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2010 Superstars in Education Program

Superstars in Education

R E C O G N I Z I N G

E X C E L L E N C E

I N

E D U C A T I O N

The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and its affiliate, The Partnership, Inc., honor Delaware educators who have implemented and sustained a creative, unique program, or a teaching practice that shows measurable results This statewide awards program is R E C Oand G N I Z raises I N G E X Cstudent E L L E N C E achievement. I N E D U C A T I O N funded by the business community. These are the seven winners chosen for 2010. Read on to find out more about their success in the classroom.

Winners HHH  High School Category  HHH

Superstars in Education 

“Freshman Advisory Program”

THOMAS MCKEAN HIGH SCHOOL, WILMINGTON KATIE KRAVITZ, TRISH RAGAN, NICK RUSSO, LISA UELTZHOFFER

HHH  Middle School Category  HHH

“How A Bill Becomes A Law”

SKYLINE MIDDLE SCHOOL, WILMINGTON U.S. SEN. TOM CARPER, ANN FACCENDA, ROBERT J. LINGENFELTER

“Conservation Club”

“Data-Driven Differentiation”

PHILLIP SHOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, SELBYVILLE Sharon Adams, Cheryl Carey, Melissa Grunewald, Christine Morrison, Melissa Oates, Laura Schneider

“Mastering the Schedule for Student Success”

FRANKFORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, FRANKFORD JAN BOMHARDT, PATTI BUNTING, JENNIFER CHERNES, SHARON DIGIROLAMO, JUDY GHERKE, DAVID HUDSON, KIM KLEINSTUBER, TAMMY LONG, MATT REDMILES, DUNCAN SMITH, TANYA SMITH, CINDY VINCENT

PHILLIS WHEATLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL, BRIDGEVILLE

HHH  Special Recognition Awards  HHH

KYLE DOUGHERTY, PAMELA VANDERWENDE

Sustainability Award

“Spotlight on Success”

“Walk the Talk: IRSD is on the Road to a Consistent and Pervasive Approach to Learning”

SEAFORD MIDDLE SCHOOL, SEAFORD DAVID GRANTZ, KIMBERLY SIMMONS, STEPHANIE SMITH

HHH  Elementary School Category  HHH

“Saving for Success”

RICHARDSON PARK LEARNING CENTER, WILMINGTON MICHAEL BANK, THERESA CELANO, GAIL HUMPHREYS, CYNTHIA POCHOMIS

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INDIAN RIVER SCHOOL DISTRICT, SELBYVILLE

SUSAN BUNTING, AUDREY CAREY, RENEE JERNS, SANDY SMITH Replication Award

“Meet the Challenge”

CENTRAL MIDDLE SCHOOL, DOVER DR. DARREN GUIDO

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2010 Superstars in Education Entrants The Superstars in Education Selection Committee, composed of business, education and community leaders, had the task of choosing the seven winners out of a competitive pool of 34 applications throughout Delaware. We thank each applicant for taking the time to tell us about the programs they have developed to raise student achievement. District Category

Red Clay Probeware Sharing Red Clay School District

University of Delaware

John S. Charlton Program Inclusion Opportunities John S. Charlton Program

Alexis I. duPont Middle School

Aprendiendo Juntos/Learning Together: Building Strong Parent and School Partnerships

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Distributed Leadership

eMints Educational Technology Program

Conrad Schools of Science

Using Web Blogs to Meet Content Standards and Enhance Student Achievement F. Neil Postlethwait Middle School

Wisely Investing Limited Resources to Create Systemic School Improvement Japanese Educational Exchange Program (JEEP) Christina School District

The Balanced Scorecard: A District Strategic Planning Process

Dover Air Force Base Middle School Elementary School Category

New Castle County Vo-Tech School District

The Dog Pound Reading Lounge

High School Category

Anna P. Mote Elementary School

Graduating by Exhibition

Working Smart, Wise and Round

POLYTECH High School

Conrad After-School Achievers (CASA) Conrad Schools of Science

Operation S.O.S. (Students Overseeing Students) Alexis I. duPont High School

Twilight Program Dover High School

Breakfast Club - Advanced Placement English POLYTECH High School

Caesar Rodney High School Caesar Rodney High School

Living Historians Program Delaware Military Academy Middle School Category

West Park Place Elementary School

Spartan Circle Lake Forest East Elementary School

Wellness Works at Forest Oak Forest Oak Elementary School

CATCH - Cultivating and Teaching Creative Habits North Star Elementary School

Brader S.O.S. (Supporting Our Students) Team Henry M. Brader Elementary School

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds J. Ralph McIlvaine Early Childhood Center

TDY Temporary Deployment Group Major George S. Welch Elementary School

Climbing the Ladder to Success

Coordinated School Health Program

H.B. duPont Middle School

Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary School

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Superstars in Education 

2010 Superstars in Education Selection Committee

RALPH A. KUEBLER CHAIRMAN

MARY LIZ BIDDLE PNC BANK

PHYLLIS S. BUCHANAN DUPONT

LINDA L. CHICK CHICK’S

HON. DORI A. CONNOR STATE SENATOR

JAMES COYNE ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS LP

ROB EPPES JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT

SUSAN E. FRANCIS DELAWARE SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION

PHYLLIS HANDLER DELAWARE TEACHER CENTER

PAUL HARRELL DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

PAUL A. HERDMAN THE RODEL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION OF DELAWARE

VINCENT F. JACONO DELMARVA POWER

JANIS JULIAN WSFS BANK

CATHY MACFARLANE ING DIRECT

BILL MAJOR WILMINGTON TRUST COMPANY

MICHAEL A. MARINELLI ST. EDMOND’S ACADEMY

HON. JOSEPH E. MIRO STATE REPRESENTATIVE

LINDA F. POOLE EDUCATIONALLY SPEAKING, LLC

JOANNE REIHM DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

ROBERT W. RESCIGNO VISION 2015

FRED C. SEARS II DELAWARE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

LAVINA J. SMITH christina school district

HON. DAVID P. SOKOLA STATE SENATOR

BEVERLY L. STEWART BACK TO BASICS LEARNING DYNAMICS, INC.

