Learning Points

IRSD announces more new administrators, fills staff

With the new school year having begun on Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Indian River School District is putting the finishing touches on its administration lineup. Although most of the transition was completed before July, a few new opportunities recently opened up for IR staff. Last-minute changes were made at several schools:

IRHS student crowned Miss Hispanic Delaware

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Ana Calles’ crown holds dozens of glittering rhinestones that represent the beauty, poise, intelligence and quick thinking she displayed at the 2017 Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Ana Calles’ crown holds dozens of glittering rhinestones that represent the beauty, poise, intelligence and quick thinking she displayed at the 2017 Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant.Selbyville is home to a new pageant winner and community leader: 17-year-old Ana Calles was crowned Miss Hispanic Delaware this week.

“It’s still very surreal to me, because it’s just something that I’ve been wanting for a long time, and that it’s actually manifested into reality — it’s very surreal,” Calles said.

She has just begun 11th grade at Indian River High School. As the pageant’s only downstate contestant, Calles said she was happy to stand out geographically, despite the necessity of the two-hour drive to the Baby Grand theater in Wilmington’s Grand Opera House for rehearsals and the competition.

Calles represented Mexico in the Aug. 26 program, which celebrates Hispanic culture and is designed to help young ladies develop poise and communication skills. Calles has lived in Selbyville all her life, except for a few years in Mexico when she was younger.

“I was nervous throughout the whole day, but after our opening-number dance, I felt more confident and comfortable on stage,” she said of her very first pageant.

Calles had dreamed of competing for years, but her family had just suffered the painful impact of losing her mother in April.

“I just wanted to make her proud her proud, overall, even though I know just competing made her proud,” Calles said. “I know she was with me that night. I could feel her.”

IRSD talks budget, school numbers, FFA

With some of its schools completely over their enrollment capacity, the Indian River School District is trying to nail down a system for school choice.

On Aug. 28, for the first time in months, the Board of Education approved a number of school-choice recommendations, after only a few minutes of discussion.

Selbyville teen to compete in Miss Hispanic pageant

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: For her pageant platform, Ana Calles encourages people to volunteer for the causes they love.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: For her pageant platform, Ana Calles encourages people to volunteer for the causes they love.Ana Calles doesn’t mind driving two hours to Wilmington every week this summer. Hailing from Selbyville, she’s the only downstate contestant in the Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant.

“Honestly, it’s a big honor, and I feel very fortunate and blessed,” said Calles, 17. “I see how I’m the only one from lower Delaware. I don’t see that as an inconvenience to go all the way up there. I see it was an opportunity or a blessing. I think it’s special because it makes me stand out.”

She will represent Mexico in the Aug. 26 program, which celebrates Hispanic culture and is also designed to help young ladies develop poise and communication skills.

As a rising junior at Indian River High School, Calles said she has wanted to join the pageant for several years now. Calles has lived in Selbyville all her life, except for a few years in Mexico when she was younger.

She has the drive to compete, even hiring Uber rides to Wilmington, until teacher Lori Hudson put an end to that. Then, Hudson personally drove Calles to rehearsals and helped her with program sponsorships.

“She helps me with my schooling and everything. She’s really awesome, to be honest,” Calles said of Hudson. “She definitely goes out of her way, and she’s really there for me — almost in a way a mother would.”

The pageant began in 1972 and is celebrated with the Wilmington Hispanic Festival.

Community helping local kids with school supply drives

Nowadays, “school supplies” are more than just pencils and paper. And some families have trouble affording all the crayons, scissors, binders, index cards and more needed for a successful school year — not to mention a quality backpack to carry everything.

This month, people can donate to local school supply drives, which directly help local children and teens.

Ahoy, robots!

LB brings bots to the beach

Coastal Point • Laura Walter:  Branden Lathbury, left, and Logan Shoobridge display their Lego VEX robot at the Bethany Beach banCoastal Point • Laura Walter: Branden Lathbury, left, and Logan Shoobridge display their Lego VEX robot at the Bethany Beach banThese kids didn’t mind going to school in summer, as Lord Baltimore Elementary School hosted a robotics summer camp for 10 students in which they designed, built and programed their own robots.

“It was hard, but it was really fun to work with each other,” said rising fifth-grader Jay Lockard.

The 10 children from the upper grades at the school split into three teams, and each team built their own Lego VEX robot. Starting with a box of plastic pieces, they learned team-building, strategizing, construction, programing and some coding.

“I was surprised about how we took all these tiny, tiny pieces and put this together,” said Whitney McMillon, technology teacher.

