Governor Carney Announces Appointment of Student to State Board of Education

Bridgeville resident to bring student perspective to board

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday announced he has appointed a high school junior from Bridgeville to serve on the State Board of Education.

Shelby Farris, a former Woodbridge High School student who now attends Positive Outcomes Charter School, will join the board for its November meeting and serve through the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

“We need to hear the perspectives of students like Shelby as we make big decisions about education in the state,” said Governor Carney. “Shelby brings a unique perspective from her experiences in traditional district and charter schools. I appreciate her willingness to serve in this important role.”

In 2018, the General Assembly passed House Bill 455, which added two non-voting seats to the State Board of Education: the student seat to be held by Farris and a teacher seat, which is currently held by 2017 Delaware Teacher of the Year Wendy Turner.

Farris has extensive volunteering and leadership experience, including founding HeartArt as an adolescent in 2016. HeartArt’s mission is “to help people turn their creativity into compassion.” To date more than 20,000 volunteers have created more than 60,000 creative compassion items such as pillows for children with cancer, painted rocks for rock gardens at veterans long-term care facilities and cards of encouragement for members of the military, veterans, hospital patients, long-term care residents, teachers and essential workers during the pandemic. Last year, Farris started another group, SEE US (Students for Educational Equity in the U.S.) to help students find ways to get involved in making a positive change in their schools.

Farris is a past recipient of the Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Award, former American Red Cross Young Humanitarian of the Year, previous Prudential Spirit of Community Award honoree, President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award winner and Invisalign Changemakers National honoree. She also is a 2021 Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) delegate.

The board’s regular monthly meetings are open to the public, typically scheduled for the third Thursday evening of the month. The board rotates its meetings to be held in all three counties.

“We are looking forward to hearing from Shelby and welcome her perspective as she brings the student voice to the board,” said State Board President Whitney Sweeney. “Having that perspective is increasingly important as students return to classrooms after hybrid/remote learning.”


Governor Carney Issues Statement on Senate Confirmations

DOVER, Del.Governor John Carney issued the following statement on the Delaware Senate voting to confirm judicial nominations on Wednesday:

“I want to thank members of the Delaware Senate for their careful consideration of our nominees,” said Governor Carney. “I’m confident that each has the good judgment and experience necessary to serve on Delaware’s world-class judiciary with distinction. Thank you to all the nominees for their willingness to serve.”

The following nominations were confirmed on Wednesday:

Martin O’Connor was confirmed to serve as a Superior Court Commissioner in New Castle County. O’Connor has served as a Deputy Attorney General since 1998. During his time at the Delaware Department of Justice (DOJ), O’Connor has served as a Criminal Division prosecutor, as well as serving in the Criminal Division Appellate Unit, Medicaid Fraud Unit, and in the Civil Division.

Theresa Hayes was confirmed to serve as a Judge on the Family Court in Sussex County. Hayes has been a Family Court practitioner since 1996. She practices at the Office of Edward C. Gill P.A. in Georgetown, where she represents clients on all aspects of Family law. Previously, she served as a law clerk from 1994-1996 to the Honorable Battle R. Robinson and the Honorable Kenneth M. Millman on the Family Court in Sussex County.

Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster was reappointed to serve as a Vice Chancellor on the Delaware Court of Chancery, where he has served since 2009. Previously, Vice Chancellor Laster was a founding partner of the corporate law firm Abrams & Laster LLP, and a director in the Corporate Department at Richards, Layton & Finger.

Earl MacFarlane was confirmed as Justice of the Peace for New Castle County.

Kristine Kellenbenz was confirmed as Justice of the Peace for Sussex County.

Taylor Oliphant was confirmed as Alderman of the Town of Laurel.

The Hon. Theodore Becker was confirmed to the Delaware River and Bay Authority.

Earl Jeter was confirmed to the Lottery Commission.

William Tobin was confirmed to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

Monica Alvarez and Kim Warfield, Ph.D. were confirmed to the State Board of Elections.


