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This Week in Red Clay April 30, 2021

In this issue:

Red Clay Seniors Named 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Semifinalists | Alexis I. du Pont High School Athletes Celebrate College Signing Day | Red Clay Students Win Arbor Day Poster Contest | Alicia Oleksy Named WJBR Teacher of the Month | The Charter School of Wilmington Wins Delaware Envirothon | For National School Nurse Day, the Delaware School Nurse Association is Recognizing School Nurses Statewide | Red Clay Schools Pledge to Keep Streams Clean

Red Clay Seniors Named 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Semifinalists

Congratulations to Red Clay senior Risha Kumar (above), a semifinalist in the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program! Risha is one of only nine seniors across the State of Delaware to earn this recognition. Inclusion in this program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating seniors. Scholars are selected based on their accomplishments in many areas including academic and artistic success, accomplishments in the career and technical fields, leadership, strong character and involvement in school and community.

Risha joins a distinguished list of scholars in Delaware that also includes Dareen Yeesong Wu of The Charter School of Wilmington. Well done, seniors!

Alexis I. du Pont High School Athletes Celebrate College Signing Day

Congratulations to our Alexis I. du Pont High School student-athletes who celebrated their college commitments this week! The school held a Signing Day ceremony for students and their families on April 28.

  • Field hockey phenom Camryn Cresci committed to play for Washington & Jefferson College.
  • Star swimmer Gracie Harding signed on to join the Blue Jays at Elizabethtown College.
  • The amazing Amanda Hawker (not pictured) committed to join the track and field team at East Stroudsburg University.
  • The unstoppable Dominic Pasquarella will play baseball for Delaware Technical Community College at the Jack F. Owens Campus.

Red Clay Students Win Arbor Day Poster Contest

Congratulations to Red Clay students Alyssa D., Lyla J., and Shannon L. for winning the Delaware Forest Service’s annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest!

Fifth grader Alyssa D. (Brandywine Springs School) was named the state winner, and Lyla J. (Brandywine Springs School) and Shannon L. (Heritage Elementary School) were selected as winners for New Castle County.

This year’s contest attracted entries from 44 schools and 73 classrooms, with a total of 2,748 students participating. This year’s theme was “Trees Are Terrific…in Many Wonderful Ways!” Posters were judged on originality, use of theme, neatness, and artistic expression. Each winner receives a gift card, a tree-themed book, and a tree planting at their school.

The poster contest is designed to increase student knowledge about forests and forest resources. For teachers, the poster contest can be an ideal way for students to learn more about the role of trees in our communities and their direct impact on Delawareans’ health and well-being.

Alicia Oleksy Named WJBR Teacher of the Month

Congratulations to Alicia Oleksy—or Mrs. O, as her students call her—for being selected as the WJBR Teacher of the Month!

The folks at the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) and WJBR worked with the Conrad Schools of Science staff to keep the announcement a secret until they were ready to surprise Mrs. O. on April 27.

"I get to hear Mrs. O teach algebra to my seventh-grade student every day, and her energy and commitment to teaching virtually is outstanding. She makes sure every kid is on and answers and gets on board. This is not a small task, and she has extra time with my student and communicates with me to keep him on task. She really works hard to keep virtual kids working every day. She has really earned this award." — A parent of one of Mrs. O's students

WJBR's Chris Leonard presented Mrs. O with a plaque and a $100 Amazon gift card on the surprise Zoom call. Shelley Meadowcroft, Director of Public Relations and Communications for the DSEA, commended Mrs. O for her outstanding work in the classroom and relayed congratulations from Governor Carney and Secretary Bunting.

"There is no better candidate to win this award," said Mark Pruitt, principal of Conrad Schools of Science. Other members of the Conrad staff added their own messages of gratitude for Mrs. O. Watch the whole surprise here.

Way to go, Mrs. O!

The Charter School of Wilmington Wins Delaware Envirothon

The Charter School of Wilmington Team C is the winner of the 2021 Delaware Envirothon, an annual environmental and natural resources education competition for high school students sponsored by the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts in partnership with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

The Charter School of Wilmington Team A finished second and The Charter School of Wilmington Team B placed third out of a total of 10 teams participating in this year’s competition. Congratulations to these students!

For National School Nurse Day, the Delaware School Nurse Association is Recognizing School Nurses Statewide

On May 12, the First State’s school nurses are being recognized for their bravery, hard work and ability to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Delaware School Nurse Association (DSNA) traditionally selects one school nurse for the prestigious School Nurse of the Year award, which acknowledges individual excellence in their field. In an unprecedented move, DSNA will present this year’s award to ALL school nurses in the state of Delaware for their stellar contributions to the health of students, families, staff and communities during a challenging year. (via Delaware Today)

Red Clay Schools Pledge to Keep Streams Clean

As part of the Great Schools, Clean Streams 2021 challenge, 19 schools in New Castle County will win cash prizes of up to $1,250 for school supplies and educational projects. Between April 12 and April 30, schools compete to collect online pledges to dispose of their used cooking oil and grease in the trash. The schools that collect the most pledges in their category will win prizes. New Castle County sponsors this contest because keeping used cooking oil out of the county sewer system helps prevent water pollution!

We are proud of all the students, families and staff who have worked together to raise awareness about water pollution through this contest. Take the pledge today and help your school win a prize!