Feature Story





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Color Story

It’s a cool Saturday at the end of September, masses of young adults and families flock in one direction.  Their destination shimmers with a radiance in the distance. The town is noiseless except for the 100-yard stadium housing the gridiron known as Tubby Raymond Field. As the clock ticks to zero and the 22,000 seats are emptied the once silent city turns into an energetic ballroom flowing with celebration from the big game.

Newark Delaware is home to the University of Delaware and is the third largest city within the state. Attractions can be found around every corner, whether you go to Main Street for dinner and drink, or up to White Clay Creek to see nature at its best. Ten minutes up the road is the newly renovated Christiana Mall, and just past that is the city of Wilmington where you can dine on the riverfront or catch a Blue Rocks minor league baseball game.

Grotto Pizza, a restaurant that caters to the college crowd and stays family oriented at the same time, is one of the busiest venues on Main Street. Adam Keim, General Manager of Grotto Pizza says, “I love the atmosphere, during the day we get the families for lunch and dinner, but at night the entire restaurant changes; the music is turned up and things get a little bit crazy.” Keim also mentioned his favorite memories working at Grotto Pizza saying, “Winning the [football] championship in 2003 was awesome, you could almost see the energy coming out of this place.”

Residents love the town, Stacy Jester, a University of Delaware Alumni said “I moved away when I graduated but, Newark seems like home to me.” Jester enjoys walking her Labradoodle through campus on weekends and evenings but does admit, “It’s much quieter when the students aren’t here.” She also says it’s the “perfect place to live, you can walk up town to have a drink or go to a sporting event like football or basketball.”

The students at University of Delaware are no minority within the city. During the school year the sidewalks are packed with students heading to class, the big game, or the party spot for the night. Jane Smith says, “It’s like a world of its own. We’re all here to get an education but any free time we have is spent having as much fun as possible.” Smith grew up in Newark but continues to say, “I never knew where I was going to end up for school but the University of Delaware just seemed right.”

Some would say Newark Delaware has it all. From great restaurants to tax-free shopping, and even one of the best schools in the nation, most would call Newark a destination but there are those luck few who call it home.

Human Interst Article

It is Christmas Eve and as the children have grown older developing new families to share the Holidays amongst, within the Kotch-Jester household it has become accustomed to open presents following the Christmas Eve feast. As the presents are being opened and the pile beneath the tree starts to diminish only a few wrapped boxes remain.

Stephanie Kotch hands a box to her partner, Stacy Jester, with a twinkle in her eye because she knows what its coming. As Jester opens the box there is nothing but smiles around the room from the four family members sitting, observing the opening.

Jester guesses at what the box could contain, “is it a cook book?” “No” says Kotch. “Why is it so heavy?” asks Jester. “Just open it!” says Kotch. When Jester opens the box the first thing she sees is a letter resting upon what seems to be nothing but baking ingredients. Jester’s initial thoughts were “what the heck is this? Is this my Jimmy Kimmel joke?” referring to a prank TV host Jimmy Kimmel had parents play on their kids. As Jester read the letter she began to realize what the baking materials were truly for. Tears of joy began to roll down her face Jester went into a moment of shock. She couldn’t believe how perfect the gift was.

Kotch had given her the gift of giving. On Christmas day Kotch and Jester would go to the local SPCA. There they would play with the dogs that did not yet have families to share the Holidays with. The baking supplies were for home made treats which Kotch and Jester would make the night before to give to the homeless dogs.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty towards animals. The organization's mission is "to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

The Delaware SPCA operates two low-cost spay or neuter clinics to serve pet owners, feral or stray caretakers, and rescue groups. The Delaware SPCA is a non-profit organization that can offer low-cost spay or neuter prices because private donations and grants help subsidize the true, higher cost of the spay or neuter procedures.