HELEN M. STEWART JPMORGAN CHASE & Co.

PEGGY STRINE

CATHERINE P. WEAVER CATHOLIC DIOCESE of wilmington

HOWARD M. WEINBERG DELAWARE STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

JOSEPH L. YACYSHYN WILMINGTON TRUST company

VICTORIA C. YATZUS THE INDEPENDENCE SCHOOL

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2010 Superstars in Education Sponsors The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce thanks the supporters of the 2010 Superstars in Education program.

Leadership

Bronze

Agilent Technologies

Access Group, Inc.

Bank of America

Artesian Water Company

Delaware Department of Education

Christiana Care Health System

Delmarva Power

Delaware Cadillac, Saab & Subaru

DuPont

Delaware State Education Association

JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Rodel Charitable Foundation of Delaware walmart

Delmarva Broadcasting Company glenmede trust company Goldey-Beacom College

Gold

Nixon Uniform Service

Citizens Bank

Riverfront Audio Visual

Discover Bank

The Sezna Foundation

ING DIRECT

Friends

PNC Bank TD Bank Wilmington Trust Company

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc.

Wilmington University

Bancroft Construction Company

WSFS Bank

Delaware Foundation for Science and

Silver

Mathematics Education

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware

Educationally Speaking, LLC

Delaware business roundtable

Fraunhofer USA CMB

Delaware Economic Development Office

George J. Weiner Associates

FastSigns

Rowland, Johnson & Company, P.A.

The News Journal Company

TCIM Services, Inc.

PSE&G NUCLEAR, LLC

Technicare, A Division of

TELEDUCTION, Inc.

Excel Business Systems

University of Delaware Verizon

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AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP

virtual resources, llc As of April 23, 2010

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Career enhancement Customized learning Degree completion

What can UD do for you? The University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies can help you build your professional skills, improve your organization’s bottom line, and enrich your life. • Certificate programs • Customized learning solutions for your organization • Credit courses—online or in the classroom

Superstars in Education 

• Academic and career counseling

UD is for you! 302/831-7600 • 1-866-820-0238 (toll-free) continuing-ed@udel.edu • www.pcs.udel.edu DB050010

DESTINATION DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY How will you make your mark on the world? DSU prepares you for life, anywhere it takes you, with: International experiences on six out of seven continents in countries such as China, Namibia, Cuba and more

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Don’t wait. Apply online at www.desu.edu today!

Visit our new student center complex Wellness & Recreation Center I Strength & Conditioning Facility I Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Center

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Jimmy McKenney announces each bill as it is introduced to the floor. Photos by Tom Nutter

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Learn by Debate By Matthew Waters

I

t’s a tense day on the Senate floor as debate flies back and forth over a variety of bills pushing for gay marriage, abortion rights, child abuse laws and more. Senators fight for their bills and argue to get their point across, but their hope isn’t to pass a law – just to get an A in social studies. That’s because this Senate debate is actually taking place in the Skyline Middle School classroom of eighth grade social studies teacher Robert Lingenfelter. Lingenfelter began his prized unit “How a Bill Becomes a Law” 10 years ago, and its success is proven in numbers. Pretest scores on the Delaware Student Testing Program’s Civic Standard section were the lowest of all social studies sections at 22 percent, but after

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Lingenfelter’s program teaches the students all about the Senate and how America’s laws come to be, the post-test scores jump to 95 percent. Because of the outstanding success of the unit, Lingenfelter won the 2008 Delaware Social Studies Teacher of the Year award. Though the program has been a staple in his classroom for a decade, Lingenfelter has only started collecting data over the past three years. With the help of U.S. Senator Tom Carper, Lingenfelter created the “How a Bill Becomes a Law” program to teach his students how a simple idea can evolve into an American law. After his students study the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and parliamentary procedure, they are instructed

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Superstars in Education 

reason for it in a written form.” to research an issue they either feel hasn’t been Teacher Robert Lingenfelter largely stays The students also learn how to research their addressed by our government, or one that needs out of the debate, but bills effectively and to support their passion for change. acts as the President, their bills with facts to help defend their posiOnce the student has decided on the issue and often plays Devil’s tions once they hit the Senate floor. they feel passionately about, they then draft a Advocate to add more to the discussion. Photo by “They learn that persuasion without facts is bill to present to the rest of the class, acting as Tom Nutter just their opinion,” she says. “We teach them the Senate Chamber Hall, to engage in a debate that you have to hit all members of their audience, from statabout why it should or shouldn’t go to the President. After isticians to bleeding hearts.” all bills have been debated, the students – or, in this case, Lingenfelter says all of his students get involved, whether Senators – vote on all bills. The two best bills from each class, they have straight A’s or have behavioral problems. Even eight total, are sent to Sen. Carper, who writes a response to his students in the special education program get excited to each bill. present their bill. The fact that this unit gets every student “They research their bills, they’re little experts on their thinking and working is what Lingenfelter believes makes it topics,” Lingenfelter says. “Not only is [Carper] so amazed so special. that the eighth graders are interested in this, he’s in awe.” The parents of his students agree, as his “Bill” unit is the one Lingenfelter said this unit is his “baby,” specifically he hears about the most. Lingenfelter loves that his students because of how excited the students get to speak their take their topics home with them. mind on an issue. But more importantly, this unit teaches “Every time, parents always say it’s the topic of discussion at students key skills such as public speaking and proper the dinner table,” he says. “They’ll say, ‘My child has learned research procedures. so much from your class. When you do “How a Bill Becomes “It pulls everything together: speaking skills, writing skills, a Law,” it’s all we hear about for weeks.’ ” communicating with the right people, learning to take a The real learning, Lingenfelter says, happens once students stand,” he says. “There’s a ton of skills that come out.” debate their bills on the floor. Many times, students have Each student is also required to write a persuasive paper walked away from the debate with the intention of changing along with their bill for their Language Arts class. Ann their bill because of what other students say about their bill. Faccenda, MLA teacher at Skyline Middle, teaches each Lingenfelter says his students come away with a better understudent the basics of persuasion and persuasive writing. standing of seeing ideas from the perspective of others. “Persuasion is more than just trying to convince your “That’s when I’m proud to be a teacher,” he says. “Because I parents to let you go over to somebody’s house Friday night,” got them to take their blinders off.”  n Faccenda says. “There’s a reason for it in society, and there’s a