Nature center offers free programs to help families explore Delaware

In order to spread education and awareness about the Inland Bays and wetlands in the Delaware area so that the public is compelled to explore, appreciate and preserve their surroundings, the Bethany Beach Nature Center offers interactive and hands-on programs for locals and visitors of all ages.

School board wants consistent rules for school choice

Kevin Patterson’s third-grade daughter has found success in the Indian River School District, and he looked forward to sending his son to kindergarten this fall. But, living outside the district, the boy isn’t guaranteed a spot, and the school has recommended that the school board reject his school choice application.

Millsboro book sale extends to a second weekend

The Millsboro Public Library’s used book sale will continue for its second weekend on Friday, July 28, from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Friday, books will be sold individually; paperback books sell for $1 and hardback books sell for $2. The sale will also feature CDs, DVDs and more.

Science and salt air: Sun Otter Tours show off science tours beyond the beach

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Scott Thomas, executive director of Southern Delaware Tourism, seines the bay.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Scott Thomas, executive director of Southern Delaware Tourism, seines the bay.Seaweed tastes a little different when pulled straight from the ocean. Visitors laughed as they tentatively nibbled a bite of sea lettuce in the Delaware Bay. They were on the final leg of the marine ecology tour in Lewes with the new Sun Otter Tours.

The new tour company is taking people on “science-based learning adventures for the naturally curious.” Jody and Steve Dengler created the program to encourage more visitors to visit cool places in coastal Delaware.

“We are a family of travelers. We are a family of science nerds,” Dengler said.

Steve Dengler was selling windows, while Jody Dengler taught at Wilmington University, until the school’s Rehoboth Beach location closed in 2016. But she wanted to keep teaching people about their community.

Dagsboro offer for school resource officer rejected by IRSD

At the monthly town council meeting on July 17, Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey reported to the council on his presentation to the Indian River School District regarding the role of school resource officer.

Tours offer glimpse into marine research at UD Lewes campus

A multicolored display of the Earth is shown across nine contiguous television screens and, with the click of a mouse, a University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean & Environment (CEOE) graduate student zooms in on North America, the United States, Delaware and, eventually, Lewes.

SDSA has openings for eighth-grade students

Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville has several openings for students in Grade 8 for the 2017-2018 school year, Indian River School District officials announced this week.

Kraushaar named to the Albright College dean’s list

Sarah Kraushaar, a freshman from Ocean View, was named to the Albright College dean’s list for the 2017 spring semester. Albright students had to attain at least a 3.75 term grade-point average to be named to the list.

Dinelli makes the Dean’s List at RIT

Jason Dinelli of Frankford, who is studying photographic sciences, made the Dean’s List for the 2017 spring semester at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Hrebik receives degree from Georgia Tech

Ashley Hrebik of Selbyville recently earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Hrebik was among approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students who received degrees during Georgia Tech’s 253rd Commencement exercises on May 5-6 at the McCamish Pavilion.

Beachboard named to Dean’s List at Georgia Tech

Trevor Beachboard of Bethany Beach was recently named to the Dean’s List for the Spring 2017 semester at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The designation is awarded to undergraduate students who have a 3.0 or higher academic average for the semester.

‘Vietnam Mailbag’ author, veteran to appear at CHEER

Journalist Nancy E. Lynch, author of the award-winning social history “Vietnam Mailbag, Voices From the War: 1968-1972,” and Vietnam veteran Rick Lovekin will join forces for a program at 6 p.m. on July 25 at the CHEER Coastal Leisure Center. Their presentation, designed as a salute to all Vietnam veterans, is sponsored by the CHEER Center, at 30637 Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.

Nearly 100 classes planned for fall at Osher institute

More than 95 classes on a wide range of topics will kick off the fall semester at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Delaware in Lewes and Ocean View. Fall classes begin on Sept. 5 at both the Lewes location at the Fred Thomas Building, 520 Dupont Avenue, and the Ocean View location at Ocean View Town Hall at 32 West Avenue.

FOMPL to host their largest book sale ever

The Friends of the Millsboro Public Library are presenting their largest book sale ever on Friday, July 21, and Saturday, July 22; and again on Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29, from noon to 7 p.m. on the two Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Saturday sale dates.

Oral history project renewed at Selbyville Public Library

In a quiet area of the Selbyville Public Library’s Delaware Room, there exists the oral histories of 22 people with many, sometimes little-known, memories of the town of Selbyville (first known as Sandy Branch as early as 1778).

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.”

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