Learning Points

DCHS Royal Ensemble performs at Carnegie Hall

Nearly a dozen Delmarva Christian High School (DCHS) students had the opportunity to participate in an Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) National Honors Choir Concert at Carnegie Hall on Monday, April 25, in New York City.

Dietrich finds his calling to become Showell’s Teacher of the Year

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Corey Dietrich poses in his classroom at Phillip C. Showell Elementary School in Selbyville. Dietrich was named 2015/2016 Teacher of the?Year at the school.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Corey Dietrich poses in his classroom at Phillip C. Showell Elementary School in Selbyville. Dietrich was named 2015/2016 Teacher of the Year at the school.Corey Dietrich went to Penn State University to study criminal justice.

During the summer of his freshman year, though, his career path took a bit of a turn.

Like many college students, Dietrich took a job at a summer camp, where he worked for his former high school wrestling coach. There, he discovered that he really enjoyed working with children — and his wrestling coach recognized that Dietrich was good at it.

“He was looking at me like, ‘Why are you studying that?’” Dietrich said of his coach’s thoughts on his original major. Dietrich, too, saw that he needed to change his major.

Now 15 years into his teaching career, Dietrich was named Teacher of the Year at Phillip Showell Elementary School in Selbyville last month.

Wilkinson brings a business brain to the classroom

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Stephanie Wilkinson was recently awarded Teacher of the Year for Indian River High School. Wilkinson teaches business at the school.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Stephanie Wilkinson was recently awarded Teacher of the Year for Indian River High School. Wilkinson teaches business at the school.Stephanie Wilkinson was 25 years old when she opened her first business.

Now she’s bringing that experience to the classroom every day, as Indian River High School’s business teacher and its Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017.

“Every day, I bring in something that I did at the store,” Wilkinson said. “They understand it better when … you bring live examples.”

Before embarking on a teaching career, the IR grad owned All Out Sports for 13 years.

As a young business major and athlete, Wilkinson always loved sports, but the closest athletic shops were in Dover and in Salisbury, Md. She decided the Bethany Beach area should have one, too.

IRHS alumni eligible for Pride Scholarship for Current Alumni

After a successful Beef & Brew fundraiser last month, the Indian River High School Alumni Association will offer more scholarships to current college students. The application for the scholarship is due by Wednesday, June 1.

Art imitates life in Clear Space’s ‘Spelling Bee’

“I certainly can relate to the idiosyncrasies of students and teachers!” said Carissa Meiklejohn, one of four performers appearing in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” who can draw on their day-to-day experiences as they enact their roles.

IRSD to offer summer hockey camp

The Indian River School District Community Education Department is offering a Summer Field Hockey Camp for girls ages 8-14 at Millsboro Middle School from Monday, June 20, through Thursday, June 23. Sessions will be held each day from 8 to 11 a.m.

The registration fee is $25 for those who sign up by the May 27 deadline. Late registration costs $35.

SMS teacher explains future of science education in Delaware

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year,  Jennifer Hitchens, is helping to lead the state in a shift in teaching philosophy.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Hitchens, is helping to lead the state in a shift in teaching philosophy.The future of teaching won’t just be about teachers giving answers. It’ll be students actively asking questions.

At Selbyville Middle School, inside Jennifer Hitchens’ sixth-grade classroom, the learning experience is flipped. That’s because she’s piloting the new Next Generation Science Standards for the State of Delaware. She was also recently named the SMS Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016.

Hitchens is helping Delaware to shift from traditional teaching, where the teacher is a “master” who passes along knowledge. Instead, under the new model, the teacher is a guide, walking the educational path with children.

“If you present a kid with a phenomenon that’s interesting to them,” Hitchens said, they’ll be invested in learning it. That’s a far cry from the traditional classroom lecture.

Showell’s Carey named Delaware School Counselor of the Year

Cheryl Carey of Phillip C. Showell Elementary School in Selbyville has been named the 2016 Delaware School Counselor of the Year.
The award was given in March by the Delaware School Counselor Association. Prior to winning the overall state award, Carey was named Elementary School Counselor of the Year in February by the DSCA.

Five IRHS freshmen awarded full scholarships at UD

Five freshmen from Indian River High School have been awarded full scholarships to the University of Delaware by the Give Something Back Foundation (GSBF). The announcement was made to the students on April 15 by GSBF, a nonprofit organization that provides mentors and scholarships to help Pell Grant-eligible students go to college and graduate in four years, debt free.