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Every Student Has “Superstar” Potential

Together we can help them reach higher. Touching the stars is easier when you have many hands to lift you. The Delaware Department of Education congratulates this year’s Superstars in Education winners! Your innovative ideas are helping to improve and enhance educational opportunities for Delaware’s students. Most importantly, you are helping Delaware achieve its goal of excellence in education, and giving students the power to succeed — in school, college, career and life. Reaching higher for student success.

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from left: Jordan Walker, teacher Pamela Vanderwende, Rachel Retzlaff, Bridgett Durham, Jebidiah Chung and Cheyanne Durham take a moment to pose for the camera outside of Phillis Wheatley Middle School while working for the Conservation Club. Photo by Janine Sorbello

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Learning From Nature By April Hall

T

he grounds at Phillis Wheatley Middle School weren’t much more than wire grass and weeds just a few years ago, but one teacher saw its potential. Set back from the road, the school has a wealth of open space, nooks and crannies that with the proper attention, can be a classroom all on its own. “I am a science teacher and one of the things I teach is ecosystems and the curriculum deals with watersheds, bays and wetlands,” says Pamela Vanderwende. “I’m very interested in the environment and I think that interest sparked the decision to come up with some kind of environmental club.” The Conservation Club formed four years ago with a few teachers and parents and 20 students. By the end of that first year, membership increased to 35 and now the club boasts 100 members. Conservation Club seems to have encouraged students to not just be conscious of their environmental impact outdoors, but also inside the school. “There have been several cases where students in fifth grade had a negative attitude about school in general,” Vanderwende

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says. “But now they ask me on a daily basis about upcoming meetings. It’s an incentive to come to school. They feel like they were doing something good for the environment and as a result feel valued.” As a testament to the impact the club has academically, the school was honored for having the best sixth-grade science program in the state for the 2008-2009 school year. Delaware Student Testing Program scores have also been impacted. In 2009, the school ranked first in the state in science with a score of 86 percent meeting the standard. A member for three years, seventh grader Jedidiah Chung says the Conservation Club has cultivated a new interest in science. He has worked on every project since he’s joined, starting with the wetlands. The storm retention pond on school grounds was the club’s first project. The Conservation Club adopted it as a wetlands site and soon students were getting involved in revitalizing the pond that was rundown and mired by litter. Ducks soon nested in the pond (the club named the mother

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Superstars in Education 

duck “Phillis,” after the school’s namesake) Students in the Conservation and students were able to monitor the feath- Club observe ered family’s development, waiting for the the Koi pond. Photo by eggs to hatch. “It’s really fun,” Chung says. “For the activi- Janine Sorbello ties you create something very creative. Back then [the retention pond] was nothing but grass and dirt. You get dirty, but you put plants in there and it looks really great.” After the wetlands work, the club started looking at the school’s tucked-away corners and non-descript courtyards. The teachers, parents and students started designing an “educational oasis” for everyone in the school to appreciate. In some cases, local business owners signed on to help with construction and supplies. The first was the Memory Garden designed and created by the club with trees and other plantings that made for a nicer view from classroom windows. It was also meant to attract more of the animals that live in the area. From there the garden projects became more intricate, including a “Secret Garden,” a Koi pond courtyard and a reading garden outside of the library. “There’s a lot of feelings of pride about these beautiful and peaceful places, not only for the students who worked on it directly, but also for the entire student body,” Vanderwende says. An area like the koi pond, however, is very expensive. Local

businesses sometimes chip in on materials and labor, and the group raises about $1,000 a year. In addition, Vanderwende applies for any grant she can. Last year the club even installed a vegetable patch. The club turned the organic lettuce over to the cafeteria for salads. Now Vanderwende shares her experiences with other teachers, like those in the Delaware Environmental Education Association. “I feel like the big thing people think about going green is recycling or turning off lights – and it is,” she says. “But things need to be built, created, improved.”  n

Citizens Bank is proud to sponsor Superstars in Education. We believe in making a difference within the communities we serve and support those who share the same spirit and dedication.

Member FDIC. Citizens Bank is RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. 101012

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Superstars in Education  Reco g ni z in g E x ce l l ence in E duc ation

He’s not thinking about his future. But we are. For more than 100 years, the Wilmington Trust corporate family has been privileged to work with, and support, individuals and organizations committed to providing educational opportunities to members of our communities. In our second century of serving clients, and future clients, our commitment to improving the quality of life of others remains steadfast. We are proud to support the

Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and join in honoring the

Superstars in Education Winners and our own

Principal for a Day Volunteers Mr. Bill Major Stanton Elementary

Mr. Jeff Raser North Smyrna Elementary

Ms. Katie Wilkinson Brandywine Springs

Ms. Sandy Conner Claymont Elementary

Ms. Denise Cugler West Laurel Elementary

Mr. Joseph L. Yacyshyn Our Lady of Fatima

© 2010 Wilmington Trust Corporation.

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Superstars in Education 

Congratulations to Delaware’s Superstars in Education

YOU LIGHT THE WAY

By showing us how much is possible, you affirm the power of our vision: world-class schools that will make Delaware

The First State — In Education.

Working toward Vision 2015: The best schools in the world for all Delaware students, with 25 Vision Network schools leading the charge.

