Learning Points

IRSD board member earns spot on state Board of Education

Nina Lou Bunting is taking her lifetime of educational experience to the Delaware State Board of Education. She recently resigned her seat on Indian River School District’s Board of Education to take a spot on the state board.

“This is a prestigious honor for Nina Lou, who served on the Indian River board for 13 years,” wrote David Maull, IRSD spokesperson.

H.T. Ennis School closes early due to propane leak

The Howard T. Ennis School was evacuated on Wednesday, July 1, due to a propane leak behind the building, the Indian River School District reported in an automated phone call.

SAT printing error not deemed tragic

Despite canceling scoring sections of the June 6 SAT test, the College Board reported that students would still get fairly accurate scores. As if the aptitude test weren’t stressful enough, a printing error may have affected around 1,300 Delaware students who registered for the standard SAT offered on June 6.

New grading scale coming to high schools this fall

Student grade-point averages (GPAs) will get a bit perkier next year, but the change will actually keep them on a level playing field, according to Indian River School District officials.

Beginning this fall, grading scales will be a bit more generous at Sussex Central and Indian River high schools, after a unanimous vote June 22 by the IRSD Board of Education.

Local libraries jam-packed with reading and science programs

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Children planted and will maintain the Selbyville Children’s Garden at the public library. Digging in the dirt were second-graders, from left, Troy Ye, Torrence Brickman and April Rosas, with help from Phillip C. Showell Elementary teacher, Corey Dietrich.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Children planted and will maintain the Selbyville Children’s Garden at the public library. Digging in the dirt were second-graders, from left, Troy Ye, Torrence Brickman and April Rosas, with help from Phillip C. Showell Elementary teacher, Corey Dietrich.It’s just not summer until the summer reading programs begin at local libraries. This year’s theme is “Every Hero Has a Story” at public libraries statewide.

Weekly programs usually feature a performance and occasional craft.

“Traditionally, when the schools are out, we’re mobbed,” said Rachel Wackett of the Frankford Public Library.

Library programs this summer will feature some obvious superheroes. But they’ll also feature local heroes, including firefighters and police officers, plus heroes on the railroad, with the Marshall Steam Museum.

“I’m also going to show them how they can be heroes in their own community and home … [to] think of others, help people on a regular basis.” said Beverly LaFazia of the Millsboro Public Library.

Popular programs include the Mike Rose magic show, ventriloquist Tom Crowl, Rehoboth Children’s Theatre, Sciencetellers, the Delmarva Shorebirds and their Sherman mascot.

Libraries serving children free meals all summer

This summer, all local children are being invited to eat free meals at the Selbyville and Frankford public libraries, no questions asked.

“It will help to fill the gap with food insecurity throughout the summer,” said Frankford Public Library Director Rachel Wackett.

Seashore State Park to host ‘1-Day’ Day Camp

While many of the state parks in Delaware have been offering weekly summer camps for many years, Delaware Seashore State Park is offering its first camp this summer. Each Wednesday, from June 17 through Aug. 12, park staff will be hosting a “1-Day” day camp.

Nguyen wins Cresson scholarship award

Tuyet-Kha Nguyen, a recent graduate of Seaford Senior High School, is the 2015 recipient of the Jim Cresson Scholarship, named for the late Cape Gazette reporter.

Nguyen has been a member of the National Honor Society, Business Professionals of America, Technology Student Association and the Yearbook Club. She was the valedictorian of her class and a 2015 Secretary of Education scholar.

Phillip C. Showell student wins Carson Scholars Fund Award

This spring, outgoing fifth-grader Brynn McCabe was named a 2015 Carson Scholar, capping her experience at Phillip C. Showell Elementary School.

The Carson Scholars Fund awards $1,000 college scholarships to students in grades 4 to 11.

Thompson builds outdoor learning facility en route to Eagle Scout

Special to the Coastal Point • Sam Ellis: Gunnar Thompson, inset, built an outdoor learning center at Ingram’s Pond in Millsboro. Thompson earned his Eagle Scout status with this project.Special to the Coastal Point • Sam Ellis: Gunnar Thompson, inset, built an outdoor learning center at Ingram’s Pond in Millsboro. Thompson earned his Eagle Scout status with this project.To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor in the Boy Scouts of America, Indian River High School senior Gunner Thompson knew that he had to select a service project that would make an impact.

He also knew that the school district’s designated outdoor learning center at Ingram’s Pond in Millsboro had plenty of potential projects that they needed help with. So when he called up to inquire about some of them, it was well-received, and he eventually decided to construct an easily accessible learning area for local students and teachers.

