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February 24, 2006     Cape Gazette
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February 24, 2006

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104 - C&PE GAZETTE, Friday, Feb. 24 - Monday, Feb. 27, 2006 S,:H,CJ(I,IL &: EDI_rCATION I ! Jim Westhoff photo Emilie Urdahl, shown with her mother Janet, earned a spot in the freshman class at West Point. After months of interviews and applications, she received her official letter of admit- tance Feb. 17. Emilie is the battalion commander of Cape Henlopen High School's JROTC pro- gram. Cape's Urdahl t ea.0000ct l:() West Point " By Jim Westhoff Cape Gazette staff " Cape Henlopen High School's Emilie Urdahl has been accepted at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, fulfilling a goal she has been striving for since ninth grade. Emilie, who lives in Lewes, received her official letter of appointment Friday, Feb. 17. With numerous hurdles to get to the application process, West Point is one of the most Selective schools in the country, Before she could apply, Emilie had to be nominat- ed by her congressman or senators. She had to sit before three different committees representing the congressional delegation. These people asked questions, tried to judge her character and commitment, and generally tried to whittle down the number of people applying for nomination. Emilie eventually received nominations from Sens. Tom Carper and Joe Biden. But that was just one step. Applicants to the Army's service academy also must interview with Continued on page 25 Jim Westhoff photo Autumn Dailey, 13, daughter of Scott and Deniene Dailey of Lewes gives a weather forecast as part of her exam in eighth- grade science at Beacon Middle School. Bailey received a 100 percent on her project. In the photo, she is indicating Bridgeville and discussing the differences in temperatures just after a cold front went through, pointing out a high pres- sure system moving over southern Delaware. Eighth-grade meteorologists_ forecast the local weather By Jim Westhoff Cape Gazette staff In Chris Lenhart's's classroom, fronts were moving in, high-pres- sure systems were descending and hurricanes threatened coastal areas. It was not a "best-of.' show on The Weather Channel; it was an eighth-grade science class at Beacon Middle School. As the culmination of a unit on weather, Lenhart's 86 students recently presented weather fore- casts to the class, as if they were television meteorologists. They supplied charts, maps and numer- ous weather symbols. Lenhart even built a set so the forecast would seem more realis- tic. "It worked very well," I Lenhart said. "I'm very pleased., He said he could tell it worked well by the type of questions the kids,were asking to prepare their presentations, questions that demonstrated a strong depth of knowledge, he said. "The kids just needed to be re- affirmed that they were correct in their assumptions," he said. Student Autumn Dailey said playing meteorologist was very instructive. "We have to show seven different weather systems," she said. "We have to do a local, regional and national forecast." So if someone wants to know about tomorrow's weather, should they call Dailey? "Probably not," she laughed. We must m,t ask too little or dream too small If not now, then when? If not us, then who? If not here, then where? These are the questions that cycle through my thoughts like the horses on the carousel at Funland. The journey to be better than we are starts with a single step and though some may say it is clichr, for me, the journey needs to start now, here with us in this place. Our challenge is to take what is good and make it better, to do what is difficult and claim the gold standard for future genera- tions. To look beyond the politics and focus on what we want to leave others. To pay it forward. Our 'task bears no room for complacency. We must not ask too little or dream too small. This juncture in time demands our full attention, our connected concern and our selfless vision. This is the place and the time. The improve- ments that are on the drawing board now for the Cape Henlopen SCHOOL JOURNAL Diane Albanese School District will drive our suc- cess for the next 50 yars. Who knows what the future will bring, but with a positive referendum vote, the children and the commu- nity at large will have what it needs to be the best possible. A few years ago I asked my father how he voted in a referen= dum for schools improvements, one that would bring an increase in taxes. After all, my parents are retired, live on a fixed income and they spend time away from home for long stretches. They have been paying taxes for many years and they had no children left to edu- cate in the public school system. Dad surprised me when he said that he voted for the referendum. My father loves to talk so he explained his thinking in a lengthy discussion. He said that there was a new generation of children who deserved the best that we could give them. He had noticed how the school building and the grounds in his town had become shabby and there was def- inite need for repair work to the systems that supported the build- ing. Being a very conscientious homeowner, he likened it to home repairs that cropped up every sea- son. To him it was a privilege to be able to provide help and sup- port for the next generation, regardless of whether or not these were his own children or grand- children. They say a nut never falls far from the tree and, no surprise here, I have adopted his attitude. The students that go to the high school this year and next will not benefit from passing the referen- dum. My own children will not" benefit from a new high school. But what about the children who are in first grade now? Couid you honestly stand in front of a first grade class and tell them that you voted to defeat the referendum, that their future does not matter? When I taught at Milton Middle School I often marveled at the architecture, the columns and brick, the little cut out places in the front where it looked like they intended to put-an urn but where children sat and waited for the start of school. The same goes for the old Lewes Middle School. What a vision that generation had! How grand! Now we are told that our gener- ation is being given a choice on March 16. We can vote yes to upgrade, expand, and improve our " schools. This is not just a new high school but additional class- rooms in elementary schools for new full day kindergarten classes, new boilers and a maybe even a new Olympic size pool. Just ask Giacomo and Doffs, my dad and morn! If they were here now, they would vote yes for the referendum! They know that their support is a legacy, and edu- cation is one of the most valuable gifts they can give to future gener- ations. Diane Saienni Albanese is a parent and teacher in the Cape Henlopen School District Previous columns can be reviewed at her website dianeai-