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from left,

Tough Transition Made Easy

sitting, Ariana Goode and Donnie Downs work on a communication exercise where they build the same sequence of Lego blocks using only verbal descriptions. Photo by Tom Nutter

By Kelly Cofrancisco

F

or freshmen, making the transition from middle school to high school can be daunting. A new building to navigate, upper classmen to meet and harder academics to learn can make some new high schoolers fall behind, but at Thomas McKean High School, the “Freshman Advisory Program” seeks to bridge the gap for incoming freshmen. In order to create a more positive school climate and help students succeed in a new environment, the “Freshman Advisory Program” was implemented in the 2007-2008 school year. According to Katie Kravitz, the program coordinator, the program is a platform in which incoming ninth graders can benefit from a specially devised curriculum that helps them to make the most of the high school experience and to improve connectedness to the school and surrounding community. In 2005, McKean High School implemented the first version of this program called “The Ninth Grade Academy.” This program created a small learning community for students.

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“Three years into the program, student attendance, suspensions and promotion were improving, but school climate and student satisfaction had not reflected positive change,” says Kravitz. Realizing that some adjustments were needed to make this program succeed, the McKean staff made a decision to include a dedicated weekly time slot for the program as part of the 2008-2009 restructuring plan. Kravitz says their objectives were to improve the academic success of freshmen, improve the ninth-grade promotion rate, connect students to the school and each other, encourage students to become more involved in extracurricular activities and to aid incoming students in the transition to high school. After these changes were implemented, progress was tracked throughout the next three years showing a positive impact. “It contributed to the increase in promotion and attendance rate and the decrease in the number of suspensions for ninth-grade students, as well as an increase in the school’s graduation and

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Superstars in Education 

most of the high school experience and to improve attendance rate and a decrease in the drop-out rate,” Ninth graders Dominic Jolly and Anya DeBlasio connectedness to both the school and surrounding Kravitz says. conduct a simple skit For three academic years from 2006-2007 illustrating an example of community,” stated Kravitz. The nuts and bolts of the program include a weekly through 2008-2009, the promotion rate of ninth poor communication skills as Peer Coach Theodore 40-minute advisory session for all incoming ninth graders rose 6.8 percent with the attendance rate of (Teddy) Patton (center) grade students taught by two or three student leaders ninth graders rising 2.11 percent. Overall suspen- looks on. Photo by and an advisory teacher. The student leaders instruct sions were also down from 819 in the 2006-2007 Tom Nutter and facilitate the “Freshman Advisory Program” and academic year to 497 in the 2008-2009 academic have a course as part of their schedule which develops their skills year. and allows them to grow as they share their high school experiThese improvements also translated into better graduation ences with the ninth graders. “The Student Leaders are 11th and rates while preventing drop-outs. In 2008, McKean’s gradua12th graders that are nominated to the program by their teachers tion rate was 61.5 percent, climbing to 65.42 percent in 2009. for being exceptional students in and out of school,” she says. Student drop-out rates in 2008 were 10.8 percent, but in 2009 Student leaders must have a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average that figure was cut in half to 5.03 percent. and low absenteeism and behavioral incidents. Chosen student The contributing factor to this program’s achievements is leaders are usually involved in extracurricular activities in school how ninth graders can benefit from a specially devised curricand their community. ulum that is catered to each student. “It helps them to make the Ninth graders gain advice from upperclassmen and benefit from their experience throughout their years in high school through the course. Topics covered include basic activities such as a scavenger hunt for specific locations in the school and evolve to public speaking, college and career planning and learning the rewards of staying in high school. Kravitz says that the key element to this program’s success is the student leaders and the relationships that are formed. “Students tend to listen or take advice more so from other students than teachers and adults,” Kravitz says. “By upperclassmen having the chance to mentor younger students and build relationships with them, they are encouraging them to get involved with the school and gain confidence in themselves to be the best they can be.”  n

Congratulations to Frankford and Phillip C. Showell elementary schools and the entire Indian River School District for their recognition as Superstars in Education winners! Visit us on the web: www.irsd.net

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ab c d e fg Superstars in Education 

Superstars in Education Award winners deserve an “A” for effort.

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As a proud sponsor, we thank you for finding new ways to help students make the grade.

MyDiscoverBank.com ©2010 Discover Bank, Member FDIC

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Superstars in Education 

A+ for helping young minds grow. Schools make the difference between knowing all the answers and knowing what questions to ask. That’s why we’re proud to support the 2010 Superstars in Education honorees for all their achievements in the classroom.

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ab c d e fg Superstars in Education 

Teachers involved in the “Data-Driven Differentiation” program at Phillip Showell Elementary School are from left Principal Laura Schneider, Melissa Oates, Melissa Grunewald, Cheryl Carey, and Christine Morrison. Photo by Janine Sorbello

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Tailoring the Teaching Approach By Leah Lawrence

W

hen it comes to education, one approach does not work for all students. That is why the staff and teachers at Phillip C. Showell Elementary School in Selbyville created the “Data-Driven Differentiation” program. “Data-Driven Differentiation” was established in order to provide student-specific targeted instruction for reading. Reading skills, according to Melissa Oates, a reading specialist at the school, and school principal Laura Schneider, are the basis for all other elements of a successful education and for all of life’s endeavors. The program is implemented by regularly collecting and analyzing data that is then used to design instruction. The data can help teachers determine what they taught well and what areas still need work. “This program is intended to make the curriculum fit the needs of our students and not the other way around,” says Oates. “With the program, we target specific learning styles

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and needs of children and then match them with appropriate teaching methods.” Focus on Needs

The administrative team at Phillip C. Showell in Selbyville developed a new schedule that would include core reading instruction and devoted student intervention time tailored to each student’s needs. They are able to give this personalized instruction with the help of 45 high school honor students and 68 adult mentors from the community and parents. “We developed a schedule where we have a 90-minute block of core instruction,” Oates says. “During that time there is some whole-group instruction and small-group instruction.” This approach allows students to get instruction based on their level and style of learning. Whereas some students need a lot of one-on-one attention, others are comfortable working

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Superstars in Education 

w i l m i n g t o n u n i v e r s i t y

Advance your Career. Become a leader in education.