Neutering helps reduce homeless pet populations & number of animals requiring placement through shelters. Neutering also reduces behavioral issues such as aggression, marking and mounting and reduces urges to roam or run away. Spaying reduces odds of some forms of cancer in mature female dogs.

The Delaware SPCA also offers pet identification microchips. A pet identification microchip is a small electronic device, about the size of a grain of rice. The chips are encoded with a number that can be read with a specially designed handheld scanner. The manufacturer of the microchip maintains a database containing the numbers of the chips that they have sold.

Animal control agencies and most veterinarians are now equipped with microchip scanners. In the event that a stray animal is found to have a microchip the manufacturer is contacted. If the owner has registered their pet's chip number, they are contacted immediately and their pet can go back home.

Microchips have reunited pets with owners from across the country, even after being lost for years.
All Delaware SPCA pets are microchipped prior to adoption. Microchipping for non-SPCA pets is available for $25.

At any given time there may be more than fifty animals available for adoption at your local shelter. These pets come from many different backgrounds but they all have one thing in common - they all need someone to take them home.

In the case of Jester and Kotch, they already have two dogs that are fortunate enough to have homes. On Christmas day it wasn’t about taking a dog home, it was about making a dog’s day.

Both Jester and Kotch fell in love with a three legged pit-bull who had recently been hit by a car. Jester recalls that, “He didn’t even care he was missing a leg. He was just happy he had someone to play with for the day.”

Later, the two volunteers learned that the pit-bull found a home and was being adopted the next day.

Personal Experience Article

Friday afternoon. Mid February. The heart of Baltimore. Camden Yards is inaudibly anticipating its opening day, while M&T Bank Stadium is set to unwind for a half-year time-out. But less than a block away the Baltimore Convention Center is bouncing with bustle and hundreds of automobiles.

I walk to the ticket collector and hand him my ticket. The first decision I have to make is whether to go right or left. I choose right, and it becomes a worthy verdict. I set my eyes on the first Subaru BR-Z I have ever seen. It is a sports car with clean lines and an almost identical style to the Scion FR-S, which was disappointingly not at the show. I make my way through Subaru and to Hyundai. After a small drool session over the new Genesis, also a smooth structured sports car, I come to Dodges area of the show. The first car I feast my eyes upon is the brand new 2013 Charger. It shows most of the same features as the 2012 model with a few adjustments to the fenders and a completely overhauled rear end that mimics its 1969 predecessor. I then walk forward and it gets blurry from there. At that point I may have seen a glimpse of the future or maybe just a wild dream within my imagination. Either way I knew I would be behind the wheel of that car. That glossy black, flat black stripped machine of my dreams, the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8.

The 2012 Challenger SRT8 measures a mean 6 feet 4 inches wide and clears the pavement at a smooth 5 inches. The hood is concealing a 6.4-liter V8 that has enough horsepower to lend some to a Prius, 470 to be exact. This car isn’t for the budget bound either, sucking up an EPA estimated 14 miles per gallon city and 23 highway, you won’t be doing any cross-country bull runs in this beauty. The inside is wrapped with leather and suede that even the cows would approve of. The cluster of gauges lights up like the face of a five-year-old on the morning of Christmas. Slightly to the right is a 6.5inch navigation display screen that makes you feel like you are on the Starship Enterprise.    

I continue on with my amazing adventure of the auto show and go through every booth, looking at all the models, sitting in their driver’s seats, and talking to the glitter glamorous booth girls. I would have to say, even as eye-catching and extravagant that the Jaguar’s, Land Rover’s, and Infinity’s were, there was only one car on my mind; that black beauty of an automobile that I branded as The Challenger.

