May 2017 Newsletter

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Honoring Educational Programs, Individual Achievements, and Progress Made

With spring in full swing, the Vision Coalition of Delaware celebrated its roots at the 2017 Superstars in Education award reception and ceremony, where Dr. Daniel Rich was honored as the recipient of the John H. Taylor Jr. Education Leadership award.

John H. Taylor Jr. was an inaugural member of the Vision Coalition of Delaware’s Leadership Team and we continue to remember and celebrate his legacy.


“Dr. Rich has always been a champion of partnerships and collaboration, which he exemplifies through his work on the Vision Coalition, the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, and in the early learning community. Much like John Taylor, Dan possesses two powerful qualities in spades: the ability to bring people together and the courage to lead with passion and truth,” said Paul Herdman, President and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware and Vision Coalition Leadership Team member.

The Vision Coalition of Delaware is incredibly proud of Dr. Rich’s contributions to public education in our state. His significant impact in Delaware does not go unnoticed, and we can hardly begin to demonstrate our appreciation.




1,000 Books Before Kindergarten encourages parents to read to their kids in the years before they go to school. The program was officially launched on April 20. County Executive Matt Meyer visited the county’s Kirkwood branch library to announce the program, which provides resources like recommended reading lists, tracking logs, and a smartphone app to help families record their progress through the program.



Executives from Capital One teamed up with Communities in Schools for an event called Random Hacks of Kindness. More than 60 students from four local high schools participated in the student hackathon, as part of Capital One’s Future Edge Initiative. The goal of the five-year, $150 million effort is to prepare Americans for the jobs of today and tomorrow.



An effort to brand a new student leadership program at Howard High School of Technology was recently recognized with a prestigious award from the national Hermes Creative Awards group. iLead, Inspiring Leadership Education and Development, received the 2017 Gold Award for excellence. Selected from among 6,000 entries, the iLEAD initiative was honored for its imaginative use of social media, display materials incorporating actual Howard student images and quotes, workshop productions and videos.

Brandywine School District’s Forwood Elementary and Caesar Rodney School District’s Postlethwait Middle School have earned Green Ribbon awards from the U.S. Department of Education for their work reducing environmental impact, improving health and wellness of students and staff and providing effective environmental and sustainability education. They are among the 45 schools, nine districts, and nine postsecondary institutions being honored nationally.



State awards 21st Century Community Learning Centers academic enrichment program grants
The Delaware Department of Education has awarded five new 21st Century Community Learning Center program grants under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The programs are designed to provide students with enrichment activities to improve the academic success of students from Title I schools. Schools are designated as Title I based on high percentage of students who come from low-income families.







System Governance, Alignment, and Performance:
Wilmington mayor marks Charter Schools Week with school visit


We are proud to welcome new Leadership Team members Jeffrey T. Benson Jr. and Heath Chasanov.

We’re looking forward to working together on the implementation of Student Success 2025 and preparing Delaware students for a lifetime of success. Learn more about our new Leadership Team members below.


Jeffrey T. Benson, Jr. is the president of One Direction Insurance, a subsidiary of Benson Development Group, LLC. Benson has over 10 years of experience in sales, with a skill set ranging from organizational leadership, financial marketing, and business-to-business sales. He began his career in the United States Air Force. Read more.


Heath Chasanov has been the Superintendent of the Woodbridge School District since August 2012. He served as the Assistant Superintendent of the district since August 2003. Heath has been very active with Delaware professional organizations and has served as President of the Delaware Association of State Personnel Directors, Treasurer of the Chief School Officers Association and President of the Delaware Association of School Administrators. Read more.

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