NOTE: Sussex Beat is a mix of news, analysis and commentary by Eric Magill, publisher of Sussex County Online.
The Milford School District achieved a rare accomplishment this week with the announcement that four of the district's teachers have met rigorous National Board Certification standards.
Wendy Dodge, Mercedes Ferrari, Gene Kerns and Patricia Masten were among 20 teachers state-wide to earn the certification. The only other downstate teacher to earn the certification was Patricia Lobo of the Indian River School District.
The state has reason to be proud of the 20 teachers to earn certification this year because it more than doubles the number of National Board Certification teachers in Delaware.
Delaware also had more teachers earn the certification this year than Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, states with much larger teacher populations than Delaware.
"Because teacher effectiveness is critical to student success, Delaware's newest nationally board certified teachers have demonstrated under rigorous standards that they are consistently raising student achievement in their classrooms," said Delaware Gov. Thomas R. Carper.
"This is far from an easy task. I am proud and pleased that the 20 educators who worked very hard to earn their profession's highest standard are in Delaware teaching our children."
The National Board Certification is a voluntary process developed by teachers and other educators. It documents a teacher's subject matter knowledge, provides evidence that teachers know how to teach their subjects to students most effectively, and demonstrates a teacher's ability to manage and measure student learning.
"These teachers exhibit pride in their profession, excellence in their subject matter, and persistence in pursuing this very, very difficult certification," said Acting Secretary of Education Valerie Woodruff.
Dodge earned her National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist, and Ferrari, Kerns and Masten earned theirs in Adolescence and Young Adulthood/English Language Arts. Lobo also earned her certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood/English Language Arts.
There seems to be little concern in Sussex County about potential Y2K problems if attendance at Y2K preparedness meetings around the state is any indication.
Joe Wessels, spokesperson for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, said only 9 people attended a meeting in Seaford and 11 in Georgetown. Attendance figures at other meetings around the state were similar, Wessels said.
The movie Y2K, a fictional account of a disastrous New Millenium on NBC on Sunday, Nov. 21, 1999, seems to have had little impact on people's attitudes, either.
For our part, we intend to ring in the New Millenium to the fullest with fireworks in Bethany Beach and a bonfire on the beach.
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If you're looking for medical information on the Internet, a good place for basic information about medical topics is Drkoop.com, a site led by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. In addition to reference material on more than 60 conditions, the site also provides breaking medical news and a dozen medical forums broken down by topic. You can search the site by symptom or by illness or disease.
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