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.
If you are 50 years of age or older, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware invites you to continue your education, while meeting other community members with similar interests.
Many high-paying jobs require at least some college or training. That’s one reason Sussex Central High School seniors recently discussed the college and scholarship process with Delaware Department of Education officials and Gov. Jack Markell.
In the cool autumn breeze of Sept. 8, Markell remembered a Wilmington student who never thought she could afford college, including the application fees. But the Class of 2015 is the second year benefitting from a Delaware and College Board agreement that “if you come from a family without a lot of money, you can apply to up to eight colleges without paying any application fee,” Markell said.
With scholarship help, that Wilmington student got a full ride to Stanford University.
Students can visit www.DelawareGoesToCollege.org for more information.
School bus routes are affecting more than just parents. Sharon Moore and her coworker stood before the Indian River School District Board of Education on Aug. 25 to share how direly the new bus schedule could affect Guardian Angel Daycare.
Living just 15 minutes from Phillip C. Showell Elementary, the school’s new principal can’t wait to get involved in her school community, and Heather Bethurum’s short commute to Selbyville means she can really live in her school community.
“It’s so much easier to be involved in evening things,” she said, coming from Millsboro. “It’s important to go to the festivals or see kids at the grocery store sometimes, and I didn’t see that at Seaford. I loved my school, but it was just time to consolidate.”
Bethurum was principal of Blades Elementary in Seaford for two years. Before becoming assistant principal, she taught art and enrichment.
In the beginning of her PCS tenure, Bethurum is “just getting to know everybody. There are so many things that are working here so well. The challenge is not to change things that are working so well,” but step into the system and make changes together. “The staff here is very capable. I’d rather come in alongside them.
“What a fabulous school. The staff has been so friendly,” Bethurum said. “The community’s been wonderful.”
She’s worked with returning Assistant Principal Brandon Snyder on a revamped schedule and local emergency responders for drills.
Selbyville Middle School has a new leader at the helm this year. Jason Macrides is excited to join SMS students, staff and parents.
“I come to the Indian River School District with a high level of excitement and enthusiasm, and they can count on getting my best every day,” he said.
Macrides (pronounced “mac-REED-ess”) was the principal at Delmar Middle School for two years and assistant principal there before that. He taught social studies at Stephen Decatur High School for 13 years prior to his administrative roles, also coaching lacrosse.
“Education allowed me to combine the things I loved as a younger person,” he said, pointing out that it has allowed him to share his love of history “and continuing my involvement in athletics via coaching.”
Originally from Syracuse, N.Y., Macrides came to Salisbury University for its lacrosse team, but stayed for the teaching program. Now he loves working at a middle school.
“I don’t think I’d have it any other way. Middle-school kids — they’re still malleable, they’re receptive, they’re eager. They come to school excited,” Macrides said. “That just makes for a great atmosphere. I really do enjoy working with the middle-school kids [although] they have their quirks.”
As Macrides often tells parents, his outlook changed when he joined their ranks and became a parent himself four years ago.
Many teachers have reached into their own pockets for the benefit of students, whether for school supplies or another need. Restaurateur Matt Haley wanted to ease that pressure and did so recently with a $500 grant for each of his 15 employees who teach during the year.
Haley, who was killed as the result of a motorcycle crash while on a humanitarian mission in India on Monday, Aug. 18, had recently announced the Matt Haley Companies’ (MHC’s) Teacher Fund, designed to support all teachers who work part- or full-time for MHC.
“Any student of a teacher that works with us is a student of ours. No underprivileged student will ever not be prepared with school supplies again. We commit to supporting our students with supplies so the teachers will not have to,” Haley said in announcing the effort earlier this summer.
“The aim of the fund is to ensure children in the classrooms of our teachers are fully funded and have the supplies and resources to be successful,” explained MHC President Scott Kammerer. “If somebody needs a pair of shoes, backpack, pencils, crayons…”
This is the first Teacher Fund, but it likely won’t be the last for MHC’s teachers. Asked if such a program would entice more teachers to take jobs within the Haley companies, Kammerer said, “I hope so!”
“I think companies that are successful should look within their own families to support [them]. Our family was supported by someone giving Matt Haley a chance. It’s in the DNA of our company to pay it forward.”
Karate and self-defense keep people agile
The Indian River School District is teaching at all hours of the day, having announced its Adult Education offerings for the fall of 2014, which include everything from babysitting certification to aerobics.
This year, Self-Defense and Karate returns to the lineup on Tuesday nights, Sept. 9 to Dec. 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at John M. Clayton Elementary. People can join to get a few self-defense basics that might come in handy in a dark parking lot, or they can begin long-term training, so the person who dreams of a black belt can continue taking these sessions in winter or spring.
Classes are flexible, so people can skip a semester or work side-by-side with people at vastly different skill levels.
The Indian River School District will host a special public information session regarding school choice on Monday, Aug. 25, at Sussex Central High School at 6 p.m. The session will take place prior to the regularly-scheduled Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m.
Rydge Skyler Dudley of Selbyville is the recipient of an academic scholarship from Lebanon Valley College, the college announced this week. Dudley, intending to pursue a major in criminal justice, has been admitted for the fall 2014 semester.
Christopher Buzby is joining the music faculty at Worcester Preparatory School this September, following 18 years as director of instrumental music at Abington Friends School (AFS) in Jenkintown, Pa., where he conducted the Middle & Upper School concert bands, orchestras and jazz ensembles and taught music appreciation, music theory and digital audio classes.
Like it or not, September is coming, but Indian River High School officials want new students to feel at home immediately. IRHS is inviting all incoming ninth-graders and any transfer students to a New Student Orientation on Thursday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s something that we’ve always wanted to do” — prepare students for the next four years, said Principal Bennett Murray.