Maria Hess on Delaware Private and Charter High Schools

On Schools

Helen Smith, a longtime subscriber of Delaware Today, wasn’t happy with last year’s feature on private schools. In a letter to us, she wrote that the story lacked substance and didn’t offer the type of information parents and students needed. I was happy to get Helen’s note, and, in truth, I agreed with her. We could have done better, and I valued the criticism.

I saved Helen’s note in my “Important Emails” file, and contacted her when we got this year’s story rolling. Helen offered suggestions about the things she deemed necessary. Our writer, Andréa Miller, who worked doggedly on this piece, met with school officials and education experts statewide. We added information we felt necessary to complete substantive criteria. What evolved was a richer service package that incorporates statistics you will find valuable when choosing appropriate schools for your children. 

Sandy ToddSadly, several independent schools chose not to work with us. Our goal was to offer readers valuable information that explained why private and charter schools excelled. We dug up some information on the schools that failed to communicate with us, but you will likely need to uncover other statistics by visiting those excellent schools.

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You’ll notice a few changes in our appearance this month. We’re starting the new year with a refreshed design, courtesy of guest art director Sandy Todd. We thank Sandy for her hard work, flexibility and positive attitude. She is a joy to work with.

As always, I look forward to your comments (especially you, Helen). 

Happy New Year.



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Team Notes

Mark Nardone 
There is nothing like a combination of storms to remind us how vulnerable Delaware is to natural forces. Two to be reckoned with: sea-level rise and subsidence, which means that the state is slowly sinking. What to do about it is one of the most challenging issues we have. To learn more, watch our shorelines, then see DNREC’s recent assessment at


Louise Bolin 
In November I volunteered at the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition’s Gown Sale in Harrington. I was just married in October and I went home and asked my husband if we could do it all over again because every time a woman said yes to a dress, volunteers rang a bell and played the “Wedding March.” I saw so many gowns being bought and beautiful brides strutting their stuff! It was a great time for a fabulous cause.

Ron Dubick
Traveling up and down Delaware shooting assignments has become part of my routine. And all of the people that I meet along the way are always welcoming and friendly, which makes for a very pleasant trip. Hopefully, this winter won’t pose too many weather delays, or better still, no delays at all to keep me from my appointed rounds.


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Drew Ostroski  
Happy New Year to everyone.  Without sounding too goofy, I’d like to say how much I enjoy working at Delaware Today. Most of the folks I come in contact with through my job are great people. And after close to 25 years in journalism (almost half of those at this magazine), I’m still proud of what we
accomplish here each month.

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