Passing the referendum is a tribute to everyone in the district

By Sharon Kirby

Milford School Board Member

This month’s issue of Delaware Today features an article by Mark Nardone entitled “The Next Great Boomtown?”  In it he notes that between 2000 and 2010, Milford’s population has grown by an impressive 42%.  In addition he mentions such outstanding features as the Riverwalk, distinctive architecture, and a new cultural scene.  One comment stands out from all others:  “That future may soon include a new larger Milford High (pending the outcome of an upcoming referendum)…”  How I hope that this is a positive prediction for this town’s near future!  The life blood of any small town is its school system and as someone who has been employed by four high schools, one junior high, one private, and one parochial school throughout the state, I can testify that Milford schools are a treasure which should be protected and maintained at the highest level.

I am a Buccaneer!  During the course of the last thirty five years, I have also at various times been a Red Devil, a Green Knight, a Yellowjacket, a Viking, a Hornet, and a Ram.  None of these designations can compare with the pride of being a Buccaneer.

I have had three positive encounters with the Milford School District—one as a student, one as a building administrator, and one as a Board Member.  I am extremely proud of all three of these experiences and the opportunities they have given me.  I am also proud of the young parent group, “Buccaneer Tomorrow” which has come forward to provide valuable information in support of this referendum.  Factual information regarding the need for passage can be obtained from the Buccaneer Tomorrow website, their printed flyers, or several public meetings which they will be conducting prior to the May 5th date of the referendum.  I am afraid, however, that my reasons for supporting the referendum are not as objective; but, have more to do with personal and civic pride.  I view the construction of a new high school and passage of a much needed operations budget as a tribute to the students, teachers, parents, and community leaders of this city—past, present and future.

I envision a thank you to Coach Briggs, Mrs. Montgomery, Miss Herson, Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Stoops, and Mr. and Mrs. Palmer.  Thanks to Skipper for bringing us a State Championship, to Donnie for helping us beat Seaford in basketball, to Allan and Mary Joy for always challenging us academically and to Curtis and Ted who kept class projects running smoothly.  Thank you Butchie, Mickey, Greg, Tim, Charles, John, Oveta and Dorothy for teaching us courage and diversity.

Thank you Chuck, Judy, Bob, and Dan for running a tight ship.  Thanks to the Williams, the Simons, the Adams, and the Sipples for devoting your teaching careers to MHS.  Thanks to Jan and the championship hockey team and Mike and the state champion football team.  Thanks Megs, Abs, Jakarri, Keisha, Gary and Shannon for your outstanding school spirit.  Thanks Terry, John, “Harry Connick, Jr.” and Tricia for Broadway worthy school musicals.  Thanks Jamie, Wes, Trabern and Garrett for opening business in your hometown.  Thanks to all former students who came back to teach in your home district—especially Gretchen, Laurie and our beloved Amanda.

Thanks to Mrs. Bailey for the perfect introduction to formal education for innumerable kindergarten students.  Thanks Gary, Jim and Jean Ann for years of service in an antiquated building with all those raging hormonal teenagers!  Thanks to the consistently best English department in the State of Delaware (bar none!). Thanks “Fry Daddy” for all the FFA accolades and thanks Judith and Jack for continuing the tradition.

Thanks Steve, Big John, Fred, Eugene, Gary, and Donald for immaculate facilities.  Thanks Grobot for an awesome life science lab.  Even if it didn’t survive!  Perhaps we can reclaim it in the future.  Thanks Nate for teaching me where all the hideouts were in the parking lot and Keondra for all our lunch time gossip sessions!

Thanks to armies of parents for planting thousands of flamingoes to insure memorable after proms and to an “energizer bunny” football crowd who never gave up after years of disappointment.  Thanks Czar for putting Milford track teams on the radar and Jesse, Don, Gator, Ed, Dan and countless other coaches who give hours of their time to make us competitive on courts, mats, and playing fields.

Thanks Paul, Lynn, Kate, Fred, Griff, and Kevin for extraordinary service to this community.  And thanks Phyllis and Edna for pulling us out of an unfortunate quagmire      of mismanagement.

Passing this referendum is a tribute to everyone in the Milford School District.  Have I missed calling everyone by name—of course?  That doesn’t mean your efforts have gone unnoticed.  It simply means I’m in the “twilight years” and am not the bouncy cheerleader who “breezed the Freeze” back in the day.

The new Milford High School will be a monument to all of us who have for years and those who will continue to wear maroon and gold FOREVER!

Editor’s Note: Sharon Kirby is a Milford native who grew up in the “the Neck” and now operates a small horse farm there with her son, Victor.  She has an M.ED +60 in educational leadership and has served in various administrative positions throughout the state, including Assistant Principal of MHS from 1991-1996 and currently as a Board Member of the Milford School District.

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