Coffee filters and creativity

Local OM team fundraising for World Finals

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Jumping for joy: Indian River’s winning Odyssey of the Mind Team included, from left, Kayla Harant, Olivia Hudson, Ethan Rakes, Trinity Kelso, Kaila McCabe and Madison Johnson.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Jumping for joy: Indian River’s winning Odyssey of the Mind Team included, from left, Kayla Harant, Olivia Hudson, Ethan Rakes, Trinity Kelso, Kaila McCabe and Madison Johnson.
The Indian River School District will once again represent Delaware in a worldwide creative problem-solving competition.

Six students will continue the district’s proud tradition of competing in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals this month at Iowa State University, from May 25 to 28.

The team coached by Jennifer Perry took first place in the state competition for the “Furs, Fins, Feathers & Friends” category for Division II (middle school).

The winning team included Kayla Harant, Madison Johnson and Kaila McCabe of Selbyville Middle School; Olivia Hudson and Ethan Rakes of Southern Delaware School of the Arts; and Trinity Kelso of Millsboro Middle School.

IRHS heads to 50th anniversary BPA national competition

Coastal Point • Submitted: The IRHS Business Professionals of America showed their skills at this year’s state conference. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Madison Baker, David Clark, Morgan Bartholomew and Hayden McWilliams; and, back row, James Brannon, Jake Elliott, Griffin McCormick and John Wharton.Coastal Point • Submitted: The IRHS Business Professionals of America showed their skills at this year’s state conference. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Madison Baker, David Clark, Morgan Bartholomew and Hayden McWilliams; and, back row, James Brannon, Jake Elliott, Griffin McCormick and John Wharton.Most students won’t graduate from high school with award-winning skills in PC troubleshooting, payroll accounting or financial management. But Indian River High School students won nine awards in such professional skills at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) State Leadership Conference in Dover in February.

Coached by Stephanie Wilkinson and Jeff Bunting, eight of them were eligible to national competition May 5-9 in Boston.

IRHS winners included:

• First place, Video Production Team — Madison Baker and Morgan Bartholomew

• First place, Financial Math & Analysis — Hayden McWilliams

• Second place, Economic Research — David Clark

• Second place, Interview Skills — John Wharton

• Second place, PC Troubleshooting — Jacob Elliott

• Second place, Payroll Accounting — David Clark

Atkinson smooths student transitions at G.W. Carver Academy

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Karen Atkinson was recently named G.W. Carver Academy’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Karen Atkinson was recently named G.W. Carver Academy’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017.In recognition of her work toward her goal to help students strive for success, Karen Atkinson was named G.W. Carver Academy Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017.

For Carver students, success might mean returning to their home school, settling into a comfortable routine or, sometimes, just getting through the day.

Carver is an alternative school in Frankford, focusing on individual K-12 students’ academic, behavioral and personal needs in the Indian River School District.

Atkinson helps them transition back to their home schools or to graduation. After working through the Carver program (eight weeks minimum, with individualized support, counselors and behavioral specialists) students can’t just drop back into the old routine.

IRHS, BPA, FFA to host color-run fundraiser June 11

The students of the Indian River High School Business Professionals of America (BPA) and Future Farmers of America (FFA) will walk, jog and run to raise funds for the school, which is introducing a program called My School Color Run (MSCR).

Questions arise over IRSD financial officer’s leave of absence

The Indian River School District has pulled its longtime chief financial officer out of the office.

Breakfast fundraiser to raise funds for Lighthouse Christian

To help raise funds for its Learning Assistance Program, Lighthouse Christian School will be holding its annual spring breakfast fundraiser this weekend.

Elementary schools to host open houses for immersion program

John M. Clayton and East Millsboro elementary schools will host a series of open houses for their Spanish-immersion programs on May 4 and May 5. Parents interested in enrolling their child in the program next year may visit the schools on either day to tour the immersion classrooms. No appointment is necessary.

Only kindergarten students will be selected for the program in 2016-2017.

Harris inducted into Who’s Who Honors Program

Stevenson University student Corrin Harris of Millsboro has been inducted into the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, a national honors program, the university announced this week. There were a total of nearly 170 Stevenson students honored this year.

DelTech teams with Accent on Travel for escorted tours

Delaware Technical Community College and Accent on Travel, in conjunction with Collette Vacations, are offering escorted tours designed to be educational, cultural and fun. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Delaware Tech’s Kids on Campus program, by providing scholarship opportunities.

IRSD academic enrichment program receives grant

The Delaware Department of Education has awarded four new 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) program grants under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, including one to the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension 4-H at the Indian River School District’s Phillip C. Showell Elementary School and Hickory Tree Center (also, John M.

Students named to Sussex Academy Honor Roll

Sussex Academy recently announced the names of students who named to the school’s Honor Roll for the third marking period of the 2015-2016 school year. They include:

• Sixth-grade Distinguished (A) Honor Roll — Michael Daniello, Emily Simon.