Success is Spreading

Achieve “Highly Qualified” Status Doctoral, Graduate, and Undergraduate Education Degrees New for Fall 2010 —

Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership

The Standard of Excellence in Teacher Preparation

An NCATE Accredited Institution

on their own with only brief instruction from their teacher. “We also have a 40-minute intervention block where teachers, teachers aids, or parent volunteers work on targeted needs of students needing extra instruction or provide enrichment to those students who do not,” Oates says. All activities are conducted as a grade level and are based on a student’s level of need. Teachers use both formal and informal reading assessments to divide children into one of four categories based on their reading needs: phonemic awareness and phonics, phonics and fluency, fluency and comprehension, and vocabulary and comprehension. Progress is assessed every three to six weeks as a grade level so that adjustments can be made regularly.

Nicole Durkin, Ed.D.

Principal, Milford Middle School Master of Education, 1998 Doctor of Education, 2005

teachers with Advanced degrees earn more.

Working with the students is not the only key to this program’s success. The new program signifies acceptance that the art of education is always evolving and that requires a continued commitment to the consistent use of professional development. Teachers are challenged to review, study and practice the latest researchbased strategies and theories about teaching reading, analyzing data and using high-impact strategies to enhance their students’ learning. This requires teachers to adapt teaching strategies regardless of a student’s gender, culture or socioeconomic background. The new approach has paid off. As a result of implementing this new program that will soon be adapted for mathematics, 100 percent of the fifth graders at Phillip C. Showell met the standards of the 5th grade Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) in 2009. “The children in the cohort that we are following are scoring higher on benchmark and DSTP assessments,” Schneider says. “We are seeing less children that need to be retained in the grade level, and are having fewer discipline referrals because the children’s needs are being met. They are no longer frustrated and acting out because of it.” The program has been successful in other ways too, according to Oates. “We have transformed teachers’ views about teaching. Instead of thinking, ‘This is your child, not my child,’ or ‘I can’t help this child,’ it is a much more collaborative approach, where everyone assumes responsibility for all the children,” Oates says. “We are working together as a team to make everybody in the school successful.”  n

The Red Clay Consolidated School District Del awar e • Ne w Jerse y • O n l i n e w i l m u . e d u 22

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1-877-967-5464

Proudly Congratulates The 2010 Superstars in Education Winners! May / June 2 0 1 0     D e l a w a r e B u s i n e s s

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ab c d e fg Superstars in Education 

Spotlight on Success S

ometimes straight-forward, positive reinforcement is all it takes to get through to students. At Seaford Middle School, the number of out-ofschool suspensions is less than half of what it was four years ago and grade retention is less than one percent. Administrators point to the school’s “Spotlight on Success” program as the reason for these outstanding improvements. The program is simple: earn points during the school year for making the right choices. Students begin the school year with zero points, and can earn 25 points by having no office referrals, 10 points for achieving honor roll status, 10 points for perfect attendance and five points for positive behavior. At the end of each marking period, students with enough points can attend an event, which in the past have included a dinner and a movie, game show, parent cook-out and pizza party. Seaford Middle School Principal Stephanie Smith started “Spotlight on Success” with the school staff when she became principal five years ago. The administration was injected with renewed enthusiasm and was ready for change, inside and out. Seaford was awarded an improvement grant that was not only for the building, but the student body. “We all needed new energy and focus,” Smith says. “We needed a team and we needed to work on things together.” And students have taken to the program with enthusiasm, as well. Dinner and a movie after school is one popular choice and the pizzas are bought at a discount from a local shop, Smith says.

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Reco g ni z in g E x ce l l ence in E duc ation

Seaford Middle School teacher Amber Deiter, left, goes over assignments with students Rose Brittingham and Brennan Stark as part of the “Spotlight on Success” program at the school. Photo by Janine Sorbello

By April Hall

Rose Brittingham, a 13-year-old seventh grader at Seaford, says she’s glad to be rewarded for being a good student. “Most people don’t get recognized for all of their hard work,” Brittingham says. She says attention usually goes to the kids who get in trouble or those who are involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, like sports. It’s not just the special events Brittingham likes, she says she also looks forward to the encouraging e-mails Smith sends to the student body each week. “There are different themes,” the student says. “Like for a rodeo theme it was ‘roping the results.’ It really helps because you know you’re still cared for, even when you’re not in school.” The school has seen a decrease in the number of student suspensions, in-school suspensions and disciplinary referrals each year that the “Spotlight on Success” program has been in place. In its first year, suspensions dropped by 200. By the second year, suspensions dropped by 309. Even those students who may start down the wrong path have the chance to earn their way back to reaping the rewards of the program. A disciplinary referral will eliminate the possibility of 25 points at the end of the marking period, but variable “positive behavior” points can be collected to make up for the deficit. “Things have gone our way as far as discipline referral rates are concerned,” Smith says. “This is more successful than I could have imagined. (The program) helped to change the culture within the school.”  n

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Helping uninsured patients get their AstraZeneca medicines AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings program for healthcare facilities What is it? • Outpatient-based program for free clinics, community health centers, disproportionate share hospitals, and central-fill and charitable pharmacies to obtain AstraZeneca medicines at no cost for patients who qualify • Bulk replacement program based on facility’s qualifying product utilization

Superstars in Education 

Who is eligible? • Nonprofit facilities that have an on-site, outpatient, licensed pharmacy or dispensary • Eligible facilities provide product to qualifying patients who do not have prescription coverage • Eligible facilities provide product to patients who have an annual income at or below $30,000/individual, $40,000/couple, or $60,000/family of four

