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       (Wyoming, DE)  Caesar Rodney School District is pleased to announce that Michelle Flanders will serve as the next principal of John S. Charlton School where she has served as assistant principal since September 2015.   Ms. Flanders’ first official day as principal was August 16, 2017. 

        “I am ecstatic to continue to build the program, that I have been working with administration to create, that adheres to research based best practices for students with disabilities.  Our focus is to continue along that path while increasing inclusive opportunities for our students.  We are preparing our students for the best possible outcomes in leading independent lives and life is an inclusive experience!” remarked Ms. Flanders.

        Ms. Flanders graduated cum laude from the University of Central Oklahoma and earned her Master’s degree at Wilmington University.   She served as Assistant Principal and as an Educational Diagnostician at Kent County Community School prior to joining us at Caesar Rodney School District.

       “Michelle brings a wealth of experience to the position and we are excited to have her lead the Charlton program as we continue to expand our student’s opportunities.” said Caesar Rodney School District Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald.

       The CRSD looks forward to John S. Charlton School’s continued success under their leadership.  




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      (Wyoming, DE)  Caesar Rodney School District is pleased to announce that Dr. Kristina L. Failing will serve as the next principal of F. Niel Postlethwait Middle School, where she has been serving as assistant principal since 2013.   Her first day as principal is July 1st.

       “I wake up each morning energized and ready to start out on each day’s adventure because I’m happy to work with the students, their families and our wonderful Postlethwait staff.” remarked Dr. Failing.   “Our school’s vision ‘The key to a happy and successful life is to treat others with care, kindness and respect’ fits my personal and professional beliefs.”

       Under her co-leadership, Postlethwait Middle has become a U.S. “Green Ribbon” school.

       “We believe that Postlethwait will be in good hands under Dr. Failing’s leadership. She’s an approachable leader with great communicating skills and strong ties to the Caesar Rodney community.” commented CRSD Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald.

       Before becoming an administrator at Postlethwait Middle, Dr. Failing served as assistant principal of John S. Charlton School from 2004-2013.    Prior to coming to the Caesar Rodney School District, she was a special education teacher at Towne Point Elementary School from 1999-2004.

        “I am proud to be the new Postlethwait Middle School principal and with my strong affinity for working with parents I hope to help students discover and solidify their individual strengths.” said Dr. Failing.

       Dr. Failing is a 1994 graduate of Caesar Rodney High School.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Delaware State University in 1999, her Master of Arts degree from Delaware State University in 2002 and her Doctorate of Education from Wilmington University in 2007.     

       The Caesar Rodney School District looks forward to F. Niel Postlethwait Middle School’s continued success under her leadership.  

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    (Camden, DE)   Kyle Hill, a third-grade special education teacher at Star Hill Elementary School has been selected as Caesar Rodney School District’s 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.

     “Kyle Hill exemplifies the type of teacher every child in Delaware deserves. We are proud of him and proud to have him as our 2017-18 District Teacher of the Year.” said Caesar Rodney School District superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald.

     With 18 years of teaching experience, all at Star Hill Elementary, Mr. Hill received his Bachelor's degree at Kutztown University and his Master's Degree at Delaware State University. He has taught every grade at Star Hill except first.

     "It is an unbelievable honor to represent all of the amazing teachers in the Caesar Rodney School District. Words cannot express my gratitude for receiving this award." said Mr. Hill.

     “Kyle Hill is a gifted educator who transforms the children he works with into people who believe in themselves, take chances and realize their importance in the world. These internal beliefs lead children to blossom academically, socially and emotionally into life-long learners." remarked Star Hill principal Nicole Kurz-McDowell.

     The process for determining the district’s Teacher of the Year begins with recommendations from students, teachers, parents and administrators at each school building. Building teachers then vote to select the top five teachers.  Those nominees then develop portfolios which are then reviewed and scored by a committee of parents, teachers and students from each school.  From that process, one teacher in each building emerges as a District Teacher of the Year candidate.

     A more in-depth portfolio is then created by each candidate which contains information including: educational history and professional development; awards and recognition; philosophy of teaching; community service; and letters of support. These portfolios are then read and scored independently by administrators, school board members, teachers, parents and students. From this process, candidates emerge as finalists.

     Teams consisting of the district superintendent, principals, teachers and parents then conduct classroom observations and interviews with the finalists. Individually, each team member awards an overall score for each candidate. After a discussion and review of all scores, the District Teacher of the Year is selected.

     "Kyle embodies what every educator strives to be, a collaborator-expert-innovator, while remaining humble regarding his immense talents.  Kyle exemplifies the epitome of a top educator.” said Mrs. Kurz-McDowell.

     “In a district that is so richly filled with the highest quality educators, I am truly humbled and grateful for this recognition.” said Mr. Hill, who will now represent Caesar Rodney School District and compete against eighteen other Teacher of the Year nominees for the honor of becoming the Delaware’s Teacher of the Year.

