New superintendent, stadium topics at Capital board meeting

DOVER — There were some new faces at the Capital School District board meeting Tuesday night, including Dr. Daniel Shelton, the district’s new superintendent.

At the meeting, Dr. Shelton gave a quick rundown of his plan for the first 100 days in the district.

In the “listen and learn” phase, he said he is planning meetings across the district and community and identifying areas on which to focus.

He also said he hopes to develop a long-term strategic plan.

“In the grand scheme of things, what we’re looking at is for the public to help us … I can’t do that in isolation, I have to do that with partners,” he said.

Ralph Taylor, Matthew Lindell and Sean Christiansen unanimously approved Dr. Shelton’s contract Tuesday. Board member John C. Martin Jr. was not present.

Mr. Taylor, the newest member on the board, took the oath of office Tuesday.

The board will soon appoint a new member, too, to replace board member Brian C. Lewis, who resigned from the school board after he was elected to Dover City Council.

A new director of human resources, Mary Cooke, also started in July. She is organizing the search for a new assistant superintendent as well.

Request to name stadium

The board also discussed renaming the Dover High School football stadium after former superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas.

With only three board members at the meeting Tuesday, though, the board voted to table the item until its August meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Lindell noted that the board was addressing a request from a member of the public.

According to board policy, the next step would be to form a committee to consider the idea and hold public meetings about it.

The committee would consist of a building-level administrator, a central office administrator, a faculty member, a PTO member and a member appointed by the board of education.

Mr. Lindell said his concern was that “we only have so many things to name after people.”

“I think there’s a way to honor past, present and future without necessarily renaming everything,” Mr. Lindell said.

He also said that he thinks there needs to be more public involvement in the process.

During public comment, Dover resident Timothy Pancoast also agreed “that it is a little too soon.”

“…and it sounds like you’re taking the slow approach and doing things the right way,” he said.

“I just think there are a lot of opportunities for things you can do with the stadium to include honoring people that are specifically associated with the sports program as well as sponsorship opportunities.”

He also suggested honoring Dr. Thomas by renaming the Capital School District Administrative and Professional Development Center, “which is also part of his legacy.”

“I just firmly believe that we should not name it after Dr. Thomas,” Mr. Taylor said.

“I like Dr. Thomas … but this has nothing to do with like. This is just right or wrong.”

In other news, the board voted to establish a full-time public relations position with unused unit funds from the state.

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