Students named to Worcester Prep Headmaster’s List for Term 3

Worcester Preparatory School Headmaster Barry Tull recently congratulated the students who made the Worcester Prep Term 3 Headmaster’s List for the 2015-2016 school year.

Williams brings learning to the youngest of students

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill : Wanda Williams poses with some of the toys she uses to teach Kindergarten at East Millsboro Elementary School. Williams was recently named the school’s Teacher of the Year.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill : Wanda Williams poses with some of the toys she uses to teach Kindergarten at East Millsboro Elementary School. Williams was recently named the school’s Teacher of the Year.Wanda Williams has taught kindergarten through third grade for more than 38 years, but kindergarten is by far her favorite age group. Williams, East Millsboro Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year, said she enjoys being part of molding the littlest students into lifelong learners.

“Even though they may have had preschool,” Williams said, “we really set their foundation for them in kindergarten.”

Williams’ classroom is clearly designed to foster students who are thinkers and questioners. In fact, the first thing they encounter inside her colorful classroom is a wall loaded with questions, for which they are encouraged to seek answers.

Gone are the days, Williams said, when kindergarten was all about coloring within the lines and learning to get along with others.

“Kindergarten is a whole different ballgame now,” she said.

At the beginning of each school year, Williams said, she has some students “who don’t even know how to hold a pencil.” Many need help with basic skills. By the end of the year, those kindergarteners will be writing not just words but sentences. Lots of sentences, in fact — “six, seven, eight sentences,” she said with a smile.

Each day’s lesson in Williams’ classroom, her 22 students have lessons in math, science, social studies, mathematics, reading and writing. While that might sound kind of dry and not much fun for 5- and 6-year-olds, Williams explained that they still get to move around a lot and that lessons are packaged in ways that capture the students’ attention and imagination.

Report highlights local school ‘beating the odds’

A report released this week looks at how three high-needs Delaware schools are “beating the odds” by supporting strong instruction and student learning through effective educator support, collaboration and evaluation practices.

McDowell honored at Alvernia University

Top students at Alvernia University received awards at the annual Honors Convocation on Sunday, April 17. David McDowell of Millsboro earned the Award for Excellence in Social Media Marketing from the English & Communication Department in the College of Arts & Sciences.

IRHS, SCHS to implement National Academy of Finance curriculum next year

Indian River and Sussex Central high schools will implement a new finance and accounting curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year, district officials announced this week.

Turlington inducted into Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Shamia Turlington of Millsboro was recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Turlington was initiated at Clark Atlanta University.

IRHS BPA, FFA to host color-run fundraiser

The students of the Indian River High School Business Professionals of America (BPA) and Future Farmers of America (FFA) will walk, jog and run to raise funds for the school, which is introducing a program called My School Color Run (MSCR).

JMC’s Grise named IRSD Teacher of the Year

Melissa Grise, a fourth-grade teacher at John M. Clayton Elementary School, is Indian River School District’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017.

The announcement was made at the district’s annual Teacher of the Year celebration on April 15 at the Clubhouse at Baywood Greens. Grise was chosen as the district’s overall winner from a pool of 16 candidates — one from each school.

Sussex Central is leading county to mock trial greatness

Coastal Point • Submitted: There’s no reason to mock this award-winning Mock Trial team from Sussex Central High School. The team recently won second place in the 2016 Delaware State Mock Trial Competition in New Castle County.Coastal Point • Submitted: There’s no reason to mock this award-winning Mock Trial team from Sussex Central High School. The team recently won second place in the 2016 Delaware State Mock Trial Competition in New Castle County.Sussex Central High School has proven that public schools can lead the state in a prestigious academic competition. This year, SCHS won second place in the 2016 Delaware State Mock Trial Competition.

That’s the highest a Sussex County team has ever advanced in the competition’s 25-year history.

Mock trial puts students in a real courtroom to argue either side of a fictional, but realistic, case.

This year’s fictional criminal trial involved a police officer accused of murder. During two days at New Castle Courthouse, the goal isn’t to win the actual case, but to prove mastery of courtroom proceedings, as judged by real attorneys and justices.

Every team has the same cast of characters, and they compete by arguing different sides of the case against other schools, before an actual Delaware justice. Each student attorney questions one witness from each side.

Indian River only school district without 2016 election

The Indian River School District will not hold a school board election in 2016, as only one candidate registered for each seat that was up for election this year. The incumbents were uncontested, so their new terms will begin on July 1.

Gerald “Jerry” Peden will begin a four-year term in District No. 2 (north Millsboro and southern Georgetown).

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