranking public school at the 2015 Delaware State Mock Trial Competition, earning sixth place behind five Wilmington-area private schools and among 24 teams total.

Annually, teams are judged at the New Castle County Court House by a panel of attorneys and other legal professionals. Actual justices preside over the mock-trial courtroom.

A relatively young team, SCHS worked hard for four months, as well as the previous four years.

“Five years ago, we were ranked 25th in the state,” noted coach Helen Elliott.

On average, the school has improved by five spots every year, including taking 11th place in 2014.

Each school has two teams: plaintiff and defense. Both halves compete against other schools in the courtroom, arguing a pre-written case.

Teoli throws hat in the ring for school board

Education is simply “my background,” Judith “Judy” Ladd Teoli said. “It’s what I spent my life doing.”

She’s now turning that lifetime into momentum for her campaign for Indian River School Board’s 2015 election. Teoli is one of four candidates for a single District 4 seat, representing Frankford, west Dagsboro and points east.

Cordrey brings life to the classroom at Indian River High School

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Jennifer Cordrey laughs with her senior students at Indian River High School.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Jennifer Cordrey laughs with her senior students at Indian River High School.On a typical day, a gray furball runs circles around Jennifer Cordrey’s classroom at Indian River High School.

Baloo the bunny is one of a menagerie of ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish and a chinchilla that live in Cordrey’s room. Leopard geckos are coming soon.

“There’s always been some kind of animal running around,” Cordrey said of her agricultural-science classroom.

Bringing life to the class, Cordrey was named IRHS Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016.

Cordrey has taught “agri-science” — an umbrella term for animal science, horticulture, pre-veterinary science, landscaping, turf management and more — at IRHS for 14 years.

“I’ve always had a knack for animals,” said the woman who once wanted to be a veterinarian. But a college professor planted the seed of teaching in her head, and it blossomed.

That, in turn, led to Indian River’s greenhouse of flowers, pond of fish and classrooms of animals. The diversity of life teaches students to handle unique creatures. They learn the responsibility, but also compassion, needed in raising animals.

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.

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