“I knew that they had projects that they needed,” Thompson explained. “I brought that up with them, and they seemed to love the idea, so we went forward with it.”

Timed appropriately with the installation of a new wetlands area, Thompson said that the location of the project was planned accordingly.

“We wanted to put it there — that way, instead of taking a half-mile hike into the woods, they could just take the kids five minutes from the actual facility,” he explained.

However, selecting the perfect project and perfect location was only half the battle, as Thompson took on a new role as senior patrol leader, though which he helped impart his already budding carpentry skills onto four other scouts who assisted with the project.

“You’re in charge of everything,” Thompson said of the position. “It teaches you a lot of leadership skills.”

Millsboro book sale set for July 17 at the Hut, next to library

Millsboro is preparing for its unique annual book sale. Already, many have contributed books to the sale, and supporters are working to organize non-fiction books by subject, such as cookbooks or biographies. For fiction readers, popular (and not-so-popular) authors are sorted and displayed in alphabetical order. Books for children and young adults are sorted by approximate age level.

McWilliams, McCormick attend leadership seminar

Hayden McWilliams and Griffin McCormick, students at Indian River High School, recently attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar held at Wesley College in Dover. They joined more than 70 other young high school leaders from the region June 5-7.

Local students named to Del Tech President’s List

Local students were among those named to the President’s List at Delaware Technical Community College’s Owens Campus for the 2015 spring semester. To be eligible for the President’s List, a student must earn 12 or more credit hours in courses at the 100 level or above in one term, have a term GPA of at least 3.8 and have no “I” grades (an incomplete).

Local students named to Del Tech Dean’s List

A number of local students were named to the Dean’s List at Delaware Technical Community College’s Owens Campus for the 2015 spring semester. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, a student must earn 12 or more credit hours in courses at the 100 level or above in one term, have a term GPA of at least 3.25 and have no “I” grades (an incomplete).

Adkins finds harmony teaching at Southern Delaware School of the Arts

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Denise Adkins was recently named as SDSA’s Teacher of the Year. Adkins is a music teacher at the school.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Denise Adkins was recently named as SDSA’s Teacher of the Year. Adkins is a music teacher at the school.Denise Adkins is sometimes blown away by her eldest vocal students at Southern Delaware School of the Arts.

“They have a great ear,” Adkins said of the students in grades 7 and 8. “You can sing a melody, and they just make up harmonies to go with it.”

Whether working with elementary students once weekly or the music majors three times weekly, SDSA’s Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016 loves when the students’ music comes together: “When the kids get really, really excited about something, and they’re surprised that they do it,” Adkins said, “and they get that great sound.”

Now in her 11th year of teaching at SDSA, Adkins spent the last decade as the vocal music teacher. Although she trained and spent 15 years in special education, her passion blossomed in music education.

Hopkins named Delaware’s Elementary Principal of the Year

Charlynne Hopkins of John M. Clayton Elementary School in Frankford has been named Delaware’s Elementary School Principal of the Year for 2015.

The announcement was made during a special assembly at the school on Friday, May 29. Hopkins was presented the award by Indian River School District officials and representatives from the Delaware Association of School Administrators (DASA).

IRHS announces honor roll for third marking period

Indian River High School recently announced its honor roll students for the third marking period in the 2014-2015 school year.

Students receiving High Honors (grades 93 to 100) were:

DelTech Owens Campus offering more than 100 kids camps this summer

Delaware Tech’s Kids on Campus program is returning for nine weeks of summer camps. The Owens Campus in Georgetown will start summer camp season on June 15 and run through Aug. 14.

Local students receive awards from Academic Challenge Program

The Academic Challenge Program at Delaware Technical Community College’s Owens Campus recently held its annual awards ceremony for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Fink resigns from IRSD school board

The Indian River School District’s school board is down one member after Shaun Fink resigned last week. Fink submitted a letter of resignation to the superintendent and the board president on Wednesday, June 27, the day after Sussex Central High School’s graduation.

IRHS casts graduates to the wind

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Michelle Freeman, president and CEO of the Carl M. Freeman Companies, delivers the commencement address.­Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Michelle Freeman, president and CEO of the Carl M. Freeman Companies, delivers the commencement address.­Graduation caps were flying before the graduation ceremony even ended at Indian River High School on May 27. The Class of 2015 held frantically onto their mortarboards as the wind gusted on an otherwise beautiful evening in the school’s football stadium.

