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Ursuline students contribute to Leader Dogs for the Blind


Staff reporter

WILMINGTON — The first-graders at Ursuline Academy’s Lower School demonstrated the meaning of the school’s motto, “Serviam,” on March 24, presenting an organization that trains service dogs for the blind with a check for $368.

The students raised the money on their own both at homes and by donations for a dress-down day at school.

Lion Carroll Jackson greets students in Ursuline’s Lower School, where he visited March 24 with his leader dog Hunter. First-graders raised money to support the Lions Club’s effort to raise money for the training of guide dogs for the blind. wwwDonBlakePhotography.com

Layla Adeleke said she earned her money by helping with the laundry and other chores at home.

“It was important to help the people who are blind,” she said.

The fundraising was part of the Serviam Project in the early childhood program and Lower School. Each grade is assigned a month in which it runs a service initiative “in order to create a sense of empathy for others and empower our children to see that they can make a difference,” the school said.

The first- through third-grade students took some time out of class to hear from Carroll Jackson, a field representative for Leader Dogs for the Blind. He and his dog, Hunter, travel the country explaining what service dogs do and why they are important. The Lions Club of Delaware, which works with Leader Dogs, sponsored the visit.

Jackson, who lives in Illinois, told the students he used to be a teacher, principal and superintendent. “All of my pupils were just like me. They couldn’t see a thing.”

Two of the biggest obstacles for the blind are communication and mobility, he said. When you are blind, you tend to rely on the other four senses. His students learned in which direction they were walking from feeling the sun on a certain side of their bodies, tapping a cane to detect objects or to listen for echoes, or by memory.

One of the ways they overcome those obstacles is with dogs like Hunter, who are trained extensively to help with tasks that most of us take for granted, like crossing a street or finding a chair. Jackson’s students were able to get a guide dog of their own when they turned 16.

“They could learn to use their dog when they were in high school,” he said.

The dogs start training as puppies and have a “career” that lasts eight to 10 years, Jackson said.

One thing that really impressed first-grader Leah Horgan about Hunter was that “he knows how to cross streets and knows when to stop.”

Leah said she made her bed, cleaned her room and shoveled snow to earn money to give the Leader Dog program.

Jackson took a few questions from the students. One wanted to know why, if he was blind, he wore glasses.

“My wife says it makes me look more intelligent,” he joked. The real reason, he said, is that they make him more inconspicuous.

Hunter and other service dogs are found wherever people can go. He accompanies Jackson to restaurants and hotels, and “he’s been on 409 airplane flights.”

Throughout the presentation, Hunter appeared to be taking it all in stride, laying silently on the stage next to Jackson. The students learned that they should never pet a service dog. That was no problem for Layla.

“I’m allergic to dogs,” she said.

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It’s a busy week in girls sports around the diocese


For The Dialog


Here is the girls’ high school sports schedule for the first full week of spring sports. This all depends on the weather, including the chance of snow this afternoon. Read more »

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Mixed results for Catholic schools in spring sports openers


For The Dialog


Spring sports kicked off over the weekend. We’ll start with baseball.

St. Elizabeth was on the wrong end of a 3-0 decision at home vs. Conrad on Saturday. Conrad pitcher Mike Awtry threw the complete game, giving up three hits and striking out eight. St. Elizabeth pitcher Jared Harrison surrendered three runs in five innings and had one of his team’s three hits, a double. Read more »

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A preview of the first full week of boys spring sports


For The Dialog


The first full week of games kicks off this week and here is the boys’ preview of games and matches this week. As always outdoor sports are weather-permitting, so check the school’s website.

This afternoon, Appoquinimink visits St. Mark’s for a boys lacrosse game at 3:45 p.m. The Spartans are coming off a tough 7-5 loss to an out-of-state team over the weekend. It is Appo’s first game of the season; they lost in the first round of last season’s tournament to the Spartans, 15-5. Read more »

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Teams kick off spring sports slate this weekend


For The Dialog


This weekend is the start of the spring sports season, and even though a lot of the teams wont start until later next week, there are some Catholic teams playing the next few days.

Let’s start with softball.

St Mark’s at St Elizabeth, Canby Park, 11 a.m. Saturday. I can’t believe they are starting with a Catholic Conference game right out the chute. St Mark’s was 10-8 last year and swept the Vikings by scores of 11-1 and 11-3. The Vikings were young last year and hope with a year of experience they can improve from a 5-12 season.

In baseball, the Vikings also open at Canby Park on Saturday at noon when they play Conrad. Conrad just missed the playoffs last season, while St. Elizabeth went 16-2 and returns some of their key pitchers. The Vikings have defending state champion St. Mark’s on the schedule next week.

