Learning Points

Wings & Wheels 2017 planning is officially under way

This year’s Wings & Wheels event is set to take place the weekend of Oct. 6-7.

Things will kick off that Friday, with Aviation Education Day, during which 125 high school students will spend the day at the Delaware Coastal Airport, learning from aviation experts. The 2017 featured speaker for Education Day is Joe Edwards, NASA shuttle commander.

DelTech continues to grow student veteran services

Delaware Technical Community College is making strides for its student-veterans. Last week, the college opened its new Veterans Resource Center at its Charles L. Terry Campus in Dover — joining centers at its Stanton and Georgetown campuses.

Top 10: Local OM team makes a big splash at world finals

It was a worldwide honor for some of Indian River School District’s most creative students recently, as a middle-school team placed in the Top 10 at Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.

Children get a head start with Carver’s Lenhart

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Noel Lenhart was named Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018 at the G.W. Carver Educational Center.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Noel Lenhart was named Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018 at the G.W. Carver Educational Center.Noel Lenhart has always loved education, ever since she was a little girl.

“I just always loved going to school. … I was the one who wanted the workbook at the end of the year,” Lenhart said.

She chased that love into a career and was recently named the Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018 at the G.W. Carver Educational Center in Frankford.

Lenhart teaches children ages 3 and 4 who have developmental delays in the Indian River School District’s TOTS (Transitioning Our Toddlers to School) program.

“I’ve always loved this age group,” Lenhart said. “I think early intervention is so, so important, because it levels the playing field with their peers. The more early services they can get, the less they are behind.”

IRSD shakes up school administrators for 2017-2018

As students finished their last few days at school, the Indian River School District has been lining up administrators for the 2017-2018 school year.

Hats off to the Class of 2017

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The Indian River High School Class of 2017 tossed their mortarboards into the air following their graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 31.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The Indian River High School Class of 2017 tossed their mortarboards into the air following their graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 31.

Rainy days rolled away to allow Indian River High School to celebrate its 48th commencement exercises in a sunny football stadium on May 31.

This year, about 84 percent of the graduates will enter post-secondary school, including 122 students planning to attend Delaware or Delmarva schools.

IRHS graduates honor classmate who lost battle with cancer

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Among those celebrating Trevor Kramer’s legacy at the IRHS graduation were, from left, Tyler Kramer, Samantha Mayfield, student artist Liliana Guido, Gerald Brinson, MaryJo Brinson, Tori Mayfield and Michael Kramer.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Among those celebrating Trevor Kramer’s legacy at the IRHS graduation were, from left, Tyler Kramer, Samantha Mayfield, student artist Liliana Guido, Gerald Brinson, MaryJo Brinson, Tori Mayfield and Michael Kramer.Last week, Trevor Kramer would have graduated with his friends at Indian River High School. Instead, he was lovingly remembered as a kind and outgoing young man who succumbed to cancer in his junior year of high school.

His classmates gave tribute during the May 31 commencement, both in their speeches and in a hand-painted portrait that freshman Liliana Guido presented to Trevor’s family.

Trevor passed away at 16 in March of 2016 at A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, after battling brain cancer. The 11th-grader lived in Frankford and was born in Pennsylvania to MaryJo Brinson and Michael James Kramer. He loved baseball, both cheering the Phillies and playing Little League.

“He was always a joker,” said his stepfather, Gerald Brinson. “If you were down, he’d make sure people would smile.”

A real mother of a teacher

Science and support with Indian River’s Alison Walt

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Indian River High School’s Teacher of the Year recipient, Alison Walt, teaches science at IR.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Indian River High School’s Teacher of the Year recipient, Alison Walt, teaches science at IR.What are two top traits in a teacher? “A caring personality and rock-solid knowledge of science.” That’s how science teacher Alison Walt was described in her Teacher of the Year nomination at Indian River High School.

“Mrs. Walt has the ability to build relationships with all students, but especially those struggling to find their place in the world,” according to one colleague. “Her caring demeanor, respect for all students and willingness to help students with personal issues, resulted in students regarding her as a mother figure, in addition to as a teacher.”