“If somebody asked me ‘rain or wind,’ I’ll take wind any day,” Principal Bennett Murray said, beginning the 46th commencement at IRHS.

“What a group of young adults we have this evening, and we are proud of each and every one of them,” he said of the 199 grads.

Murray estimated that about 82 percent of the class will continue their education at colleges in Delaware, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Tennessee, California and more. Another 5 percent are going into the military, and 15 percent will directly enter the workforce.

School board honors IRHS engineering success

Indian River High School has shown its technical prowess this year, earning official Project Lead the Way Certification for its pre-engineering pathway.

“This is quite an accomplishment, because it is first high school in the state achieving this important milestone,” said Superintendent Susan Bunting at the May 18 meeting of the Indian River School District Board of Education.

Teaching is an art for Ginsberg at JMC

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Marci Ginsberg organizes a student art show every year at John M. Clayton Elementary School, where she was named Teacher of the Year. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Luis Espinoza, Aniyah Blake and Hayley Sockriter; and, back row, Edgar Flores, Bryan Cabrera Icte, Ginsberg, Ramier Turner and James Luther.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Marci Ginsberg organizes a student art show every year at John M. Clayton Elementary School, where she was named Teacher of the Year. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Luis Espinoza, Aniyah Blake and Hayley Sockriter; and, back row, Edgar Flores, Bryan Cabrera Icte, Ginsberg, Ramier Turner and James Luther.Although her classroom is at the end a long hallway, Marci Ginsberg’s art class does not exist in a vacuum. At John M. Clayton Elementary School, she uses art to build upon regular classroom lessons.

When fourth-graders learn about polygons, she’ll teach Picasso. When science classes learn about landforms, she’ll teach landscapes, pointing out the mountains and plateaus. She’s also inspired by current events, such as space shuttle or rocket launches.

That’s part of what made Ginsberg the JMC Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016.

“I extend their learning or refine it into another way, and it’s really cool to see them make those connections,” Ginsberg said of the students.

She works closely with other teachers, building on their lessons. She also wrote module maps, so other specialist teachers can follow core classroom standards.

“She tries to align her classroom to what [teachers] are doing and the state standards,” said JMC Principal Charlynn “Char” Hopkins.

Lord Baltimore students visit Ocean View historical complex

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: LB students gather around a painting of Lord Baltimore Elementary School at the Ocean View historical complex.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: LB students gather around a painting of Lord Baltimore Elementary School at the Ocean View historical complex.The Ocean View Historical Complex was buzzing with excitement last Friday, as all five fifth-grade classes from Lord Baltimore Elementary School were able to tour the facilities.

“It’s important, I think, for the kids to see physically what life was like in the past, what people had to deal with,” said Richard Nippes, president of the historical society.

Students were able to tour the Tunnell-West house, furnished with period furniture and artifacts; an 1800s outhouse; the town’s first post office, built in 1889; and an exact replica of Cecile Steele’s first chicken house.

While in the Tunnell-West house, students were given a tour and then sent on a scavenger hunt to find objects that they wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with today, such as a chamber pot.

They would also go outside to use a period water pump — to understand that indoor plumbing was not available when the house was built in the late 1800s.

School district to switch cafeteria payment system in June

The Indian River School District will begin using a new payment system in all cafeterias, starting June 1.

Currently, parents can prepay for their children’s meals online with the PayPAMS system. However, that payment system will be deactivated on May 27 and replaced later this summer.

Indian River students hitting Anaheim for HOSA conference

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The future of good health could be in their hands: Indian River High School will send four students to the national HOSA competition in June. Pictured, from left, are: Meghan Paulus, Taite Daisey, Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The future of good health could be in their hands: Indian River High School will send four students to the national HOSA competition in June. Pictured, from left, are: Meghan Paulus, Taite Daisey, Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush.Four local students are capping the school year with a June trip to Anaheim, Calif. After earning gold and silver medals at the state leadership conference, the Indian River High School students will represent Delaware at the national conference of HOSA: Future Health Professionals.

Formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, HOSA lets students learn and become leaders as they approach careers in the health field.

At state compeition in March, Meghan Paulus won first place for the Pathophysiology event; Taite Daisey won first for the Nutrition event; and Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush took second for the Health Career Display event. Coaches Shelly Robinson and Shirley Townsend led the team.

Paulus and Daisey demonstrated their expertise on paper at the state competition. Paulus won for pathophysiology, “the study of disease and functions in the body,” she said. That ranged from the stomach to the brain.

