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As this school year comes to a close, we on the newspaper staff would like to take a moment and review all of the excellent achievements that our Delcastle students have accomplished. One of the most rewarding experiences that the Business Tech students at Delcastle get a chance to be a part of is Business Professionals of America (BPA). Ms. Dobbs, Business Tech Instructor, guided the Cougars to success at both the local and national competitions.

In February, the Delcastle students competed with other students from Delaware. The following students placed in their BPA events and then qualified to go to nationals in Massachusetts during the late spring.

Ahjnae Mitchell: 1st Place: Intermediate Word Processing

O’Nesha Johnson: 1st Place: Fundamental Word Processing

George Grimes: 1st Place: Prepared Speech

Breahna Riess: 2nd Place: Fundamental Word Processing

Then, in May, those students traveled to Massachusetts to compete in the National BPA Competition. Here are the 2016 BPA National Winners:

Breahna Riess (10th grade): 1st place in Fundamental Word Processing
O’Nesha Johnson (11th grade): 2nd place in Fundamental Word Processing
Ahjnae Mitchell (12th grade): Top ten finalist

Congratulations Cougars!

Author: Tyler Ross, Class of 2018

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       “Skills! Skills! Skills!” These are the words you heard in the Delcastle halls starting December. As students prepared, they practiced every day until the month of February. Once February hit, then students would compete in Dover, at Delcastle, or at another vocational school. Students were anxiously waiting to see where they placed and if they won. Then, the Delaware SkillsUSA Banquet was held in Dover on March 22, where the students who placed received their medals. Students competed in different competitions and the results are in. Delcastle had 68 medalists, and 30 were gold. Here are some of the winners who won gold:

Action Skills

Nick Lauber

De’Shawn Coston

Advertising Design

Sasha Reddy

Architectural Drafting

Jalen Bond

Automotive Refinishing Technology

Jairo Magna

Aviation Technology

Anthony Ashcraft

Building Maintenance

Hunter Brown

Collision Repair Technology

Ulises Tovar-Rangel

Commercial Baking

Carmen Rangel-Cisneros

Employment Application Process

Sairiha Shipley

Framing

De’Shawn Coston

Graphic Communication

Justin Tucker

Photography

Michael Metcalf

Quiz Bowl

Austin Albright

Syheed Booker

Sarah Geho

Noah Hentrick

Ryan Quezon

Screen Printing Technology

Brittany Jennings

Sheet Metal

Kenny Oliver

Technical Drafting

Brian Cannon

TV/Video Production

Angelo Vansant

Ashley Wolski

Welding Fabrication

Franklin Carter

Ismael Valtero

Josiah Hector Ortiz

Welding Sculpture

John Gebhart

The winners will go to Kentucky from June 20 -24 to compete in Nationals. Wish the best of luck to them!

Author:

Juan Quiroz-Rodriguez, Class of 2017

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       Believe it or not, Delcastle has heroes! Not heroes who fly around catching bad guys, but heroes who stand up and take a step towards a better community. From meetings to festivals these seniors have come to show great passion and motivation to make the world a better place. Albert Fell, Sherita Lowman, and J’Nea Jenkins all made a positive impact on their communities through unique community service projects and programs.

 DTHS Lung Cancer 5k Walk/ Run

       Biomedical Sciences Senior Albert Fell held a Lung Cancer 5k Walk and Run Festival on Saturday, April 9th. The event started at approximately 9:30am and ended around 2:00pm at Delcastle Technical High School. The purpose of the event was to fund, promote lung health, and fight lung cancer. Albert had a strong and personal motivation stating, “Having experienced death in my family, due to cigarette smoking, I was motivated to take this huge step and plan a walk to raise awareness and funds. I lost both my grandmother and my great grandmother to lung cancer. With such low survival rates, I know firsthand how important it is to fund new treatments, therapies and resources for lung cancer.” The 5k was open to the general public to bring together students, teachers, residents of the community, and supporters of lung cancer. Food, beverages, prizes, activities, and games were available to guests, and participants were eligible for awards. The ultimate goal was to bring the community together, fund, raise awareness, and stomp lung cancer. The event would benefit The American Lung Association in Delaware. The community would also benefit because its people are brought together to learn about one of its major problems and spreading awareness. With the partnership of Bank of America, Albert was able to raise $2,000, which is double the amount his event originally funded! The Lung Cancer 5k was very successful in gathering funds for the cause and teaching people of a very real problem many of our own come to face. Lung cancer is an issue worldwide and just one step can make a huge difference.