Archmere’s baseball team opens its season Saturday at Middletown at 11 a.m. The Auks went 13-5 last year, losing to St. Mark’s in the first round of the tournament.

In Magnolia, St. Thomas More will host Ss. Peter and Paul at noon. The Ravens were 5-12 last year.

Lacrosse also kicks off tomorrow.

At 12:45 p.m., Archmere hosts Brandywine. The Auks were 10-5 and gave state champion Salesianum one of their toughest contests.

St. Mark’s visits Chestnut Hill Academy (Md.) at 11:30 a.m. The Spartans went 11-3 last season, losing in the state semifinals to Salesianum. They have upgraded their out-of-state schedule and start with a tough one.

St. Thomas More opens at Conrad at noon. The Ravens were 6-9 last year and would like a good start to the season as they aim to make the state tournament.

In girls action, Brandywine visits Archmere at 11 a.m. The Auks are coming off a 12-3 season in which they reached the state semifinals before losing to Tower Hill. Archmere beat Brandywine, 18-3, last season.

Middletown visits St. Mark’s, also at 11 a.m. An 18-15 win over Middletown last season was one of five for the Spartans, who went 5-10.

Ursuline at Red Lion. The Raiders would like to improve on last year’s 11-4 record. They also reached the semifinals.

Mount Pleasant travels to St. Thomas More for a noon start. The Ravens won a 7-6 decision over Mount last year en route to a 7-8 season.

Girls soccer also begins this weekend.

St. Elizabeth heads to Dickinson for an 11 a.m. start. The Vikings look to improve on a 3-10 season and begin with a Rams team that was winless in 2013.

Ursuline hosts Wilmington Christian at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Raiders were 7-7-1 last year, with one of the wins coming over the Warriors.

What a great weekend slate and hopefully the weather will be nice and we can get out and support our Catholic teams kick off the spring season.

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O’Neill, former Sals reflect on basketball championship


Staff reporter


It’s been a bit crazy around Salesianum School the last few weeks thanks to the basketball team, which won its first state championship with a 50-45 win over St. Georges Tech on March 8 at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark.

For forward Brian O’Neill, the championship game was his last that counted in the standings. The 6-7 senior will continue his athletic career as a football player at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall. He scored 15 points in the final and helped cut down the nets. Then the fun started at 18th and Broom. Read more »

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St. Mary Magdalen Robo Dogs could save lives

March 21st, 2014 Posted in Featured, Our Diocese, Youth Tags: ,


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON — A few years from now, if new cars sold in the United States can warn drivers and passengers that carbon monoxide levels are creeping dangerously high, consumers will have a group of fifth- and sixth-graders from St. Mary Magdalen School to thank.

The students designed a carbon monoxide detection system for automobiles after learning that more than 140 people in the U.S. die each year when they are poisoned by the gas, which is odorless and colorless. If the exhaust is blocked – by snow or dirt, or if a car is left running in an enclosed garage for an extended period of time, the carbon monoxide will back up into the cabin of the car, where it eventually becomes fatal.
Read more »

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Student and school news


Knights of Peter Claver offer scholarships

The Knights of Peter Claver and its ladies auxiliary are accepting applications for scholarships for students entering or already in Catholic grade school or high school, as well as college or a certificate program.

Scholarships will be awarded based on academic achievement, financial need, leadership qualities and community service. They will be worth $1,000 for postsecondary, $750 for high school and $500 for grade school.

Applicants must show proof of acceptance to their school or certificate program, and those seeking aid for postsecondary education must have a grade-point average of 2.5 or better.

A completed application form, high school transcript (for postsecondary applicants), personal statement, two recommendation forms, proof of parish membership in the Diocese of Wilmington and proof of Delaware residency are required. Materials should be submitted to the Knights of Peter Claver and the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, 1012 N. French St., Wilmington, DE 19801. The deadline is April 30.

For information, email lmchatman@comcast.net.


Archmere to honor 1955 alum, a noted photographer, this weekend

CLAYMONT – Archmere Academy will celebrate its seventh annual Fine Arts Festival this Saturday with its students works, but this year the school also will pay tribute to the late Bill Eppridge, a 1955 graduate and an accomplished photographer.

Eppridge, who died in October at age 75, was an award-winning photojournalist for Life magazine and whose work has appeared in numerous national publications. He was in New York when the Beatles arrived in 1964, and he took the iconic photo of a mortally wounded Robert F. Kennedy after he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968.