IRSD board members get re-elected

The Indian River School District will remain in the hands of incumbent school board members for another year. In the May 12 election, three candidates kept their seats on the Board of Education. The unofficial results were posted within an hour of the polls closing.

Bomhardt named top elementary school counselor in state

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Jan Bomhardt of John M. Clayton Elementary School was recently named Elementary Counselor of the Year for the state of Delaware after receiving an array of nominations from teachers and students alike.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Jan Bomhardt of John M. Clayton Elementary School was recently named Elementary Counselor of the Year for the state of Delaware after receiving an array of nominations from teachers and students alike.As she makes her way up the stairs of John M. Clayton School near Frankford — stopping every so often for an enthusiastic hug hello, careful not to miss one and unable to even if she might have — it doesn’t take long to tell that counselor Jan Bomhardt is... well, kind of “the bomb.”

That notion was made official on March 27, when Bomhardt was named the 2015 Elementary School Counselor of the Year for the state of Delaware and garnered some well-deserved recognition in the process.

“We knew she was going to be so excited,” said John M. Clayton Principal Charlynne Hopkins, who got the news a week before it was officially announced at a counselor’s luncheon in Dover. “So deserving. She’s part of our heartbeat every day. [We] couldn’t do it without her.”

While her colleagues were somehow able to keep the booming news a secret, Bomhardt still had her suspicions when both Hopkins and Vice Principal Allisa Booth accompanied her to the luncheon.

Keeping it professional: Making IRHS students into business pros

Coastal Point • Submitted: Trust us, they’re professionals. The Indian River High School BPA won eight awards at the state competition, leading them to compete at nationals in California. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Gabriella Castillo, Zoe Richard, Hannah Davis, Helen Davis, Lauren Lynch and Kennedy Butch; back row, David Chan, Griffin McCormick, Avery McCormick and Keaton Burke.Coastal Point • Submitted: Trust us, they’re professionals. The Indian River High School BPA won eight awards at the state competition, leading them to compete at nationals in California. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Gabriella Castillo, Zoe Richard, Hannah Davis, Helen Davis, Lauren Lynch and Kennedy Butch; back row, David Chan, Griffin McCormick, Avery McCormick and Keaton Burke.Business is the name of the game for Indian River High School’s BPA, which racked up another year of awards at the state competition this spring.

Business Professionals of America introduces students to the real world of business, and IRHS students emerged triumphant from the spring competition at Dover Downs, where hundreds of students showed their business prowess in research, administration, finance, communication, marketing and more.

With their months of hard work, IRHS students earned a chance to represent the First State at the BPA National Leadership Conference. On May 10, the finalists returned from the five-day event in Anaheim, Calif.

“It’s a really neat experience. I’m excited for everyone to go,” Hannah Davis said beforehand, having attended in 2014. “Everyone’s arriving on the same day. You’re already kind of scouting your competition.”

That mirrors a real-world business conference, advisor Jeff Bunting said.

“Not only are they there to compete, they’re there to learn in numerous seminars, workshops, networking opportunities and general informal schmoozing.”

Eagle Scout project takes some weight off IR’s shoulders

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Surrounded by parents, principal and coaches, Eagle Scout candidate Charles Wayne donated three equipment boxes to Indian River High School Athletic Department. The dedication included, from left, Brandi Lecates, Chuck Wayne, Phillip Townsend, John Jaskewich, Wayne, Steve Kilby, Jerry Sheridan and Bennett Murray.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Surrounded by parents, principal and coaches, Eagle Scout candidate Charles Wayne donated three equipment boxes to Indian River High School Athletic Department. The dedication included, from left, Brandi Lecates, Chuck Wayne, Phillip Townsend, John Jaskewich, Wayne, Steve Kilby, Jerry Sheridan and Bennett Murray.Although he had to take a break from athletics, Charles Wayne still wanted his Eagle Scout project to help Indian River High School. So the Eagle candidate built three portable equipment boxes for the IRHS Athletic Department.

To reach the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts plan their own community service project, and as an IR senior and equipment manager for football, Wayne knew the team “didn’t really have an equipment box.” With that in mind, he also approached the other sports teams: “Hey, would you like one, as well?’”

In the end, lacrosse, soccer and football said yes.

“This is your equipment box,” Wayne told soccer coach Steve Kilby on April 23. “The idea behind it is to outfit a whole player.”

The 4-by-1.5-foot wooden cart is 2 feet deep, with two compartments. The larger is wide open, while the smaller latches shut. With wheels at one end and a handle on the other, the cart only needs one person to tote it, like a wheelbarrow. Or it can stand up, like a closet.

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