Down Syndrome Awareness Family Fun Festival

       Sherita Lowman, A senior and girl scout at Delcastle Technical High School also helped to start the end of an issue facing our community. Ms. Lowman also embraced a take action project back in 2015. She held a Down Syndrome Awareness Family Fun Festival on May 30th from 10am to 2pm at Delcastle. The Festival was part of her Girl Scout Gold Award Project in which she completed over 140 hours of community service. The event was to bring the community together, change negative attitudes, and to practice positive interactions between people with intellectual disabilities and others. The Festival was open to the public to play games and eat gluten free food while taking part in an event promoting pure positivity. The goal was for people in the community to get involved in making a difference for children with disabilities. People with Down Syndrome were able to benefit by being able to show others that they have the same interests and needs as any other human being; as a result the community was able to see that people with Down Syndrome aren’t as different as we may think. With the help of volunteers money was raised through bake sales, fish frys, car washing, and donations. The Festival was able to raise $5000, after expenses for the event were paid Sherita donated gluten free pretzels for The Down Syndrome Summer Camp! It’s clear that The Down Syndrome Awareness Family Fun Festival was very productive. Many people were benefitted including The Down Syndrome Summer Camp.

A Step Toward Ending Teen Violence

       Final recognition goes out to Delcastle’s J’Nea Jenkins and her friends Brielle Braxton-Young and Karisa Phelps for also occupying their time in effort to make a difference. These girls share a common motivation in their efforts including friends and family gone too soon in violent attacks. As a result to these tragic occurrences they felt obligated to create what is known as #DelawareStrongProject meetings for the community to discuss solutions for its problems. The first meeting was held on May 6th during the club’s weekly Teen Night at the Newark Boys and Girls Club. These meetings are in hope to teach the community about how things that are said online can be impactful in day-to-day life and to stride toward ending teen violence. The goal is to create a supportive community, to start the termination of teen violence, and spread the word about its effects on people. This will benefit the community because its people will be more aware of what Teen Violence really is and be able to put a stop to it when witnessing it happening. These meetings will not only boost those who are grieving but it will also help to spread awareness throughout Delaware and other places as well. J’Nea and her friends will continue fulfilling their motivation through holding #DelawareStrongProject meetings at their local Boys and Girls Club.

       These Delcastle seniors carried out their projects concerning huge global conflicts and achieved the diffusion of awareness. What can you do for your community?

Author: Christina Colatriano, Class of 2019

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        Winter sport season is a very busy one at Delcastle. Boys and Girls Basketball, Indoor Track, and Wrestling kept our Delcastle student athletes in shape despite the cold weather.

First up, the Varsity Boys Basketball Team had one of the most successful seasons in school history. The team was lead by seniors Sirterrance Simans, Lorenzo Hopkins, Adrian Cropper, Ahmere Dorsey, JaWan Ward, Desmond Gould, Damon Collins, Muhannad Hussein, and Gerrel March. Coach Kenny Avent mentioned that the team’s slogan was “Everyday We Get Better,” and they certainly proved it. The Cougars final record was 16-7, and they finished the regular season ranked #7 in the state. The Cougars had a 9 game winning streak and won 13 of their last 15 games. They had 2 playoff wins over Salesianum and William Penn; the team advanced to the state tournament semifinals (Final 4) where they lost to St. George’s by 3 points. Special awards were given to Desmond Gould (1st team All State, 1st Team All Conference), Muhannad Hussein (2nd Team All Conference, Honorable Mention All-State), and Ahmere Dorsey (Honorable Mention All State and All Conference). Coach Avent received the Blue Hen Flight A Co-Coach of the Year, also. In addition, both Desmond Gould and Muhannad Hussein were selected to play in the prestigious Blue-Gold All Star game. So far, Desmond Gould is planning to play for Chestnut Hill College next year, and JaWan Ward is planning to play for Del Tech. The school is proud of all of your accomplishments!

