Capital School District celebrates 100th years

DOVER — The weather was glorious, the excitement and community pride shone through.

The Capital School District’s 100th anniversary celebration had everyone smiling, young, old and middle age. Dozens of folks arrived for the 10 a.m. opening and many more were likely.

While directing folks to events inside William Henry Middle School, Gina Paskins reflected on the tradition that keeps generations of families in the district. Her 11- and 13-year-old kids wouldn’t go anywhere else.

“My husband attended all the schools and wanted his children to attend the same ones he did,” Mrs. Paskins said. “His parents lived here 60 years and they never wanted him to go anywhere else either.”

And the scene played out under sunny skies and no-jacket required temperatures.

“The planning committee sweated out the April weather for three months,” said Dover High Alumni Association President Elizabeth Emerson, who graduated as a Senator in 1988. “Well, I’ll take this any day.”

Standing nearby was Allan Angel, who started the graduate group in 1997 and had a 18-year stint as president. He could compare the district to others, since he moved 18 times in 21 years while his father served in the U.S. Air Force.

“I choiced from (Caesar Rodney) to Dover,” the Dover High Class of 1971 graduate said. “I wasn’t a good student due to all the moves. I just clicked with the education system, I just clicked with the teachers.

“If I ran into a problem it was addressed by someone who cared about me, it was addressed, quickly resolved and improved upon.”

More information on the DHS alumni association is available by emailing The group’s next meeting is May 13 at Country Eatery at 950 N. State Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Tradition will continue

And the current students sound likely to keep the traditions and community spirit alive in the years ahead. Central Middle School eighth-grader Aiden Collier reflected on his schooling that began as a North Dover Elementary kindergärtner, followed by fifth and six grade at William Henry, seventh and eighth at Central. He’s eagerly anticipating the next stop at Dover High.

“I really love how organized (Central) is, how it is laid out,” he said. “There are good quality teachers here, good quality students, good everything really.”

Aiden’s sixth-grade brother Gavin related that “My friends are all very nice. Most of the kids in school are very positive.

“There are some groups that have drama, which is normal at any school.”

DHS freshman Wyatt Cordero walked a hallway with several friends and explained that the school “Has a lot of great programs. They teach you a lot about yourself and the teachers are excellent.”

Cordero plays the mellophone in the Senators’ marching band, along with jazz and concert bands. He’s also part of the Teen Vision Club that helps the community through various projects, including the Elizabeth W. Murphey School in Dover, and by sending goats to Africa.

Parent Denise Vann has 7- and 8-year-old kids at Fairview Elementary, and the oldest have been involved in the Spanish Immersion Program since pre-kindergarten.

“The teachers are great and they really believe in the kids and push them to reach their potential,” Ms. Vann said. “As a parent I love it.”

Moving quickly down a hallway to assist in activities was Carie Debaca, who regularly visits all elementary schools as a mathematics specialist.

“Our teachers love their students and want to build them up in positive ways,” she said. “It’s nice to see the communities within each school.

“They’re different, but every one of the is always focused around what’s best for the kids.”

After a century of existence, there’s plenty of history to remember. Booker T. Washington Elementary’s renovated front has a history section that the public can view. A tree dedication in front of the school was also planned.

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