“As an administrator, I could never ask for more than what Mrs. Walt gives every day,” said Principal Bennett Murray.

“I want them to understand there’s somebody that cares about them,” said Walt, who teaches chemistry and physical science to grades 9, 11 and 12. “I want this class to be a place that they know that no one’s going to ridicule them. I just love them all, even when they get on my nerves,” she joked.

The motherly atmosphere is likely an extension of her own children and their friends visiting her classroom over the years as they completed their educations at IRHS. The classroom just became a safe haven for those who sought it.

LB fourth-graders learn about local history

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Lord Baltimore Elementary fourth graders learn about old telephones at the Ocean View Historical Society.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Lord Baltimore Elementary fourth graders learn about old telephones at the Ocean View Historical Society.Last week, Lord Baltimore Elementary School fourth-graders took a field trip just around the corner from their school to the Ocean View Historical Society’s complex. The kids were able to tour the Tunnell-West House, the Town’s first free-standing post office (built in 1889), an outhouse and a replica of Cecile Steele’s chicken house, and view artifacts up close.

“Several of us were lifelong educators, so we are familiar with the age group, with classrooms and schedules,” said OVHS member Carol Psaros. “Barbara Slavin, our current president, is very knowledgeable, because she has a business that still operates in schools.

“We’ve tested it a couple times, and we change it after each time. We had far too much stuff in the first go-around a few years ago. We’re refining it. We want them to have fun.”

Gano receives rank of Eagle

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Trip Jorss, Robert Gano, Grant Gano, Lord Baltimore Principal Pam Webb and Assistant Principal Matthew Keller pose for a photo at Gano’s Eagle Scout project at LB.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Trip Jorss, Robert Gano, Grant Gano, Lord Baltimore Principal Pam Webb and Assistant Principal Matthew Keller pose for a photo at Gano’s Eagle Scout project at LB.Although he left Lord Baltimore Elementary school nearly 10 years ago, Indian River High School senior Grant Gano wanted to give back to his earliest alma mater.

For his Eagle Scout project through Ocean View Boy Scout Troop 281, Gano rehabilitated part of the presentation area of the school’s Environmental Learning Center.

“I went here for elementary school — this was my school growing up, and this area was never used,” said Gano. “I got the idea from that. I felt the need for the deck here.”

Gano reached out to LB Principal Pam Webb and asked her if she would like the area updated and what the school’s needs would be.

'Gatsby' gets green light for IR premiere this weekend

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Whether they’re coming in from East Egg, West Egg or across any other egg-less province, the local community is getting the “green light” to head out to Indian River High School this Friday and Saturday night for the IR drama club’s production of “The Great Gatsby.”

The Simon Levy adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story will “borne back ceaselessly into the past” to feature everything 1920s — from snazzy suits and flapper dresses to the jazz stylings of the Indian River High School band during intermissions and throughout the show.

Coming off the success of their production of “Romeo & Juliet” this past winter — in what was the first-year drama club’s first-ever show — hopes were even higher for “Gatsby,” with everything coming together just in time for curtain call.

“We have a lot to pull together in the last week — as is the nature of theater — but we’re all really excited,” said Sadie Andros, director and first-year English teacher at IR. “We’ve gone a little bigger for this show. We’ve got a great set that we’ve been designing and painting. We have a car, live music — it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

IR’s Clark takes first at BPA nationals in presentation management

Coastal Point • Submitted: IR senior David Clark took first place for presentation management at the BPA National Leadership Conference held in Orlando, Fla. from May 10 to May 14.Coastal Point • Submitted: IR senior David Clark took first place for presentation management at the BPA National Leadership Conference held in Orlando, Fla. from May 10 to May 14.David Clark knows a thing or two about management.

The soon-to-be graduate of Indian River High School has spent the past four years managing his time while juggling a laundry list of extracurricular commitments, ranging from the student council and his responsibilities as the senior class president, to his involvement with the Leo Club and National Honor Society, to running for the varsity cross-country team and helping lead the varsity boys’ tennis team to a Henlopen South division championship this past spring, just to name a few.