What medicines are included? ACCOLATE® (zafirlukast) Tablets

SEROQUEL® (quetiapine fumarate)

ARIMIDEX (anastrozole)

SEROQUEL XR® (quetiapine fumarate) Extended-Release Tablets

ATACAND® (candesartan cilexetil)

SYMBICORT® (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate) Inhalation Aerosol

®

ATACAND HCT® (candesartan cilexetil-hydrochlorothiazide) CASODEX® (bicalutamide) CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium) FASLODEX® (fulvestrant) Injection NEXIUM (esomeprazole magnesium) ®

PULMICORT FLEXHALER™ ( budesonide inhalation powder, 90 mcg & 180 mcg) PULMICORT RESPULES® ( budesonide inhalation suspension) RHINOCORT AQUA® (budesonide)

TOPROL-XL® (metoprolol succinate) ZOLADEX® (goserelin acetate implant) ZOMIG® (zolmitriptan) ZOMIG® (zolmitriptan) Nasal Spray ZOMIG-ZMT® (zolmitriptan) * Other AstraZeneca medicines may also be available. Program eligibility criteria, products covered, and cost of products subject to change.

Full Prescribing Information is available at www.astrazeneca-us.com, or by calling AstraZeneca at 1-800-236-9933. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information 1-800-AZandMe (1-800-292-6363) or AZandMe.com AZ&ME and PULMICORT FLEXHALER are trademarks and ACCOLATE, ARIMIDEX, ATACAND, ATACAND HCT, CASODEX, CRESTOR, NEXIUM, PULMICORT RESPULES, RHINOCORT AQUA, SEROQUEL, SEROQUEL XR, SYMBICORT, TOPROL-XL, ZOLADEX, ZOMIG, and ZOMIG-ZMT are registered trademarks of the AstraZeneca group of companies. ©2010 AstraZeneca LP. All rights reserved. 283798 7/09

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Prescription Savings Programs

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ab c d e fg Superstars in Education 

Nine-year-old Angel Contee receives coaching on check writing from teacher and “Saving for Success” program creator Cynthia Pochomis. Photo by Tom Nutter

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Saving for Success By Alexandra Kiernan

W

hat better way is there to encourage students to complete their homework, demonstrate good manners and teach them about the value of a dollar and savings than by paying them to do so? Special Education Teacher Cynthia Pochomis of Richardson Park Learning Center (RPLC) developed the program “Saving for Success” to teach students with special needs the value of a dollar while promoting positive behavior and academic success by creating a classroom bank. Teaching for Special Needs

Students at RPLC have behavioral and academic exceptionalities which make it difficult for them to function successfully in mainstream educational programs. So Pochomis created the program to help students understand not only how money works, but to also encourage good behavior. Saving for Success is a school-wide program that rewards students with RPLC dollars for completed homework, excep-

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tional acts of kindness and unsolicited demonstrations of good manners. Each student proudly owns their own wallet to store RPLC dollars and since the start of the program in 2007, not a single wallet has been lost or stolen. After each week of earning and learning, students exercise their ability to convert money by trading in their one dollar bills for higher denomination bills. The student’s money is deposited into the Bank of RPLC where a colorful wall chart depicts how much money they have saved. “These children are expected to meet the same standards as the typical population and the Bank of RPLC is a believable and hands-on way to teach them anything,” Pochomis says. The Bank of RPLC is a behavior modification and reward system that employs classroom cash as a means of rewarding the types of behaviors that teachers wish to encourage in the classroom. “Too often in schools, educators unfortunately focus on the negative behaviors and call out children for misbehaving. This program emphasizes positive behaviors,” says Michael Bank, a counselor at RPLC.

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Every six weeks, the RPLC store is open so students have the option of purchasing items they can afford or save up for higherpriced items. The students also learn how to write checks to purchase their items. “One student who is generally very impulsive and needs immediate feedback for a lot of what he does saved his cash all year for a train set that he really wanted,” Bank explains. “He knew the risk that someone might buy it before him, but he worked all year to earn it and when he finally got the train set it was a tremendous accomplishment for him.” Community Comes Together

Superstars in Education 

“It’s never easy to get people to donate money in this economy but the community came together to give as much as they could to our program,” says Pochomis. PTO members and parents donated items to the school store, a local toy store gave large discounts on all purchases made for “Saving for Success,” an individual teacher donated funds from a Disney Teacher Award and staff members donate their talents for the children to purchase such as cake decorating, extra basketball sessions or drum lessons. “The staff never dissented from the program when it began and once word had gotten out about the program the community truly embraced it,” says Bank. The Results Are In

Saving for Success improved every aspect of student life at RPLC, from self-esteem to test scores and allowed teachers

to focus on all students, not just the ones disciplined. “This was possible because children who are good all the time are recognized, and not just the 5 percent of students who are constantly getting in trouble,” states Pochomis. The school reached its goal of reducing behavioral referrals by 20 percent. Prior to participation in the program, only 12 students stated that they saved money regularly, 22 percent of the students could identify coins and bills, and only 5 percent of students could make change from a dollar. After two years of being in the program, 33 students reported regularly saving money, 78 percent could identify coins and bills and 37 percent could correctly make change from bills. The Delaware Economics Standards, which is a standardized test that measures students’ economic understandings, shows students understand the impact of limited resources on family activities, can identify human wants and needs, apply the concept of costs incurred and benefits received, and explain why scarce resources cause people to make choices. Bank proudly states the program is a resounding success. Reading has improved through the weekly use of the economics vocabulary and mathematics standards in problem solving and money have also been impacted. “Since the program was implemented, quarterly benchmark tests have consistently improved each time.”  n

WSFS Bank is especially proud to support the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Superstars in Education.

ing n e h t g n e r t s d an s. e i t i n u m m o c r ou ©2010 Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB | Member FDIC

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ab c d e fg Superstars in Education 