Next on the list is Varsity Girls Basketball. The team was lead by seniors Yashira Ortiz, Danielle Harris, J’Nea Jenkins, Essence Harmon, Nydera Matthews, Natalie Sierra, Robyn Pritchett, and Francesca Ciccarelli. The Lady Cougars, coached by Aaron Yamamoto, Margaret Battafarano, and Joseph Bolinksi, had 11 wins and 9 losses. Some of their season highlights include a 10 point fourth quarter comeback to beat Tower Hill by 3 points. Also, the team beat A.I. Dupont for the first time in 5 seasons, with a final score of 43-39. Finally, the Lady Cougars beat district rival Howard by 1 point at the beginning of the season, but lost to Howard in an exciting double overtime later in the season. Nydera Mathews was selected to play in the annual Blue-Gold All Star Game. Great job Lady Cougars!

Indoor Track had a very successful season this year. The team was led by seniors Jalen Bond, Nicholas Cole, Daekwon Sequira, Brandon Smith, Justin Walls, Elys Diaz, Zekiah Fountain, Brianna Greenlea, Nia Johnson-Cox, Sherita Lowman, Ahjnae Mitchell, Karen Sackey-Solomon, Siani Sellers, Taylor Truitt, Victoria Williams, and Tyisha Zeigler. Coaches Carmella Anderson, Samantha Kelly, and JJ Dickey are proud of all of their accomplishments. Justin Walls was All-State in the 55 meters hurdles. He will be continuing to pursue his Culinary Arts dream and love for running at Johnson and Wales in Miami. Sherita Lowman was All State for the 2nd year in the 55 meter hurdles. She will be attending Indiana Tech University on an athletic scholarship. Also, Siani Sellers will be attending Morgan State University on an athletic scholarship. Way to go Indoor Track Athletes!

Finally, the Cougar Wrestling Team had a very successful season. The team was led by seniors Hunter Lamarche, John Foote, Trevor Eveland, Sergio Escobar, and Ryan Shaver. The Cougars finished the season with 6 wins, 6 losses, and ranked 8th in the conference overall. The coaches Jeff Hughes and Jason Hughes are proud of the team’s accomplishments. The team qualified the following 6 individuals for the DIAA State Championships: Hunter LaMarche (2nd-120), Liam O’Connor (4th-126), Doug Markland (6th-132), Jose Escobar (6th-160), Shawn Cabalza (6th-195), Ryan Shaver (6th-220). In addition, the Cougars had 5 individuals make the Academic All-State Team, which included the following 2 managers and 3 wrestlers: First team-Jeffery Hewes, Jr. Kaitlyn Adams, and Sarah Penland. Honorable Mention was awarded to Ryan Shaver and Liam O’Connor. The Delcastle Wrestling Team will continue to work off-season on strength and conditioning, wrestling, and goal setting. Congratulations to the Cougars for all of their successes and good luck next year!

All in all, it was a busy and successful winter sports season at the “Castle,” Please continue to support our athletic teams in the future by showing your Cougar spirit.

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The Delcastle Jazz Band is looking for people to come and expand its family. You can still join; it’s not too late! Depending on the amount of positions available, auditions will be held either prior to or at the start of next school year. The door is open for anyone to join at any time; however, this welcome does not guarantee a spot in the band. It is expected for students of the jazz ensemble to have passion and be already aware of how to play their instrument. What exactly is an “Ensemble”? . An ensemble is a musical group that creates and/or performs music together. The band currently practices in a room behind the stage of Delcastle’s auditorium every Tuesday and Thursday until 6pm. Activity buses are available during this time.

