Learning Points

Indian River School District lowers property tax rate

Property owners will keep a few dollars in their pocket after the Indian River Board of Education voted recently to reduce the school district’s property tax rate by 5 cents. The tax rate for the 2015 fiscal year decreased from $2.743 to $2.693 per $100 of assessed value.

IR students Cooney, Boyle place at National HOSA Conference

After placing first at the state level, rising Indian River High School seniors Lili Cooney and Katie Boyle went on to place seventh out of the entire nation at the HOSA-Future Health Professionals National Leadership Conference in Florida last week.

Summer seminar teaching kids to Lead like a Girl

Why should it be an insult to say someone does something “like a girl”?

Sarah Daisey Clark says it shouldn’t be, which is why she’s facilitating “Lead like a Girl,” a summer camp for girls in grades 5 to 9. Through the camp, Lead Your Way Solutions is aiming to help girls discover their personal strengths and authentic leadership style.

Students named to honor roll at Indian River High School

Indian River High School recently announced its final honor roll for the 2013-2014 school year. Receiving High Honors for grades between 93 and 100 were:

Students take boating safety course through Coast Guard Auxiliary

A class of 14 students at the University of Delaware’s Marine College in Lewes recently participated in a one-day Delaware Boating Safety class led by Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Education instructor Andy Smith with assistance from William Tower, vessel safety examiner and John Ballantyne, communication services officer.

Kids get a ‘Hahn’ up at Carver Academy

During a long school day, any physical activity can be a welcome break. That’s why Robert “Bob” Hahn makes physical education a positive thing at G.W. Carver Academy, where he was named Teacher of the Year this year.

“I’m here to teach them to try to keep themselves physically fit, find things that they like to do to keep them active and try to keep them out of trouble,” he said.

IRSD rejects free lunch for all students in some schools

The Indian River School Board of Education this week discussed, and ultimately rejected, a free meals program. Funded by the U.S. government, students could get free breakfast and lunch though Community Eligibility Provision, regardless of economic necessity. The CEP aims to feed children in high-poverty areas.

Poetry class focuses on ‘experiments with words’

Starting on Monday, June 30, the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild is offering a summer poetry workshop designed to inspire and motivate writers of all skill levels.

Civil War Profiles: Lee’s shadowy invasion through the Shenandoah Valley

Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac were operating in a cat-and-mouse mode on their march northward away from the Rappahannock River in early June 1863. Hooker was in pursuit of Lee, who was making every effort to avoid detection of his planned invasion of the North (see “Here come the Rebels!” Coastal Point, June 10, 2014).

Art teacher brings ‘Moore’ opportunities to SDSA

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Jamie Moore discusses the permanent artistic risks stuents take by painting bricks at Southern Delaware School of the Arts, where she was named Teacher of the Year.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Jamie Moore discusses the permanent artistic risks stuents take by painting bricks at Southern Delaware School of the Arts, where she was named Teacher of the Year.Jamie Moore’s day begins at 4 a.m., when she takes time to write nine different art lessons for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. But that’s OK. She’ll get to watch those 450 students blossom over time at Southern Delaware School of the Arts.

“That’s the advantage of having such an age range. The little ones see what big kids do,” Moore said. “I get to grow them. And not many people get to do that.”

Even with decades of experience, Moore’s enthusiasm and new ideas earned her recognition as SDSA’s 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year.

“I teach creative thinking and problem-solving,” she said. “SDSA affords me the chance to be a risk-taker.”

Moore gets more class time than typical art teachers. But she also lets kids do great things.

“I think if kids are given an opportunity and a place to feel free … they’re just being themselves, and themselves are pretty interesting.”

Local students named to Dean’s List at University of Delaware

A number of local students have been named to the University of Delaware’s Dean’s List for the 2014 spring semester.

Bollinger is back home in Lord Baltimore

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Fourth grade teacher Kayla Bollinger was recently awarded Lord Baltimore’s Teacher of the Year award.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Fourth grade teacher Kayla Bollinger was recently awarded Lord Baltimore’s Teacher of the Year award.Kayla Bollinger may only be in her 20s, but kids have long looked up to this Teacher of the Year.

“When I was younger, everyone referred to me as ‘Mom.’ I would go to different events with my parents, and the kids were just drawn to me,” said Bollinger, labeling herself calm and soft-spoken.

Now teaching fourth grade at Lord Baltimore Elementary School, Bollinger has transferred that motherliness to her own new family and that calm to the classroom.

“What I like about her classroom atmosphere is there’s always a sense of calm in her room. You always walk in and just go ‘Ahh,’” said fellow teacher Donna Smith. “Not too over the top and out of control … and the kids seem so happy.”

But don’t let the tranquility fool you. Bollinger stays sharp, always thinking ahead.

Author of book about signing with young children to appear at Bethany Beach Books

An expert on promoting early literacy for all children though sign language, Baltimore author Kathy MacMillan will sign her new book, “Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together,” on Tuesday, July 15, at 7 p.m. at Bethany Beach Books. She will also offer a hands-on storytime for parents and kids of all ages at the store on Wednesday, July 16, at 9 a.m.

Jalot named to Dean’s List at University of New Haven

Laree Jalot of Ocean View was named to the Dean’s List at the University of New Haven for the spring 2014 semester. Full-time undergraduate students must have a 3.50 or better cumulative GPA for the semester to be eligible for the Dean’s List.

McCollum named to Mount St. Mary’s dean’s list

Elizabeth McCollum of Millville is among the 548 students who earned dean’s list honors for the spring 2014 semester at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. McCollum, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McCollum, made the dean’s list by maintaining a 3.4 or higher grade point average.