A Master Plan for Student Success

By Leah Lawrence

T

he student and teacher schedules at Frankford Elementary School were not working. Students were worn out by lunch time due to long time blocks of intensive instruction. Students in need of additional reading and math support were pulled out of class, sometimes missing important science and social studies instruction. And teachers were lacking a common planning time to conduct student assessments and develop action plans for student interventions. Something had to change. That is when a planning committee at the school got together to brainstorm ideas for a schedule that would address all of these problems, and devised “Mastering the Plan for Student Success.” Adjusting the Schedule

Teachers agreed one of the main problems was that a frontloaded schedule, heavy with math and reading instruction in the morning, was leaving students exhausted by lunchtime and restless in the afternoon. They first determined it was important to provide students with a daily dose of physical activity. Now, each morning every student at Frankford is part of “Take 10 at 10,” ten minutes

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At Frankford Elementary School, the staff reorganized the school day to optimize learning. from left Harley Shockley, Teacher Jaime Gorlich, Sergio ParadaCastro, Sydney Hitch, Clifton Toomey, Principal Duncan Smith and To’Nia Perkins take a break from reading. Photo by Janine Sorbello

worth of academically related exercise. These activities can include anything from running in place to jumping jacks to squats all tied into activities involving spelling, reading or math. “It is great for the students to have a break during the morning,” says Duncan Smith, principal of Frankford Elementary School. “It gets their blood flowing again.” Teachers then built in grade-level intervention times for every student. This means that those students who need extra support in reading or math will not have to be pulled out of regular classroom time to get the help they need. During these intervention times, those students who are achieving at grade level receive acceleration activities or meet with volunteer mentors. These grade-level interventions also mean that the class as a whole can get uninterrupted core academic instruction and this has translated into improved Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) scores. Finally, a common planning time was added to the master schedule to allow teachers the opportunity to meet to score common assessments, develop core instructional priorities and plan for student interventions. This Professional Learning Community time takes place for one hour at the end of a work

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day every other week while students are being monitored by specialists during outdoor physical activity time. Throughout the year, this time provides teachers with 18 extra hours of team planning time. “The teachers love that time together,” Smith says. “Before this program, we were not able to provide grade-level teachers with that common time. That meant that the only time for teachers to meet to discuss these things was after school. Now, that time is built into their work day. They know that as administrators we acknowledge how important that time is.” New Schedule Achieves Results

Superstars in Education 

The success of Frankford Elementary’s schedule is all in the numbers. Students who need extra time for intervention instruction receive almost an additional four hours each week on top of their core instruction. Intensive reading support was given to 105 students, as assessed by the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills benchmark at the beginning of the 2008 school year. By the end of the year, the number was reduced to only 68 students. Sustainability Award

“That is a 35 percent reduction in students needing the most intensive support,” Smith says. More support from the program can be found in the DSTP scores. After the implementation of the schedule, which included an uninterrupted 90-minute reading block, one group of students improved their DSTP reading scores nine percentage points from 81 percent as third graders to 90 percent as fourth graders. The success of another group of fourth-grade students was even better. As fourth graders, 83 percent of a group of students passed the reading tests. By fifth grade, 94 percent had passed. The numbers are equally as impressive in math. The school average for passing the DSTP math assessment is 92 percent, with 97 percent of third graders meeting or exceeding grade levels expectations. “We have tried this program for a couple years now and it has worked very well for us and our students,” Smith says. “At the end of each school year we look at ways that we can improve the program for our students and last year we did not have many suggestions. I think that is saying something about our success with our master schedule.”  n specific academic needs of students and developed “Meet the Challenge,”

The Indian River School District (IRSD) won its first leadership-driven

a program that provided instructional opportunities that led to academic

award in 2006 with “Leadership Institute: The 2% Solution” which

mastery. They also won a Models of Excellence Award based upon

provided administrators with strategies for supporting professional

continuous student achievement and closing achievement gaps. IRSD

learning, changing current ineffective instructional practices and

teachers ensure that all students have the tools to learn and their

honing leadership skills that increased learning for all students.

commitment goes beyond their district’s boundaries. Working together

In 2009, IRSD won a Superstars in Education award for “Home

with Red Clay Consolidated School District, the IRSD’s “Meet the

Grown by Indian River: An Administrative Development Model,” which

Challenge” founders provided guidance, professional development and

allowed the district to prepare future school leaders among their

support as the Stanton Middle School implemented the program that had

educators. The program selects teachers who are ready to leave the

brought success to IRSD students. Staff members visited one another’s

classroom for school or district administrative positions and offers

schools, barriers were eliminated and professional sharing became the

them an inside look at school operations. With training in all aspects of

norm. Stanton Middle School, with 65 percent students in poverty and 24

school leadership, these educators have been able to make informed

No Child Left Behind cells to meet, successfully replicated the program

decisions about the type of position to pursue and smoothly transition

and Stanton Middle School students met the challenge, too.

from the classroom to administration. 

The story doesn’t end there. Three years ago, Stanton Middle School

The program, “Walk the Talk” was developed and entered into the 2010

became the mentors and professional developers for W.T. Chipman

Superstars program. After Selection Committee review and discussion, it

Middle School in the Lake Forest School District. Stanton Middle

was selected for a special award – The Sustainability Award. This program

School teachers worked with Chipman Middle School teachers while

isn’t new, which is a criteria for a winning Superstars program, but it uses

the administrators of all three districts supported one another. The

Learning Focused Strategies, provided a toolbox of strategies to develop a

“MTC III” program was born and nurtured for the past three years.

district-wide program that became a consistent and pervasive approach to

Academic achievement at Chipman Middle School has continued to

learning. “Walk the Talk” is a culmination of the strategies used to develop

increase with instructional focus on areas of weakness.

and sustain the 2006 and 2009 winning programs. 