The Fine Arts Festival takes place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the Patio. The formal program, including a presentation by Eppridge’s widow, Adrienne Aurichio, and performances by Archmere’s Stage Band and Mastersingers, will begin at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.


St. Elizabeth students create Stations of the Cross art

This is one of the student-created pieces of art for the Stations of the Cross at St. Elizabeth High School.

WILMINGTON – As Lent began, students at St. Elizabeth High School created 14 pieces of artwork representing Jesus’ death and burial. Those creations are now hanging above the doors of classrooms at the Wilmington school.

Father Norman Carroll, the pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish, produced a video prayer service featuring the 14 stations. That was presented at an assembly March 10 that was attended by Bishop Malooly. Students offered prayers and reflections for each station.

The project was Father Carroll’s idea. He asked the students to create the images for each station by asking themselves, “What does this station mean to me?”

“It was our hope that the project would invite them to understand the stations as simple invitations into feelings and experiences that Jesus had along His way to Calvary,” Father Carroll said.


St. Mark’s to hold Blue-Gold fashion show this weekend

WILMINGTON – The Blue-Gold Club has long been one of the most popular at St. Mark’s High School, and its annual fashion show a highlight of the school year. The annual event will take place again this weekend on Friday and Saturday.

The club raises funds and awareness for the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens with Intellectual disAbilities and the St. Mark’s School Blue-Gold Scholarship Fund. The fashion show, which draws close to 2,000 people, is the largest fundraiser for the club and features clothing donated by area shops and boutiques. It also celebrates the relationships between St. Mark’s students and faculty and their buddies.

The entire week is filled with activities, including a home run derby, basketball tournament, indoor soccer and volleyball. It ends with a dance for St. Mark’s students and their buddies. This year, the school is holding a dance marathon on Friday.

Since 1983, St. Mark’s has contributed more than $525,000 to support DFRC’s efforts.


St. Elizabeth athletics now on Facebook

WILMINGTON – The St. Elizabeth Vikings’ spring sports teams might be battling the chilly weather, but the athletic department has been quite busy building its profile. The Vikings joined Facebook on March 12 to give fans another outlet for information.

The page includes information on schedules, news and athletes. It is available at www.facebook.com/sehsathletics.


Easton teacher receives honor from Knights

Mary George

EASTON, Md. – Mary George, a math teacher and coach at Ss. Peter and Paul High School in Easton, Md., has been named the Catholic High School Teacher of the Year by the Easton chapter of the Regina Coeli Council of the Knights of Columbus. The Knights honor local teachers who inspire students “to learn, accept, demonstrate and live out what they have learned of their Catholic faith and who show excellence in the teaching profession.”

In addition to teaching, George is an assistant girls basketball coach, moderator of the school’s rosary club and a cantor at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish.


St. Elizabeth freshman wins award for play

WILMINGTON – Nikolas Hunter, a freshman at St. Elizabeth High School, received an honorable mention and a special award for his play, “Breaking Glass,” which was one of six finalists in the 2013-14 Delaware Young Playwrights Festival.

The Delaware Theatre Company, which sponsored the festival, gave Hunter the Historical Viewpoint Award for creating a play that required research to support the story.

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Students welcome new pastor with a pie to the face


ELKTON, Md. – A few lucky middle school students celebrated “Pi Day” March 13 at Immaculate Conception School by pieing the administrator of their choice. The three youngsters were the ones who memorized the most digits of the irrational number pi. Pi Day is March 14, but Immaculate Conception students are off that day, so the school held the event the day before.

Oblate Father Jim Yeakel, who has been at the parish for less than a week, was welcomed to Elkton with a heaping helping of banana cream. The associate pastor, Father John Solomon, and the principal, Jeanne Dinkle, also got a face full of dessert. The students who did the honors were sixth-grader Ryan Mann and eighth-grader Jackie Ayers, who memorized pi to the 81st decimal place, and seventh-grader Camryn Kilby, who remembered 70.

The school community gathered to watch the carnage. The photos below are of the three administrators, Father Yeakel, and the pie-throwing students.

Father Jim Yeakel, Father John Solomon and principal Jeanne Dinkle before the students’ pieing. Photos courtesy of Immaculate Conception School.



















Father Solomon with a face full of pie.










These students did the honors and presumably will not be forced to stay after school for the rest of the year.

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Student and school news


St. Elizabeth student’s art impresses penitentiary staff

A photograph by St. Elizabeth High School senior Hanna Kelleher of a hallway at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia so impressed the penitentiary’s staff that they have hung it up in their office. Kelleher took the photo as part of her digital art class, taught by Jennifer Mrozek. Read more »

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