     That announcement will be made by Governor John Carney in October.




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      (Camden, DE)  Caesar Rodney School District is pleased to announce that Darisa Everett will serve as the next principal of Nellie H. Stokes Elementary School where she has served as assistant principal since 2012.   Mrs. Everett’s first official day as principal was February 22, 2017.  Under her co-leadership, Stokes has been the recipient of four State Recognition Awards in the last 5 years. 


      “Being the principal of Stokes Elementary is a great honor.  I have the privilege of working with a dynamic staff who work diligently to put students first.” remarked Mrs. Everett.  


      Before becoming an administrator at Stokes, she began her teaching career in 1999 in Miramar, Florida.  She moved to Delaware in 2003 and began teaching third and fourth grade at Star Hill Elementary.  In 2010, she transferred to Major George S. Welch Elementary and became their achievement liaison teacher.


      Caesar Rodney School District is also pleased to announce that 2016 Nellie H. Stokes Teacher of the Year Danielle Deinert has been appointed to serve as the school’s new assistant principal.   Mrs. Deinert began her teaching career at John S. Charlton School and then transferred to Stokes Elementary serving as a third and fifth grade teacher.


      “I am honored to come on board to work with Mrs. Everett as part of the administrative team.  As a teacher at Stokes for the last few years I have come to know what amazing staff, students, and families we have here at our school.” remarked Mrs. Deinert on March 27, 2017, her first day at her new position. 


      “The appointment of Mrs. Everett and Mrs. Dienert, as the new leadership team at Stokes, reaffirms our district’s commitment to the children and staff of Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary School. Both bring with them an understanding of the needs of the community and also the instructional ability to move this school, already recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School and four time Delaware ‘Recognition School’, forward.” said Caesar Rodney School District Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald.


      The CRSD looks forward to Nellie H. Stokes Elementary School’s continued success under their leadership.  

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      (Camden, DE)  This week, internationally-renowned children’s author Julia Cook will partner with the Early Childhood Pathway students at Caesar Rodney High School to work with the younger students at W.B. Simpson Elementary School, in teaching concepts of tolerance and acceptance. Using Cook’s recently released book, The Judgmental Flower, the students will explore the skill of valuing the differences of others.


    “Our goal is to give our Pathway students the practical experience of working with children,” says CRHS Family and Consumer Science Teacher Amy Finley. “We are thrilled that they will have this once in a lifetime opportunity working with Julia Cook in teaching the themes of The Judgmental Flower. Our students desire to move on to careers in early childhood education, and they will obtain tools this week that will serve them and their future students for years to come.”


    The schedule for this week, weather permitting:


    Wednesday, March 15, 2017


    Julia Cook presents to the Early Childhood Pathway students at Caesar Rodney High School (LGI room):


    Session 1: 8:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.


    Session 2: 9:55 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.


    Session 3: 12:20 p.m. to 2:05 p.m.


    Thursday, March 16, 2017


    Julia Cook assembly at W.B. Simpson Elementary School


    8:55 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.: Julia Cook presents to elementary student body: “The Judgmental Flower”


    9:40 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Caesar Rodney High School Early Childhood Education students conduct a lesson in the individual classrooms (Lessons include extension and enrichment activities linked to The Judgmental Flower)


    10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.: High school students create a flower garden representing the elementary school student body using the handprints created during the lesson. This will be done on a large wall space in the hallway at W.B. Simpson. (Julia Cook will remain at W.B. Simpson for writer’s workshop sessions in the afternoon.)


    Friday, March 17, 2017


    8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. - Julia meets with the individual Early Childhood Education classes for small group question and answer sessions and book signing at the high school.


    “Two things that must exist in any functional human relationship are trust and communication,” says Cook. “Without both, the relationship becomes unsustainable. Once a person develops hateful feelings, and shares them with those around, others can be influenced and begin to take on the same attitude. By increasing trust and developing better communication skills we can improve tolerance and increase acceptance and understanding.”


    More about Julia Cook:

    Beloved "Cook books" have won multiple accolades, including several AEP (American Educational Publishers) Distinguished Achievement Awards, Mom's Choice Awards and National Parenting Seals of Approval. It would be hard to find an elementary school counselor who doesn't know Cook's resources.  She is a former teacher and counselor who has authored over 70 books published by the CDC, Boys Town Press and the National Center for Youth Issues. Her gift is the ability to effectively translate important adult, behavioral and mental health information into kid language.  


    Many ‘Cook books’ are especially helpful to children on the autism spectrum and have been endorsed by the Alaska Department of Education. Her books have also been endorsed by EAGALA, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Chidhelp, Darkness to Light, USA Volleyball, the CDC and the list goes on. Julia's books have been featured in Parents magazine, The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Fatherly.com and CNN's Headline News. For more information, go to www.juliacookonline.com.



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