With his wide array of leadership roles and as a four-year member in the school’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) organization, Clark also knows a thing or two about presentations, often finding himself being called upon to give a speech during school-wide pep rallies or a senior scholarship awards ceremony.

So when he was called upon to deliver his most important speech to date earlier this month — this time with the focus on the very subject of presentation management, at the BPA National Leadership Conference on Orlando, Fla. — David Clark knew a thing or two about not being nervous, as he went on to take first place in the country and bring home the school’s first BPA national title since 2007.

SMS reading teacher gives it her all

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Meredith Wallace was recently named Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Meredith Wallace was recently named Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.Meredith Wallace would rather do headstands in front of a classroom than give a newspaper interview.

Then again, she would do anything for her students.

That attitude helped make her Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018. Wallace teaches seventh-grade English language arts.

“I try to have fun. … I think that I’m silly. You have to be able to laugh at yourself for them to be able to laugh at themselves,” Wallace said. “Because when you struggle, that’s when you learn, so you have to show it’s OK to make mistakes and learning is fun.”

And the students notice. Student James Livingston gave her a solid review: “Mrs. Wallace is a good teacher. She helped me learn what I didn’t learn before. She makes learning fun.”

For Wallace, teaching was a destiny she welcomed, especially with other educators in the family.

“From the time I was in first grade, I can remember wanting to be a teacher,” she said.

She taught for 13 years in her home state of Maryland, then a year in Millsboro. After teaching social studies, special education and elementary education, she’s loved her four years at SMS.

Teachers, secretaries change contracts to help IRSD

More than 900 IRSD staff impacted

Some Indian River School District staff won’t make as much money this year as they were originally entitled to. They’ve reduced their next three years of raises to help the district deal with budget shortfalls and impending state budget cuts.

PCS students painting for the stars

Coastal Point photos • Submitted: Jeremy Hill, Madelyn Clattenburg and Everett Hall enjoy painting their bees on the nose cone.Coastal Point photos • Submitted: Jeremy Hill, Madelyn Clattenburg and Everett Hall enjoy painting their bees on the nose cone.Local elementary-school students’ artwork could someday be described as “out of this world,” as first-graders at Phillip C. Showell Elementary School were invited in April to paint the top of a sounding rocket. Around 4 feet tall, the nose cone would be attached to the top of a small rocket that carries experiments into the atmosphere, collects data and falls back to earth within 30 minutes.

According to art teacher Laurie Hall, a Selbyville resident who judged the school science fair also works at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Soon after the fair, he invited the first-grade students to help paint a nose cone.

Each PCS student painted a bumblebee on the hive-shaped metal chunk.

Bees have become a school mascot, encouraging students to “Bee responsible, bee respectful, bee positive, bee safe.”

“There can be so many great partnerships formed,” Hall said. “Everybody in the community has something to give or share. You never know who’s living here and what they can bring to the students and the school … [to] help enrich their education.”

Will the hand-painted creation find its place among the stars? Maybe. Even Wallops personnel can’t guarantee it’ll actually be used for a mission.

Sussex Academy announces Honor Roll

Third Marking Period

2016-2017 School Year

6th Grade

Distinguished (A Honor Roll)

Brady Thompson

B Honor Roll

Richardson wins IRSD Teacher of the Year award

A love of reading at core of specialist’s work to help students

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The 2017-2018 Indian River School District Teachers of the Year pose in the Indian River High School auditorium.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The 2017-2018 Indian River School District Teachers of the Year pose in the Indian River High School auditorium.“I love to read,” said Lisa Richardson, reading intervention specialist at Millsboro Middle School.

Richardson is the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year for the Indian River School District. Her win was announced at a dinner on Wednesday, April 29.

Not only does Richardson treasure the worlds that can open through books, but she also has a keen understand of the impact the ability to read has on everyday life.

Richardson’ students come to her needing help meeting reading requirements. The main challenge of her job, she said, is “helping them catch up so they can be successful in their core classes.” If a students is struggling to read, she said, everything else in school becomes a struggle as well.