In the very beginning the group started off with 8-9 people but over time shrank to just a few due to winter sports and other activities. Current members of the Jazz Band include: Jaiden Reed on drums, Timothy McLaughlin on saxophone, Chris Deel on Saxophone, Nate Davis on drums, and Lily Rojas the manager. The group’s most recent performance was back in March at the school play Here Come The Brides. The two songs played were “See If I Don’t” and “Synonymic Bossa“. Only a portion of the members were able to attend but when the group played together just a few students sounded like a lot more. The Jazz Band did a great job and received much positive feedback from audience members. Mr. Keeper, the instructor of the band, is working toward expanding the number and diversity of instruments. No one person or group for that matter is born perfect. It took the group months to build themselves to the point in which they have now reached.

Joining the Jazz Band is definitely a good way to get involved and become part of a team. With passion, hard work, and confidence, the Jazz Band is a huge success. If you are a Delcastle student interested in becoming part of the success, come talk to Mr. Keeper today in room C109.

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It is time to reach inside yourself, who are you? Look deep inside yourself, what do you like, what do you not like, what are you good at? Come out to the Delcastle Drama Club and find yourself. This club allows you to explore each aspect of yourself or even become someone else. Drama Club is a judgement free zone where you can act, perform, and learn. Auditions are held at the beginning of each school year. Practices occur in the school Auditorium every Tuesday and Thursday until 6pm; activity buses are provided. A large number of students came out to auditions this year (2016). Many students were called back a second and third time to make more efficient cuts. About a week or so later students were notified if they made the cut of the Drama Cast and Crew. Much potential lies within the Delcastle Drama Club. There is an immense amount of passion, determination, and talent in the group.

The Drama Club’s most recent performance was a play called Here Come The Brides. The Drama Club started working on the production since the beginning of the school year all the way into March. At first, there was a lot of difficulty in memorizing lines, limiting distractions, and stability. As the date of their first performance approached these difficulties became less and less. Due to their instructors, Dr. Hockersmith and Mrs. Brenner, the actors and actresses were forced to learn their lines and pull things together. Tech hand Sariha Shipley stated, ” I don’t know how they did it but I’m surprised they did because every practice they would mess up or forget their lines but in the end put everything together and put on a great show.” This was very shocking to hear considering their performances were performed so passionately and smoothly as if they were born with it.

Here Come The Brides was shown in the Delcastle auditorium on three different dates March 3rd, March 4th, and March 5th. The play is about a guy named Jimmy who gets a loaded check from his rich Uncle Dan every month and his friend Bill comes to stay with him. Jimmy writes his Uncle Dan a letter saying his friend will be there and because of this Uncle Dan automatically assumes Jimmy is married. That’s where it gets chaotic because now Jimmy has to find a brides but he’s not really married. In the end all of the women he interviewed to be his bride show up to meet Uncle Dan. It was very interesting to see actors go drag for the sake of their part, a job well done. Just before performances the majority of the cast and crew were nervous but excited. A special recognition goes to Alyssa White playing Madge Burns in the play. Her peers have shown much respect for her and her part due to the devotion she puts forth along with the personal connections she had with her character. Alyssa showed leadership and consistency throughout the entirety of the plays course and is definitely a Cougar role model. The Delcastle Drama Club brings people closer to themselves and others, come and be a part of the family.

Cast :

Aunt Ellen…Kalli

Morris Jimmy Took… Chris Fauls

Bill Thompson…Kevin Ryan

Madge Burns…Alyssa White

Mr. Oswald…Ziayre Ruff

Nurse McDaniel…Shayla Hayes

Lady McBeth…Alexa Archer

Mrs.Duvalle-Smythe…Leigh Bauder

Bubbles Duvalle…Diadem Abayode

Dan Took…Ryan Nagowski

Peggy Westfield…Jocelin Montes-Bernal

Crew:

