From the Principal’s Desk – Sept. 2011

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Dr. John Demby - PrincipalHello Sussex Tech Family and Friends,

ST Ravens are back to start another exciting school year. I would like to thank Facilities Director Terry Little and Maintenance Chief Brad Parker and their staff for having such a clean campus to welcome our students back. The floors are shining and the rooms and halls are sparkling. A lot of hard work over the summer went into accomplishing such a beautiful environment where our students will learn.

Freshman Orientation went extremely well thanks to all our upperclassmen who served as peer leaders to the new “Baby Ravens.” Feature of the event was motivational speaker Ben Glenn, also known as “the chalkguy.” He uses a humor-packed speech, along with a live art demonstration, to encourage students to step outside their comfort zone to live a full life. He donated this year’s art masterpiece to the Class of 2015. Incoming freshmen also consumed a delicious barbecue prepared by teachers Gary Stewart, Bruce Hefke, and Mark Abbott, as well as the cafeteria workers under the leadership of cafeteria manager Gary Woody. While they ate, students enjoyed music from a rock band featuring some of our upperclassmen and teachers John Sell and Anthony Carmen.

Before students arrived, teachers went through several days of intensive professional development training during our Teacher Leadership Academy. Dr. Sharon Walpole from the University of Delaware was here to offer training on literacy. Mr. Jack Balderman from Solution Tree, a national professional development agency, was also here giving training on Professional Learning Communities. We try to provide the best information possible on education to our teachers so that they can continue to keep abreast of the latest data and teaching techniques in order to improve student learning.

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Jean Johnson for being selected as Sussex Tech’s Teacher of the Year. She joined ST in 2004 and teaches algebra and geometry. Mrs. Johnson demonstrates a willingness to learn more about math and teaching. She is always searching out software and methods to enable her students to interact with their workstations. Mrs. Johnson also supports Sussex Tech students by being a co-advisor for the National Honor Society. We wish her good luck when she represents Sussex Tech in the Delaware Teacher of the Year competition this fall.

You will notice that a few of our technical areas have new names. The changes were made in order to better represent the curriculum involved in the tech area. Sussex Tech tries to keep on top of all the latest developments in industry and must, therefore, occasionally change and/or update our curriculum to better serve the students in today’s job market. Those areas are now called Digital Publishing and Design Technologies, Athletic Health Care-Physical Therapy, Electrical and Green Energy Technologies, and Landscape Management and Environmental Technologies.

We are also very happy to be able to offer a new technical area. The medical field is a fast-growing industry offering many specialized job opportunities. Several of these opportunities are available in the dental profession. Therefore, we are now offering Dental Services and Technologies. A large classroom has been renovated to accommodate the equipment and facilities needed for this instruction. We welcome Mrs. Jill Lord, registered dental hygienist, who will teach this technical area. The program aligns with the Dental Assisting National Board standards. Students may earn Delaware Radiological Technology and NOCTI Dental Assisting Job-Ready certification. We look forward to graduating our first dental class in 2014.

Welcome also to our other new staff members. Eden Hade, Rachel Cannuli and Jeffrey Haycraft will all be teaching English classes, and Daniel Zakrociemski is the new student youth activities coordinator.

Congratulations to our students for again winning the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (DIAA) Sportsmanship Award. This honors our students and fans for promoting good sportsmanship at our athletic events. Sussex Tech students also earned Superior School status from the Delaware Department of Education for maintaining a high level of performance over an extended period of time. We have a great group of students here at Sussex Tech.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell greeted a few of our students during special ceremonies at Legislative Hall in Dover. On August 18 , the Governor met with high school students from technical schools throughout the state who had earned top-three finishes at the National SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City this past summer. Representing Sussex Tech were members of our Broadcast News team, 2011 graduate Sarah Samaha and seniors Katie Beitzel, Stephen Mervine, and Rebecca Southmayd, plus senior Tara Windels who competed in the Technical Computer Applications national contest. Before leaving Dover, the students presented Governor Markell with a SkillsUSA lapel pin and ink pen.

On August 30, the four senior members of Sussex Tech’s state champion hockey team were part of the ceremonies when Governor Markell signed a law that will disseminate more information on concussions and their effects to junior high and high school students and their parents. Representing Sussex Tech at the signing were Megan Cannon, Kayla Kraus, Fran Delrosari, and Taylor Quillen.

Several of our students enjoyed Boys and Girls State in Dover this past summer. This program was designed to introduce students to the legislative process. Participating at Boys State were Logan Wharton, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Joseph Powers. Jonathan Schafer and Justin Stevenson represented the JROTC at the program. Attending Girls State were Manoor Mahmood, Briana Taylor, Sara Bean, Keda Dorisca, Meghan Elliott, Alicia Walls, Isabel Wharton, and Alexa August. We are proud to announce that Manoor Mahmood was chosen to attend Girls Nation in Washington, D.C.

Another student continuing his education during the summer was senior Beau Warrington who attended a program at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Before closing this month, I would like to commend several members of our staff who left the safety of their homes and families to demonstrate the resilience of our Raven community when in less than five days an earthquake, hurricane, and tornado struck the area. Sussex Tech was opened as an emergency relief center for the public and members of our staff came in to help the operation run effectively. We thank custodians Jim Morris, Jermaine Hooper, Roger Bennum, and Brad Parker, plus cafeteria worker Joanne Goins and her son Jacob. Also here to monitor weather reports on his short-wave radios was electronics teacher Dennis Smith. This community involvement is a great way to begin our year.

Please support our athletes at upcoming sporting events. Our first home sporting event is football on September 9 against Polytech, with other sports starting September 12. Our athletes really do appreciate your attending their games. Check our website for a complete schedule of sporting events.

I also invite any alumni to our first Rave Review on Saturday, Sept. 17. This party will celebrate the 20th birthday of the full-time high school and the 50th anniversary of the vo-tech school being built. The party will take place in the commons area from 6-10 p.m. with entertainment by the Raven Nation Drum Corps and Pom Pom Squad. There will also be refreshments catered by the Lighthouse and an auction. Tickets are $25 person and are available on our website or in the high school office. The first 250 alumni to register will receive a one-year free membership in our alumni association.

Hope to see you soon.

Dr. John Demby, Principal