IRSD celebrates Teachers of the Year

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The 2017-2018 Indian River School District Teachers of the Year pose in the Indian River High School auditorium.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The 2017-2018 Indian River School District Teachers of the Year pose in the Indian River High School auditorium.Hundreds of teachers have made the Indian River School District a leader in education. On April 26, the IRSD honored the best of the best, their Teachers of the Year for 2017-2018.

In a surprise announcement, Millsboro Middle School reading teacher Lisa Richardson received top honors as IRSD Teacher of the Year.

“Her story is in many ways the story of the Indian River School District. She is product our school district who returned to give back, and has done that in many capacities and done it well. Both inside and outside the classroom, she is and has been a role model for others,” stated Gary Brittingham, former principal and assistant superintendent.

As the district’s Teacher of the Year, she is now eligible for the state Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in October.

Lighthouse Christian to hold annual breakfast fundraiser

This weekend, the community can enjoy breakfast while also supporting Lighthouse Christian School families.

“It’s just so wonderful,” said Pat Viguie, event and curriculum planner at Lighthouse Christian.

Murray stepping away from IRHS for family

After four years, Bennett Murray has announced that he will leave the position of Indian River High School principal.

Starting this autumn, he’ll be assigned as an assistant principal in the district, spending half his time at Georgetown Elementary School and half at the Howard T. Ennis School.

Crooks named Delaware School Counselor of the Year

Coastal Point • Submitted: Erin Crooks of Georgetown Middle School was recently named 2017 Delaware School Counselor of the Year.Coastal Point • Submitted: Erin Crooks of Georgetown Middle School was recently named 2017 Delaware School Counselor of the Year.Erin Crooks of Georgetown Middle School has been named the 2017 Delaware School Counselor of the Year.

The award was given on April 10 by the Delaware School Counselor Association during its annual spring conference. Prior to winning the overall state award, Crooks was named Middle School Counselor of the Year by the DSCA in February.

Crooks came to Georgetown Middle School as a school counselor in 2009 after spending the previous two years as a counselor at Georgetown Elementary School. She is a member of Georgetown Middle’s Instructional Leadership Team and is the school’s AVID site team coordinator. One of her priorities during the past nine years has been taking GMS students on visits to college campuses. During that time, she has accompanied more than 350 students on visits to the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Morgan State University, Delaware Technical & Community College, Rutgers University and the University of Maryland.

Crooks is co-chair of the Sussex County Inter-Agency Council for Children and Families and a middle school representative for the Delaware Goes to College Advisory Council. She also served as an adjunct professor at Wilmington University in 2015-2016.

This is the second consecutive year, and third overall, that an Indian River School District counselor has won the state award. Other state winners were Cheryl Carey in 2016 and Lisa Hunt in 2005. It is also the fourth consecutive year that an IRSD counselor has won either the elementary or middle school Counselor of the Year award. Other district winners were Carey (2016 and 2007), Jan Bomhardt (2015), Cathy Showell (2014), Dawn Brasure (2009) and Hunt (2005).

Music lessons offered to expand homeschool learning

Homeschooling gives families the freedom to better control their kids’ education. But they can lack some musical experiences, such as chorus and band lessons. So, starting this fall, longtime high school music teacher Mark Marvel will offer private daytime music lessons to individual students.

Hall draws outside the lines as Showell Teacher of the Year

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Phillip C. Showell Elementary School art teacher Laurie Hall recently received recognition as the school’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Phillip C. Showell Elementary School art teacher Laurie Hall recently received recognition as the school’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.Phillip C. Showell Elementary School art teacher Laurie Hall didn’t always want to teach art.

“I went through a medical-thriller book phase” as a teen, she said. “I wanted to be an epidemiologist.”

She also had a fondness for art. however, and “I always loved my elementary school art teachers. I always used to play school, too.”

And in her junior year in high school, Hall said, “something just clicked.” She majored in elementary education at Frostburg State University and followed that with a master’s degree at George Mason University in “initiatives in educational transformations,” which involved work on bringing visiting artists to schools on Delmarva.

