Deibel attends science camp
Jason Deibel, a 2003 graduate of Woodbridge High School, Bridgeville, was one of two delegates selected to represent Delaware at the National Youth Science Camp from June 26 to July 21. Deibel and 94 other high school graduates from across the country participated in the four-week program, which is in its 40th year. The camp is located in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia and merges aspects of science, outdoors, arts, and music.
Deibel is planning to study engineering at Virginia Polytechnical Institute this fall.
Eminent scientists from all disciplines travel to the camp to offer lectures and directed studies. Examples of this year’s lecture topics included: biometrics, breast cancer, nanobiotechnology, fuel cells and forensics.
Delegates not only learn about ground-breaking scientific research, but also explore the surroundings offered through the outdoor program of hiking, caving, mountain biking, and rock climbing. In addition, delegates chose daily from an array of afternoon seminars that ranged from ultimate frisbee to cello to swing dancing to discussion on philosophy, science, religion and culture.
Postles scholarships handed out
The following Woodbridge High School graduates have been awarded Dr. Wilbur E. Postles Scholarships. Thirty students from throughout Delaware received awards.
Kirsten D. Hamstead, Woodbridge High School, who will attend Washington College
Constance Pleasanton, Woodbridge High School, who will attend the University of Delaware.
The scholarship fund, administered by PNC Advisors, was established by the late Dr. Wilbur E. Postles, a Wilmington physician for 50 years. To be eligible for the Postles Scholarship, students must live in Delaware for at least four years prior to submitting an application. Consideration is given to the student’s academic merit and financial need.
Vanderwende wins award, scholarship
Competing against approximately 7,000 school winners from throughout the United States, Dusti Vanderwende, a Woodbridge High School 2003 graduate, has won a National Principal’s Leadership Award scholarship. The award includes a $1,000 college scholarship. One hundred fifty Principal’s Leadership Awards will be presented by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and Herff Jones Inc.
According to the scholarship award, “Dusti Vanderwende is an individual who has dedicated herself to being an outstanding academic student, athlete, and person. Dusti has been extremely active in the community through 4-H, Delaware State Fair, Bridgeville Ladies Auxiliary, Futures Hockey Program, Blue-Gold Ambassador Program, and the Delaware Dairy Princess program. She has been a very positive role model for other students. Dusti is a leader in our school, always leading by example. Her work ethic in and out of school is outstanding.”
Principals in high schools throughout the country could nominate one of their student leaders. Nominees were selected based on their leadership skills, participation in service organizations and clubs, achievements in the arts and sciences, employment experience and academic record. They also were required to write essays.
“Ms. Vanderwende has demonstrated exemplary achievement in her academic work and service to her school and community,” said Gerald N. Tirozzi, executive director, NASSP. “She’s a fine example of the outstanding caliber of young people in America’s high schools.”
While at Woodbridge, Dusti has been a member of the Key Club, National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, French Club, Yearbook, Student Council, field hockey, winter and spring track, and the softball team. This fall she plans to attend the University of Delaware and will study biotechnology.
NASSP is the nation’s largest school leadership organization with a membership reaching toward 40,000 middle level and high school principals and assistant principals. It administers the National Honor Society, the National Association of Student Councils, and the National Association of Student Activity Advisers, collectively serving an additional 40,000 advisors and more than one million students. NASSP is also the sponsor of National Student Leadership Week.
Churches form Softball League
By Julleanna Outten
Far away from city lights, down a long country road, an unsuspecting field comes to life.
It’s not only the crack of a bat or the thud of a glove snagging a ball, but the laughter of children, the chatter of women, and the cheers from the stands that bring this field to life.
Every week men and women from area churches gather to play softball or to cheer on their friends at the Andrewsville ball field. Just like any baseball game, hot dogs and hamburgers are sold in the concession stand, but unlike many ball games, no alcohol can be found at these games.
“It’s a place where Christian athletes can come together and play ball, and that is a good environment for kids to come and hang out,” said Craig Simpson, founder of the church league and coach of Crossroad Community Church in Bridgeville.
This co-ed church softball league that Simpson began last year, started with eight teams and is up to 12 teams this season. The teams consist of men and women of all ages.
From mid-May to the championship games in early August, bright lights shine down on the church members, out of their pews and in action. Every Monday or Tuesday night, each team plays in one of the three, seven-inning games.
Twin brothers Don and Ron Probst play for Milford Nazarene Church, which has lost only one game this season and won the championship last year. The twins also play on another league in Dover and have been playing organized ball most of their lives. They agreed that this league is unique.
“Prayer before the games is different and no foul language,” Don Probst said. “Here you get a lot of fans, unlike in Dover. The church people like to come out.”
Ron Probst said that he does not like the alcohol drinking that is often associated with ball games and appreciates that there is none at this league’s games
“The teams are still competitive, but they have good sportsmanship and come out and shake hands,” Ron said. “Some other guys we play walk off the field and don’t even shake our hands.”
Another difference they noted was the varying ages of the players. On their team there are two sets of father and son.
“This I could play till they gotta cart me off the field,” Ron said, adding that he looks forward to playing ball with his two young sons.
Brad Kauffman, 19, attends Hickory Ridge Community Church in Greenwood and plays on the same team as his father, who used to coach his Little League team. “This league is completely opposite Little League,” Kauffman said. “In secular leagues it is way more intense; the parents take it personally if you get their kid out or tag them too hard. This is more laid back and fun.”
Kauffman’s older sister Rita Tennefoss brings her three-month-old girl to the games, but not just to watch her husband, father and brother play.
“The reason I really, really like to come is to be with my friends and get out of the house,” Tennefoss said.
Others agree that the social environment is just as much fun as watching or playing the games.
Heather Abbott, mother of two, ages 3 and 9, plays center field or second base for Avenue Methodist Church in Milford. “I just come out to fellowship and enjoy the other people,” she said. As for being one of the few females on the team, Abbott said, “They don’t make it challenging at all; they are happy to have us.”
This church league first began forming in October 2001 when Craig Simpson of Bridgeville first put action to his idea. At the time he attended Hickory Ridge and was well acquainted with local Mennonite churches, but in order to form a league he had to branch out.
“I just opened up the phone book and started calling churches,” Simpson said.
Initially he faced many challenges, including an illness that had him in the hospital for months.
“It affected me initially because I could hardly speak,” Simpson said. “Imagine calling up a stranger and talking with a raspy voice and asking them to join a league.”
Another obstacle Simpson said he faced was “getting people to believe in something that isn’t in existence.”
But, he said that the coaches from different churches believed it could happen, and together they built something from nothing.
Forming a league involved establishing rules, hiring umpires and scheduling games. Each team paid a league fee that covers the cost for renting the ball field and paying the umpires.
“Just the way things have come together at the last minute, you get the feeling that God’s hand is involved,” Simpson said, referring to an instance when a team backed out the day before the season was supposed to start, but the next day another church called and filled its void.
Simpson hopes to add a few more teams next season and is even looking to add volleyball and basketball leagues for the fall and winter, but finding a location has been the biggest obstacle for that.
Any churches interested in joining the league are encouraged to contact Craig Simpson.
Simpson’s wife Bethany said, “I’m just glad to see the way his little dream has become this big thing.”