I make the full circle of the convention center and start heading out the main doors to go home. I notice signs that say things like “Test Drive Today” or “Ride and Drive Event”. I step out the front doors and there it was, The Challenger it was waiting for me to climb in and drive off on a never-ending adventure. I walk back inside and see the booth that I completely dismissed the first two times passing by. As I’m filling out some paper work to drive my beauty the desk attendant asks which car I was going to drive. Immediately I answered “the Challenger”. With a slightly amused look on her face, from my childlike excitement, she says “well you have to drive something else before you can drive one of the SRT8’s. I look back at her with a look that probably could have won an Oscar and say “Okay”. With my newly attained wristband I would outside and see the first car I want to drive, a fire engine red 2013 Dodge Durango. I get in the car and make it well known to my overseeing passenger that I am here to qualify for the next round. She laughs and continues on with her presentation of the features anyways. We make what feels like an infinite loop around the convention center and then park back where we started. I get out of the car before the attendant can say her closing statements and make a direct path toward the car that I have now established as my Challenger.

I climb into the drive seat of my Challenger and my new passenger makes it clear that this car was made to go fast and that I shouldn’t hold back. I look back at him and think, “you really considered I would hold back?” We jet out of the parking area and swing a U-turn to come to the first light. We make three right turns and come to a straight away on the back of the convention center. At this point my passenger looks at me and says, “open her up” to which I reply, “this beast is not a her.” I put the pedal to the floor and my head is glued to the headrest. The roar of the exhaust can be heard from the aquarium and the passenger seat even unlocks to make it more like a roller coaster for the guy who was at one point egging me on. All 470 horses are in motion and I feel like Paul Walker in one of those notorious car movies. We get to the next light about a quarter mile away, and he says, “Well I wasn’t expecting that” I just laugh and give a smirk in his direction.

Service Article

Taylor Mali, teacher, poet, and performer, explains teaching best in his poem titled, “What Teachers Make.” If you’ve never heard the poet in action he definitely gets his opinion across in a beautiful way. The text of Mali’s poem is as follows:

“He says the problem with teachers is, ‘What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?’

He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true what they say about teachers: Those who can, do and those who can’t, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.

Because we’re eating after all, and this is polite company.

‘I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor,’ he says. ‘Be honest. What do you make?’

And I wish he hadn’t done that (asked me to be honest) because, you see, I have a policy about honesty and butt kicking: if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face. How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best?!

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.

No, you may not work in groups.

No, you may not ask a question.

Why won’t I let you get a drink of water? Because you’re not thirsty, you’re bored, that’s why.

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:

I hope I haven’t called at a bad time; I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.

Billy said, “Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?”

And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,

I make them question.

I make them criticize.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them write, write, write.

And then I make them read.

I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful over and over and over again until they will never misspell either one of those words again.

I make them show all their work in math.

And hide it on their final drafts in english.

I make them understand that if you got this (brains) then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:

I make a difference! What about you?”

Following this poetic genius you may contemplate, “how can I effectively teach?” Here are four unpretentious concepts to get you started.


It is relatively ingenuous, students simply respond better, work harder, and achieve more when they know that their teachers are genuinely concerned about their success and the quality of the their lives. It is not how the teacher expresses their interest and concern for the student, it is that the teacher communicates clearly that the student matters, and that their success not only in class, but also in life is important.


Students cannot learn in unorganized chaos. The most important factor of classroom management is the rules and regulations. Every classroom should have clearly posted policies for students to follow and the consequences of breaking those rules. But, what management boils down to is how successfully the teacher actively grasps the student’s attention. If the student is mesmerized in academia they will not have time to goof of and do things like throw paper balls around the classroom.


The key to instruction is passion for the subject; if you don’t like physics, then don’t teach physics. Teaching something that you are zealous for eliminates the chances of sounding monotone and just going through the motions.  Students should not leave the classroom hating a subject with a notebook full of doodle drawings, but instead they should crave more and be excited to come back for the next class.


Classic assessment methods include multiple-choice test or semi annual exams that students hate taking and teachers hate grading. But, there are methods that force students to not only show what they have learned, but also apply that information. An assessment that does not allow a student to fail is useless, students need to learn from them mistakes and learn to reference the material covered within the lessons.