Learning Points

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.”

Gano receives rank of Eagle

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Trip Jorss, Robert Gano, Grant Gano, Lord Baltimore Principal Pam Webb and Assistant Principal Matthew Keller pose for a photo at Gano’s Eagle Scout project at LB.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Trip Jorss, Robert Gano, Grant Gano, Lord Baltimore Principal Pam Webb and Assistant Principal Matthew Keller pose for a photo at Gano’s Eagle Scout project at LB.Although he left Lord Baltimore Elementary school nearly 10 years ago, Indian River High School senior Grant Gano wanted to give back to his earliest alma mater.

For his Eagle Scout project through Ocean View Boy Scout Troop 281, Gano rehabilitated part of the presentation area of the school’s Environmental Learning Center.

“I went here for elementary school — this was my school growing up, and this area was never used,” said Gano. “I got the idea from that. I felt the need for the deck here.”

Gano reached out to LB Principal Pam Webb and asked her if she would like the area updated and what the school’s needs would be.

'Gatsby' gets green light for IR premiere this weekend

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Whether they’re coming in from East Egg, West Egg or across any other egg-less province, the local community is getting the “green light” to head out to Indian River High School this Friday and Saturday night for the IR drama club’s production of “The Great Gatsby.”

The Simon Levy adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story will “borne back ceaselessly into the past” to feature everything 1920s — from snazzy suits and flapper dresses to the jazz stylings of the Indian River High School band during intermissions and throughout the show.

Coming off the success of their production of “Romeo & Juliet” this past winter — in what was the first-year drama club’s first-ever show — hopes were even higher for “Gatsby,” with everything coming together just in time for curtain call.

“We have a lot to pull together in the last week — as is the nature of theater — but we’re all really excited,” said Sadie Andros, director and first-year English teacher at IR. “We’ve gone a little bigger for this show. We’ve got a great set that we’ve been designing and painting. We have a car, live music — it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

IR’s Clark takes first at BPA nationals in presentation management

Coastal Point • Submitted: IR senior David Clark took first place for presentation management at the BPA National Leadership Conference held in Orlando, Fla. from May 10 to May 14.Coastal Point • Submitted: IR senior David Clark took first place for presentation management at the BPA National Leadership Conference held in Orlando, Fla. from May 10 to May 14.David Clark knows a thing or two about management.

The soon-to-be graduate of Indian River High School has spent the past four years managing his time while juggling a laundry list of extracurricular commitments, ranging from the student council and his responsibilities as the senior class president, to his involvement with the Leo Club and National Honor Society, to running for the varsity cross-country team and helping lead the varsity boys’ tennis team to a Henlopen South division championship this past spring, just to name a few.

With his wide array of leadership roles and as a four-year member in the school’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) organization, Clark also knows a thing or two about presentations, often finding himself being called upon to give a speech during school-wide pep rallies or a senior scholarship awards ceremony.

So when he was called upon to deliver his most important speech to date earlier this month — this time with the focus on the very subject of presentation management, at the BPA National Leadership Conference on Orlando, Fla. — David Clark knew a thing or two about not being nervous, as he went on to take first place in the country and bring home the school’s first BPA national title since 2007.

SMS reading teacher gives it her all

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Meredith Wallace was recently named Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Meredith Wallace was recently named Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.Meredith Wallace would rather do headstands in front of a classroom than give a newspaper interview.

Then again, she would do anything for her students.

That attitude helped make her Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018. Wallace teaches seventh-grade English language arts.

“I try to have fun. … I think that I’m silly. You have to be able to laugh at yourself for them to be able to laugh at themselves,” Wallace said. “Because when you struggle, that’s when you learn, so you have to show it’s OK to make mistakes and learning is fun.”

And the students notice. Student James Livingston gave her a solid review: “Mrs. Wallace is a good teacher. She helped me learn what I didn’t learn before. She makes learning fun.”

For Wallace, teaching was a destiny she welcomed, especially with other educators in the family.

“From the time I was in first grade, I can remember wanting to be a teacher,” she said.

She taught for 13 years in her home state of Maryland, then a year in Millsboro. After teaching social studies, special education and elementary education, she’s loved her four years at SMS.

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