Hall is the 2017 Teacher of the Year for Phillip Showell. She has been at the Selbyville elementary school for five years. During that time, she spent two years without a classroom of her own, pushing her “art cart” from room to room throughout the day.

“It was actually a really good thing for me. It made me be really organized!” she said. Now, however, Hall has her own room, the walls of which are brimming with recent student work.

She is also certified as a special-education teacher and spends part of each week “pushing in” to special-education classrooms. While her work as the school’s art teacher allows her to work with every student in the school each week, she said she also enjoys her special-education classwork, in which she works one-on-one with students or with small groups.

Millsboro student saves sister's life with school training

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Lindsey Espinoza, center, was recently honored by local and state fire associations for using first-aid skills to save her little sister’s life during a choking incident.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Lindsey Espinoza, center, was recently honored by local and state fire associations for using first-aid skills to save her little sister’s life during a choking incident.When 14-year-old Lindsey Espinoza signed up for the fire-cadet class at Millsboro Middle School, who would have guessed she’d be saving her little sister just a few months later?

The Roxana Volunteer Fire Company started the fire-cadet class in autumn to introduce students to lifesaving skills and community service.

“Towards the beginning of the school year, we taught basic first-aid, puncture wounds, choking and hands-only CPR,” said RVFC Fire Chief Chris Uibel. “Little did we know that within two months, Lindsey would save her sister from choking.”

“She was at home, watching her 4-year-old sister. Her sister began to choke on a toy. Lindsey was able to quickly react, knowing everything that she had learned from our program. Through her lifesaving measure, she was able to help her sister from choking.”

IRHS students design elementary-school playground

Three Indian River High School seniors have taken the lead on designing a new playground at Georgetown Elementary School.

When the elementary school’s occupational therapist, Sara Heinicke, wanted to add more accessible playground equipment, she enlisted IRHS students to create one piece. When the budget blossomed with several local donors, the project expanded to a full remodel.

Scholarships help local workers get new career paths

Almost two decades ago, Kathleen Kisela started working toward an important goal in her life — becoming a nurse.

At the time, although her children were small, Kisela believed she could juggle the demands of family with those of nursing school at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown. She found, however, that it was just too much, at the time.

“It was pretty stressful,” she said. “So I couldn’t finish what I started.”

For years, the Milton resident felt as if she just would not be able to achieve that goal.

IRHS students named to honor roll for second period

Indian River High School recently announced its honor roll students for the second marking period of the 2016-2017 school year. Students receiving High Honors were:

Three district teams qualify for Odyssey of the Mind Worlds

Three teams of Indian River School District students qualified for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals with second-place finishes at the state competition on March 25 at Alfred G. Waters Middle School in Middletown.

IR Live! presents a musical of the decades

Live music is a hallmark of Indian River High School productions, and the students are ready to impress once again.

This year’s musical revue is IR Live! presents “The Corner Club on Baker Street,” featuring an original script by music director Nathan Mohler and student T.J. Oxbrough.

Performances are Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5 per person.

Creative Mentoring touches the lives of students and adults in IRSD

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Officer AnnMarie Dalton looks on as OVPD mentees open gifts from the department. Dalton is one of three Ocean View officers who mentor a total of five Lord Baltimore Elementary School students.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Officer AnnMarie Dalton looks on as OVPD mentees open gifts from the department. Dalton is one of three Ocean View officers who mentor a total of five Lord Baltimore Elementary School students.Although many kids have help and support from family and friends growing up, sometimes extra support can be key. That’s where mentoring can play a big role in a child’s life.

The Indian River School District participates in the Creative Mentoring Program, in which 299 students are active participants.

Lord Baltimore Elementary School Counselor Theresa O’Shields said the program really benefits young people in a positive way.

“It is really good for them. It’s gotten them out of their shy spells. Kids who have a lot of energy, or kids who don’t have a good male or female role model,” she said. “The teachers here are good, and they’re so flexible. They know it’s important for the child’s growth. They are wonderful people here.”

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