Once again, administrators of each district began working with Central Middle School to continue this pattern of success. Staff from Chipman

Replication Award

In 2005 IRSD won a Superstars in Education award for their researchbased “Meet the Challenge” program. Using data, IRSD staff identified

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Middle School also assisted Principal Darren Guido with implementation of the program. Central Middle School has been awarded the Replication Award for implementing the “MTC IV” program.

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D

r. Harry Lee Williams, selected in November as the 10th president of Delaware State University, has been around college campuses almost his entire life. Growing up in Greenville, N.C., he walked through the campus of East Carolina University every day on the way to the grade school he attended. Williams came from a large family – he’s one of eight children – but he’s the only one to graduate from college. “I grew up very humble. I didn’t realize I was poor until someone told me that when I went to college,” he said. “We had food every day, we had clothes, we had everything we needed. We had love, we had friends, we had family, we had a church, we had a foundation.” Delaware Business recently talked to Williams about his career and his hopes for Delaware State University: One of your first acts as president was to appoint a commission to develop a new vision statement for the university. Why is it important to have a fresh vision? It’s very important to set a clear shared vision for the university for the next 20 to 30 years or so. I’m in this for the long haul. We have put together a diverse group of individuals to look at what Delaware State can become, within the spirit of the HBCU [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] heritage, and recognizing that we’re going to have to change the way we do business in order to be sustainable. It’s important to the state and the nation to have a strong state university. The vision will help drive that and it will be a shared vision process. In designing the vision, we’re looking at our core values, at what we stand for. Look at institutions that have been around for a long time, like the Dupont Company and others. They have survived because they have certain core values. It’s important that we see them, reflect on them. We want to identify core values,

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By Larry Nagengast

ab c d e fg Superstars in Education 

Williams Talks Future at DSU

Dr. Harry Lee Williams Age: 46 Hometown: Greenville, N.C. Family: Wife, Dr. Robin S. Williams, an associate dean at North Carolina Central University; two sons, Austin, 14, and Gavin, 9 Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Appalachian State University; doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis, East Tennessee State University Career: Admissions officer and administrator, Appalachian State University, 1988-2000 and 2004-2007; interim director of admissions, North Carolina A&T University, 2004-2007; senior administrative positions, University of North Carolina, 2007-2008; provost, vice president for academic affairs, Delaware State University, 2008-2009.

so when we talk to corporations, we can say, “this is what we believe in – these are the things that we do really well.” Delaware State is a historically black institution, yet its enrollment has become much more diverse. How do you balance the commitment to the school’s heritage with the reality of changing enrollment demographics? Diversity is something we celebrate here. The HBCU heritage is the historical connection of the institution. We’re probably one of the most diverse HBCUs in America – in racial, ethnic, international diversity. We have diversity in our curriculum. We have faculty members from all around the world. When you drive onto our campus, the first thing you see are the international flags in The Circle. That’s a sign of our reach and our respect for diversity. What do you consider Delaware State’s academic strengths and how would you like to improve? That’s a question the [Vision] Commission is going to look at. We have to be different. We need to establish our niche. We

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have strong STEM programs – science, technology, engineering and math. We have a strong nursing program, our College of Education, our social work program and our community health program. We have 60-some different programs. We’ve just got to get that niche down. For example, if you mention North Carolina A&T, the first thing that comes to mind is engineering, because they produce more African-American engineers than any university in America. That’s a niche, that’s what we have to create here. We do an excellent job preparing students in the STEM disciplines to pursue doctorates, especially in areas where minorities are typically underrepresented, such as physics, chemistry and mathematics. When they want to enter Ph.D. programs, they’re getting a good foundation here.

Superstars in Education 

The economy is having an impact on the university, its programs and its students. What are the challenges you face? The biggest challenge is trying to support our students. We have a very needy population, as 75 percent are classified as firstgeneration college students. We need to look at supporting those students and improving our retention and graduation rates. The average family income of our students is about $40,000. Our students work hard to try to pay for their education, and they leave here with a great deal of debt. We need to find support from corporations and other sources to assist them. [As for programs,] all states are reducing their funding for

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higher education. We have to look for other revenue streams and opportunities. At the University of Delaware (UD), President Patrick Harker has been strengthening alliances with businesses in science and technology. What have you been doing at Delaware State, and do you intend to do more? We’re in the process of developing additional relationships with businesses. We see ourselves as a strong economic engine in this part of the state. We’re willing to explore those opportunities. We have a lot of strong business partners. I’ve got to be careful trying to name them because you don’t want to leave any out. We need all the friends we can get. Partnerships are very important, and we value that. It’s important we continue those [academic] relationships with UD and Delaware Technical and Community College. Do you see Delaware State benefiting from the Base Relocation and Closing (BRAC) initiative in nearby Maryland? We hope so. Dr. Harker invited me to UD when they announced signing of [a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Army in January]. We see the potential of partnering with [the university and the Army in programs developed] at UD’s Chrysler site. When I was provost [at Delaware State], I made a visit to Aberdeen Proving Ground. With the relocation, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities. How did you get started in your career? What pointed you toward where you are now? I’ve been in higher education for 22 years. I started as an admissions counselor, helping students decide whether they were going to college. Seeing how students were so excited about learning really got me motivated. After about 10 years in admissions, I decided I’d like to be a college president. I decided that would be a nice job. I needed to go back to school. I used that as an opportunity to connect with people. I even did an internship in the provost’s office at Appalachian State. I didn’t know what the provost did. He allowed me to watch him work. It opened my eyes up. I had no clue that, fast forward 10 years later, I would be a provost. Moving forward, I strategically started looking at key positions in higher education that would help put me where I am now. I had a lot of mentors, a lot of people who encouraged me. Is there one thing you would like to accomplish, one overriding goal for your presidency at Delaware State? We want to transform the university so it becomes one of the best HBCUs in America, and it creates a buzz in the state and the nation. I want people to say, “I want to be part of that institution because of its quality – outstanding faculty, outstanding academics, outstanding athletics, they have it all.” I want people to say it’s one of the best in America.  n

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Superstars in Education 2010