Nay Richardson…Lead Tech/ Stage Manager

Sam VanBennekom…Assistant Student Director

Sasha Reddy…Stage Right Manager

Brandon Reed…Sound Effects

Logan Kenney…Media/Photography

Amanda Santiago…Curtains/Hair/Makeup

Sariha Shipley…Stage Assistant

Chris Cortez…Prompter

Ritzy Curry…Understudy/Assistant

Under The Direction Of:

Dr. C. Hockersmith…Director

Mrs. E. Brenner…Technical Director

Mr. A. Tiberi…Acting Coach

Play Written By: William Fisher

Presented By: DTHS Drama Club

   

Christina Colatriano

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Tina Horgan, a native Delawarean, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Secondary Education from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is 20 years into her teaching career, all of which have been at Delcastle. As a teacher, she earned a Master of Instruction degree from the University of Delaware. During her years at Delcastle, Tina has served as a class advisor, a summer administrative intern, a mentor for new teachers, and a cooperating teacher for several University of Delaware student teachers. Currently, she advises the Girls’ State Program and the Delcastle Newspaper. Even though Tina had considered pursuing administration, she realized that her heart was in the classroom with her students and amazing colleagues at the “Castle.” She is determined to spread school spirit throughout all aspects of Delcastle. In her spare time, Tina enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and two children, ages 13 and 10.
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The Delaware Department of Education posted the following regarding the change in testing for 11th grade students.  The original article can be found at:  http://www.doe.k12.de.us

The SAT will replace the Smarter Assessment as the state test for high school juniors beginning this spring.

The change comes at the request of legislators and as the state continues to look for ways to reduce testing, particularly for 11th graders who already were taking both exams as part of Delaware’s state-funded School Day SAT program.

 The College Board, the nonprofit that administers the college entrance exam, is launching a redesigned SAT this spring that is aligned to the English language arts and mathematics standards Delaware adopted in 2010 (standards are the academic expectations for what Delaware students should know and be able to do at the completion of each grade level). The changes to the SAT also include a move away from obscure “SAT vocabulary words” to the use of relevant vocabulary words in context, an in-depth focus on essential areas of math and the elimination of the guessing penalty. 

“Our students deserve an exam that helps them gauge their college and career readiness, and our teachers deserve an exam that provides them with the information they need to guide their instruction. This is one example of how we are reducing the testing burden on our students and teachers,” Secretary of Education Steven Godowsky said. “This is a smart solution that ensures our educators, students and families get the information they need while mitigating the over-testing concern many share.

The state will continue to administer the Smarter Assessment in grades 3 to 8. 

Delaware has been administering a school-day SAT to all public school juniors at no cost to students since 2011. Godowsky said making the transition to use the SAT as the accountability test this year is based on the feedback of elected leaders, educators and families. Last week, 10 legislators sent a letter to Gov. Jack Markell asking to replace the 11th grade Smarter exam with the SAT.

“Our community was clear that this was in the best interest of our high school juniors and the sooner we could make the switch the better,” Godowsky said. “This decision is in response to that feedback.”

Gov. Jack Markell, who launched a statewide assessment inventory process last spring, said, “We believe that the concerns about the testing burden on our juniors are well founded.  We also agree that this move is a smart, commonsense way to reduce the testing burden significantly without sacrificing our ability to understand whether we are serving our students well and whether they are making the progress they need to be successful.  I have asked Secretary Godowsky to immediately designate the SAT as our 11th grade assessment and take all necessary steps to implement the change so that, beginning this year, juniors will no longer take Smarter Balanced.  The department will seek federal approval for this change in our state assessment as quickly as possible and otherwise ensure that the transition goes smoothly in schools across the state.” 

Under Delaware’s former state test, the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS), 9th and 10th graders were tested. When the state moved to Smarter in Spring 2015, 11th grade became the singular testing year for high school. But many said that proved overwhelming for juniors, who also take Advanced Placement exams, the SAT, SAT subject tests, the ACT and other tests during their 11th grade year. 

