District Newsletter

New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District

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Happy Thanksgiving to Parents/Guardians and Staff

This being the time of year that we focus on giving thanks, on behalf of the NCC Vo-Tech School District, I wish to thank our parents for entrusting their children to our care each day as we strive to provide them with the highest quality career and technical education possible, coupled with rigorous academic experiences that will prepare them for a life of success and achievement. Your children are engaged and eager learners who challenge our teachers to deliver the very best instruction. We are fortunate to have educators who meet these expectations with creative lessons and teaching skills that ensure all students have an opportunity to succeed. Thank you for being supportive partners with us in this more important process.
Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Victoria C. Gehrt, Ed.D.


What follows are some "stories" from each of our schools and district that we wanted to highlight for you.

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Delcastle Students Talk to the International Space Station

On Wednesday, October 24th, Delcastle Technical High School became the first school in Delaware to have students speak live with the International Space Station (ISS). Thirteen schools nationwide were selected to host an amateur radio (AR) contact with the ISS this year. The event provided a wonderful STEM collaboration opportunity with Radio Network, ILC Dover, Delcastle, and the ISS. In addition, Hodgson Vo-Tech Manufacturing and Engineering students built a temporary antenna for the Delcastle science students to ask questions to astronaut Dr. Serena Aunon-Chancellor during a ten-minute time window when such radio contact is possible as she and her fellow astronauts flew over New Castle County in space. The ARISS event was an outstanding event! It was a great experience for our students, staff and local community. Several legislators, local officials, business partners and Governor Carney attended the event. During the program, Governor Carney's message highlighted the value of science and education. He stated that, "real learning for real life doesn't get more real than talking to an astronaut on the space station!" He also shared with our students that their career preparation can lead to exciting work opportunities which helps to reinforce the mission that our schools focus on every day - preparing students to be career and college ready.

Special thanks to Dr. Abell, Mr. Heeney, Mr. Rykaczewski, Dr. Vasta, the Science Department and our awesome students. The event could not have taken place without the assistance of Radio Newark and ILC Dover.

Below is a clip of just 10 minutes of live contact and comments from a few of our legislators:


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Culinary Arts Program Receives An Award

Congratulations to the Hodgson Culinary Arts program for receiving the Delaware Restaurant Association 2017-18 Outstanding ProStart Program Award. The program received this honor in recognition of their outstanding contributions and involvement in the following:

  • Participation in National Food Safety Month/DRAEF Poster Contest
  • Participation in the 2018 Delaware ProStart Student Invitational
  • Highest earned ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certifications for the 2017-18 academic year, with a total of 44 certifications
  • 100% of juniors received their ServSafe Manager Certification
  • 100% of juniors received their ServSafe Food Handler Certification

Special congratulations to Hodgson junior Genisa Wright who won the State ServSafe Poster Contest. By finishing first in the state competition, Genisa received a check for $150, and the Hodgson Culinary Arts program received a check for $500.

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Make A Difference Day

In collaboration with Barclays Bank, the second annual series of Make a Difference Day activities were held at Howard on four successive Wednesdays in October. Over 100 Barclays' professionals traveled to the Howard campus to conduct one to one mentoring sessions for the entire 10th grade class. Topics of the sessions focused on employability skills and professional characteristics of a Howard Wildcat. Students and mentors collaboratively expressed very positive feedback on their conversations about workplace scenarios based on leadership, respect, attitude, and communication.

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Artist Helps Students Bring Hawk to Life

A noticeably emboldened Hawk has taken its rightful and prominent place as the school's symbol of pride, thanks to a mural painted by local artist Crae Washington and a select group of students. The team depicted the beloved mascot as a focused and dominating creature, brow furrowed, wings stretched, and claws clenched. "The goal for the piece was to showcase the school's colors, pride, and programs," Washington said, "with my take on the mascot and with help from the students."

Washington, known for transforming blighted parts of Wilmington from eyesores of despair to depictions of hope, said working with the students provided valuable lessons for all involved. "The project was a good exercise in group work and relying on a team," he said. "I mostly work alone, so it was a good change of pace." As for the students, he said they acquired new art techniques and saw first-hand that a professional artist's work does not always require traditional or classic styles. Students Ariel Carney, Gary Cook, Jaqclyn Cuddahee, Atira Forrest, Aaliyah Hammett, and Nana Ansah assisted with the mural and were described by Washington as "very efficient". "The only challenge was keeping the students busy," he said. "We finished most of the piece on the first day, so I had to find some extra elements for them to work on."