Delmarva Christian High School graduates Class of 2014

Delmarva Christian High School has proudly celebrated the graduation of its 10th senior class — the Class of 2014. As construction of the school’s new Arts & Athletic Center was not ready for the May 23 event, the ceremony was moved to Eagle’s Nest Fellowship Church in Milton. The evening’s speaker was Todd Williams, president of Cairn University in Langhorn, Pa.

Tunnell-West historical complex to open weekly to public

The Ocean View Historical Society is hoping to open its doors — and, more specifically, its historical complex — this month to help teach locals and visitors about the area’s history.

Beginning June 18, the Ocean View Historical Society will have the Tunnell-West historical complex open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. every Wednesday.

History is less of a mystery with new South Bethany book

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The South Bethany Historical Society proudly presents ‘The Best Little Beach in Delaware,’ a history book spearheaded by, from left, John Speer Jr., and Lora and Tony Caputo. The front cover shows Speer’s family in 1969 with several houseguests, all leaping gleefully into the air.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The South Bethany Historical Society proudly presents ‘The Best Little Beach in Delaware,’ a history book spearheaded by, from left, John Speer Jr., and Lora and Tony Caputo. The front cover shows Speer’s family in 1969 with several houseguests, all leaping gleefully into the air.“With the advent of the 21st century, it became increasingly apparent that much of South Bethany’s rich history was slipping away.”

That concern ignited the South Bethany Historical Society, and the sentence now introduces the colorful 160-page history of the small town, published just last week.

“The Best Little Beach in Delaware” includes memories of life in the quiet town, as told by the residents themselves. They remember clamming, crabbing, watching National Guardsmen train in Bethany Beach, running errands in Selbyville and tying boats to shrubbery before bulkheads were installed.

“We tried to make history fun,” said coordinator and chairman John Speer Jr.

The book includes many opinions, from those who remember throwing parties in their parents’ beach houses to those who wish today’s parties were a bit quieter.

“The founder wanted us to interview the old-timers before they all passed or left the area or started getting forgetful,” said Tony Caputo, writer, designer and South Bethany councilmember, of SBHS founder Mary Suazo.

About 20 volunteers did the writing and interviewing.

Besides full interviews and stories, pages are dedicated to homeowners’ association, neighborhood watch, tennis club, wildlife sightings, storms and much more.

Past mayors had their say, discussing hot topics of the day.

Summer reading programs offered at Frankford Library

Children and teens are being invited to make new discoveries, enjoy free programs and participate in reading challenges this summer at the expanded Frankford library.

Local students receive state merit scholarships

The Delaware Department of Education this week announced the recipients of four state merit scholarship programs for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Botanic garden to host ‘Trees: Amenity or Necessity’ program

Joseph “Jay” Townsend will present “Trees: Amenity or Necessity in the 21st Century?” on Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Lewes Public Library, hosted by the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

Summer programs offered at South Coastal Library

Reading programs for all ages continue to lead the parade of events scheduled for summer at the South Coastal Library. Each program revolves around discovering and exploring the world of science.

IR students climb STEM to architecture and engineering

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Joseph Ciriello presents a real toy car and the 3D computer model at Indian River's STEM class.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Joseph Ciriello presents a real toy car and the 3D computer model at Indian River's STEM class.Many of today’s K-12 students are preparing for jobs that don’t even exist yet. As technology catapults forward, Indian River High School is pulling the lever with a pre-engineering pathway for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

Only two years old, the four-year STEM pathway is aimed at preparing students for a new level of technology and design in their college and careers.

“I like creating things,” said freshman Joseph Ciriello, who joined STEM after being inspired by a family friend who works in mechanical engineering. In the design-heavy course Introduction to Engineering Design, he’s ready to start building, but the students are first learning the computer programs that will propel them to the next step.

Long Neck counselor loves students, community service

Cathy Besden-Showell has more than 700 students at Long Neck Elementary School, but she aims to make a difference where it’s really needed.

“You have the opportunity to impact the students’ lives. I’m sure you don’t impact them all, but … some, you do make a difference,” she said.

Comolli brings passion to teaching at Indian River High

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Indian River High School’s Diane Comolli recently earned Teacher of the?Year at IRHS. Comolli compared winning the honor to an Oscar of the teaching world.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Indian River High School’s Diane Comolli recently earned Teacher of the?Year at IRHS. Comolli compared winning the honor to an Oscar of the teaching world.When Principal Bennett Murray tried to congratulate Diane Comolli for winning Teacher of the Year at Indian River High School, he couldn’t actually reach her. Students were eagerly swarming the English teacher’s classroom.

“I went down there to congratulate her after I had made the announcement via the PA system. I couldn’t get to her because her students were congratulating her and giving her hugs. Her kids were just as proud of her as we were,” Murray said. “I thought that spoke volumes that the students took time out of their schedules to congratulate her.”

“I was overwhelmed,” she said. “There are such fabulous teachers in this building. Just to be considered … is an honor. I guess, if you’re a teacher, that’s an Oscar!”

“I was so glad and honored to represent what is good about this building,” she said. “Indian River demonstrates each day what’s good about public schools.”

Teaching 10th-grade English, she sees students of all abilities, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I have a passion for all kids. They all deserve to learn. They all can learn, no matter what circumstances they come from,” said Comolli, adding that she feels she can approach multiple needs and learning styles.

“I got that from advertising. I talk to my audience in a way they’ll listen. … In high school, that’s especially important,” she said.

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