Letters to the Editor — March 25, 2016

IR Band Boosters thankful for support


The Indian River High School Band Boosters would like to publicly thank those who supported our two recent events:

• Bingo fundraiser (March 4) — Thank you to all sponsors, donors, Boosters members, parents and students who helped with this year’s Bingo! Special thanks to the Millville fire company, Susan Pleasanton, Pam Webb, and most importantly everyone who bought a ticket and came out to support our event.

• IR Live! Performances (March 18-19) — Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and attended two amazing performances by our students! Congratulations to all the singers, musicians and stage crew who put on such a brilliant program.

These two successful events not only helped to pay for this year’s band trip to Tennessee, but also allowed the Boosters to create a scholarship program this year. In May, the Boosters will award a scholarship of up to $2,000 to a deserving student or students who will continue their musical journey in college.

Sometimes the words “thank you” don’t seem to be enough, but they are the words we use to show our love, admiration and appreciation for those who support the Indian River High School music program.

Brian Baull, President
Indian River High School Band Boosters

Elling offers rebuttal to Hattier


I agree with Mr. Hattier praising the Coastal Point newspaper for allowing members of our communities to express their opinions.

We do indeed have an increase in public school student population. Why does Mr. Hattier specifically point out that the growth problem is the cause of the “Hispanic” population increase? If we look at the past comments of Mr. Hattier, this is not the first time he has pointed out that this population is a problem to him. He did not and still appears to not want this population within the IRSD.

What has the student population increase been among the Indigenous Americans, European-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Islamic-Americans, Syrian-Americans and more sisters and brothers of humanity in this time period? What difference does it matter when you are serving all of the children within our district equally? Please tell me that discrimination and racism in any form is being quickly eliminated within our school district.

Will our state, county, cities, towns, school districts continue to expand for the next 20 years? Most likely, until the citizens, boards of educations, cities and towns speak out against further housing developments. We are at the breaking point of the capacity of the property owners to accommodate the tax burdens. Our environment may well be incapable to positively respond to these human growth patterns.

I am open to a countywide school district. I am open to flexible school district boundaries to accommodate student placement. Why cannot the IRSD negotiate with our adjoining school districts with our student populations if there is more room on one side of the “line”?

What can we do to solve the population issues within our existing schools? Stay with the same pattern or make some changes? I am open to changes. We have two high schools that need to expand. What if we operated our schools during the present morning/afternoon hours and we operated late afternoon/evening classes? Our schools are essentially empty every evening within all of our school’s classrooms. Let’s not expand our high schools or middle schools until our day and evening class capacities are at full.

Why not move our 12th-grade students to the Delaware Technical Community College for their final year? With the 12th-grade students moving out a year earlier, could we then move eighth-graders into high schools? Could we move fifth-graders to middle schools? Mr. Hattier, would these steps be academically possible and lessen the need to physically expand our schools? Will this approach save us tax dollars?

We absolutely must replace the Howard T. Ennis School facilities. Where is the only question, and that is obvious to me when both of our high schools have extensive land space. Both high schools would benefit with the interaction of students within Howard T. Ennis. This opportunity cannot be allowed to be lost. Do you agree, Mr. Hattier?

Make no misunderstanding of my questions and suggestions. I am very supportive of our public school systems. The public school systems gave me a future. I support the future of all of our students at every level.

Lloyd E. Elling
Ocean View

School using golf to help students


For the majority of my North Laurel Elementary School students living in extreme poverty, the idea of playing a round of golf with a friend or getting quality golf instruction is simply out of the question. Having two daughters whose main sport is golf, I see firsthand how the game of golf positively impacts all who develop an appreciation for the positive personal and social values associated with the game.

The First Tee National School Program is designed to be implemented as a part of our regular, in-school elementary physical education classes. This program provides us with a complete introductory golf program that is developmentally appropriate for our students.

The program will engage students in daily lesson activities that lead to motor-skill development and presents golf to students as a lifelong recreation and health-enhancing activity. Additionally, the Nine Core Values of this program are valuable teaching tools for all activities and life. Teaching my students these values is a valuable part of their education.

This project will give each of my students the opportunity to develop their skills, as well as their interest in a game that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.

The core values learned from this program will help them succeed in life and not just golf. I have seen how golf has positively impacted my two daughters, and I know it will make a positive difference in the lives of my students. For many of my students, this great game will likely open doors that would otherwise remained locked.

The cost of the program is $3,021, which has been completely funded by individual donors and the Delaware First Tee.

I would particularly like to thank Mike Cutright, a member of Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club, who worked very hard to spread the word to his fellow members. Many of these members generously donated and helped us to fund this grant. Each person gave at least $100 and, in some cases $300, of their own money so that we were able to purchase equipment and programing from the First Tee.

Those donors include: Dan Adams, Bill Athey, Bob Bradley, John Chanaud, Barbara and William Costa, Jeff Crossman, Walt and Marie Curran, Michael and Cay Cutright, Steve Gordan, Steve and Maureen Jones, Tom and Maureen McCollum, Michael and JoAnne McGowan, Karen Sergison, Michael and Donna Tanguay, Tim Whelan and John Yanowitz.

I would also like to thank Charma Bell, program director for First Tee of Delaware.

Garrett Lydic
North Laurel Elementary School