Washington said he hopes the project left students more inspired about art as a profession than when he was in high school. "The 'starving artist' stigma and advice I was given at that age really swayed my choices away from art," he said. "To have the opportunity to be on the other side and speak to students who may be going through similar scenarios was cool." Today, Washington describes his art as dedicated to "breaking misconceptions and stigmas, and celebrating individuality."

To learn more about Washington or his work, email Smashedlabelartmedium@gmail.com. The school mural is on display in the building's main hallway.

Student Unity Day - September 28th

The second annual NCC Vo-Tech Student Unity Day was held for 160 students from each of our four high schools. Students had the opportunity to listen to and participate in presentations by key individuals regarding the road to leadership. They heard from Ms. Lori Hayes, Delaware Secretary of Labor Cerron Cade, Reverend Doctor John Moore, concluding with an exciting keynote presentation by worldwide adventure icon and renowned leadership speaker John Beede.

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Howard High School of Technology Rededication of Howard High School - October 13th

On Saturday, October 13th, the Howard High School 1927 building was rededicated after an extensive two-year renovation. You can see by the photos included that Howard High School has been restored as the elegant building it once was, where the effort to blend the past with the future has been achieved. Howard High School is a National Historic Landmark and is remembered by many who walked the halls as students in their quest for quality education, the quality of which remains to this day for the many students attending and graduating from Howard High School of Technology. Clicking on the bar below provides you the opportunity to read the entire rededication program booklet along with the opportunity to view the Reflections video that was shown at the rededication.

Governor's Construction Career Expo Showcases Trades Careers

NCC Vo-Tech School District was an instrumental partner with local companies, trade associations, and state government divisions in helping to plan and present the first ever Governor’s Construction Career Expo in late September to expose Delaware students and Delawareans exploring a career change to careers in construction. The 2-day event, held at the Chase Center in Wilmington, had more than 2,000 middle school students from New Castle County visit the Expo on a Friday, followed by hundreds of families and job seekers who attended the following day.

All had the opportunity to meet with employers, sample fun activities and tools, and participate in heavy equipment demonstrations and virtual simulators – a total of 65 inter-active experiences representing 35 different trades all under one roof. Representatives from more than 50 local companies were on hand to help Delawareans learn about high-wage jobs, and discover skills training opportunities.

Students from all four NCC Vo-Tech high schools served as Expo volunteers. Delcastle Graphic Arts students designed and produced promotional information and banners for the event.

“I feel most fortunate to have worked with a group of such collaborative professionals from both the private and public sectors whose focus was only to plan and execute a valuable educational and informative event for Delaware's students and the community,” said Victoria C. Gehrt, Superintendent of New Castle County Vo-Tech School District. “I was also proud of all of our students who supported the event by serving as floor volunteers and who designed marketing information. The Expo was an outstanding opportunity to not only showcase the entire construction industry, but also to introduce to prospective students and families the idea that the construction trades are a viable career pathway to be considered.”

Vo-Tech High Schools Receive High Ratings in the State's Accountability Reporting

We are proud to report that our four high schools, Delcastle, Hodgson, Howard, and St. Georges, received accountability ratings from the state at the meeting or exceeding expectations level. The measures used for these ratings include: English Language Arts (ELA) and Math Proficiency, Graduation Rates, English Learner Progress, On-Track Attendance, Science and Social Studies Proficiency, College and Career Ready, and On Track in 9th Grade. Kudos to our students for their efforts and to our outstanding staff. Results will be posted publicly on the Delaware School Profiles website beginning November 2018 and on the Delaware Report Card website beginning December 2018.

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Admissions to the New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District High Schools

The period of time to complete and submit an application to attend one of the NCC Vo-Tech high schools is now through January 9, 2019 in order to receive primary consideration. Let friends and family know your satisfaction with our schools and let eligible students know that now is the time to apply. Who is eligible? Any student in grade 8 who lives within the boundaries of the Appoquinimink, Brandywine, Christina, Colonial, and Red Clay School Districts in New Castle County is eligible to apply.

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