New Castle County Vo-Tech Superintendent Vicki Gehrt, president of the Delaware Chief School Officers Association, said superintendents in the state are in support of substituting the SAT in lieu of the Smarter Assessment as the required assessment for high school students.  This shift both gives teachers more time to provide necessary instruction and eases the load on our high school students with respect to the annual assessments they already must take.

State Board of Education President Dr. Teri Quinn Gray said students and families value the SAT.

“The redesigned SAT provides important information students, parents and educators want and need to understand students’ college, career and civic readiness. For that reason, it is already valued by parents and students.  In addition, by using this test as the high school assessment for English language arts and math, we will reduce the amount of required testing and costs to the state,” Gray said. 

Last spring, the General Assembly passed and Governor Markell signed into law Senate Joint Resolution 2, requiring an inventory and review of all assessments currently administered at the state, district and school level “with the goal of decreasing the testing burden on students and teachers and increasing time available for teaching.” 

This work continues. Districts and charter schools, which were eligible for supporting state grants, submitted their assessment inventories, recommendations, and impact information to the state at the end of December. The department has convened an assessment inventory committee with representatives from the House and Senate education committees, Delaware State Education Association, state superintendents, civil rights community and parents to make recommendations. The state’s final report must be published by June 2016. 

Sen. David Sokola, chair of the Senate Education Committee, and Rep. Earl Jaques, chair of the House Education Committee, lauded today’s announcement.

“This is the kind of change legislators were seeking when we approved SJR 2 to create a task force to fully review our student testing,” Sokola said. “This is a good first step toward removing burdens on our students and increasing instruction time for teachers, while also providing them with the important metrics needed to gauge student progress.” 

Jaques agreed, “This decision eliminates duplicative testing and reduces over-testing while helping to ease student stress and parental concerns.” 

The department has posted information and will continue updating its website with information, including resources for districts/charters and the public, regularly. Educators or families with questions may email assessment@doe.k12.de.us or call (302) 857-3391.

As students prepare for the spring SAT, they also have some extra help this year. A partnership with Khan Academy and the College Board offerspersonalized SAT preparation based on students’ PSAT results. Delaware also provides the PSAT free to all public school 10th graders.

Alison May
alison.may@doe.k12.de.us
(302) 735-4006
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With the end of the first semester approaching, final projects and final exams are around the corner.  This time of the year can be stressful for our students.  Please talk to your students about time management and their plan for finishing the semester strong.  Ask which class they really need additional assistance in and discuss the benefits of attending our extra help program that runs from 3:00 – 4:00pm with their teachers on Wednesdays.  In addition, our extended extra help program takes place in the library from 3:00 – 6:00 each Wednesday.  Buses are available at 4:00pm and 6:00pm for those who attend the extra help program.  Your support and encouragement are extremely beneficial.  It has been my experience that many students don’t realize the importance of attending extra help before the end of the semester, so here are some pointers to go over with your students:

  1. Review grades in all classes on our Home Access Center (HAC).
  2. Identify and prioritize the classes that need additional study.
  3. Students should attend extra help for classes with a 75% or lower.
  4. Design a study calendar that charts out which days they will study for each subject leading up to their class finals.
  5. Have your student arrange a study group with their peers to help them study.

Please ensure that your child gets plenty of rest before each final and that they have a healthy breakfast and arrive to school on time.  Final exams will be held on January 21 and January 22.  Remember, finals count!

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WIN Program

WIN Program

Beginning at the end of the first marking period, ninth and tenth grade students with a 2.75 grade point average or better can attend the Delcastle College Access Program, Project WIN (What I Need).  The purpose of Project WIN is to provide students with a comprehensive post-secondary plan to properly prepare them for college life.  The goal of the program is to improve the post-secondary success trajectory for all students.  The Project WIN team uses a number of best practices to promote higher student achievement through the use of technology, SAT prep, test taking strategies, mentoring, and a host of practices associated with “college readiness” reform.  Project WIN sessions are held every Monday from 3:00 – 5:45pm in the library.  A snack is provided for all those who attend as well as a 6:00 bus for students who do not drive.

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