Governor Carney Appoints Special Assistant to Oversee Stimulus Funding, Nominates Department of Correction Commissioner

Governor also nominates replacement for retiring OABC Commissioner John H. Cordrey

WILMINGTON, Del. — Governor John Carney on Friday announced nominations to key administration posts:

Governor Carney will appoint Delaware Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis as Special Assistant to the Governor. In the new position, which will not require Senate confirmation, DeMatteis will oversee management of federal stimulus funding received by the State of Delaware, and assist with crisis management projects across state government. DeMatteis has served as Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) since 2019. Previously, DeMatteis served as Special Assistant to Governor Carney overseeing reforms to Delaware’s corrections system.

Deputy Corrections Commissioner Monroe B. Hudson Jr. will be nominated to replace DeMatteis as Commissioner of DOC. Hudson has served as Deputy Commissioner since 2019. Previously, he served for 31 years in the Delaware State Police, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and serving as deputy superintendent of Delaware’s largest police agency. The Delaware Senate is expected to consider Hudson’s nomination on June 23.

Governor Carney also will nominate Jacqueline Mette to serve as the next Alcohol Beverage Control Commissioner. Mette has served as deputy legal counsel for Governor Carney since 2018. Previously, she served as chief policy adviser for the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families (DSCYF). The Delaware Senate is expected to consider Mette’s nomination on June 23.

Mette would replace Commissioner John H. Cordrey, who is retiring after serving for two decades in the position. Governor Ruth Ann Minner appointed Cordrey as the first Commissioner in 2001. Previously, Cordrey served as an attorney for the majority caucus in the Delaware Senate.

“These are all committed public servants who I’m confident will serve Delaware well,” said Governor Carney. “Together, they have decades of experience in and around state government, and I want to thank them for their willingness to continue serving. I also want to congratulate Jack Cordrey on his well-deserved retirement, and I look forward to the Senate considering our nominees.”


Most DNREC Boat Registration Services Available Online

Registration Office to Open for Limited Services by Appointment Only

As boating season gets underway, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds boaters that most boat registration services are online and accessible from the DNREC website. Online services include boat registration renewals, purchasing boat ramp certificates, duplicate registration cards and decals, and making address changes. Boaters in northern Delaware in particular are encouraged to utilize the convenient online registration services, while boat registration agents in Kent and Sussex counties listed on the DNREC website also provide boat registration services.

To further serve the public, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife boat registration office located at the R&R Building at 89 Kings Highway, Dover DE 19901 will be open by appointment only for limited boat registration services beginning Thursday, April 15, 2021. Thirty-minute appointments will be available only to boaters who need boat registration services not presently provided online: registering a new vessel or transferring a vessel. Appointments will be available starting on the half-hour Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. COVID-19 safety and health measures will be in effect for appointments, including mandatory face coverings by customers and staff.

To make an appointment or for additional information, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife boat registration office at 302-739-9916 or by email at

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti,; Nikki Lavoie,


Governor Carney Appoints Ellen Magee as Sussex County Register of Wills

Magee fills vacancy left by Cynthia Green; election set for 2022

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Saturday announced that he has appointed small business owner and farmer Ellen Magee to serve as Sussex County Register of Wills. Magee will replace Cynthia Green, who won the election in November to represent District 2 on Sussex County Council. Under the Delaware Constitution, the governor must appoint a replacement until January 2023. An election will be held to select the next Register of Wills in November 2022.

Magee, 61, of Selbyville, is the co-owner of Magee Farms, a family-owned and operated business since 1865 in Sussex County. Magee currently serves as chair of the Sussex County Board of Adjustment and has served on the board since 2017. She also serves on the Delaware Board of Charitable Gaming, an appointment by the governor confirmed by the Delaware Senate, and on the Board of Directors for Camp Barnes. Magee is a past board member of the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation and has served in leadership roles with the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary where she is a lifetime member.

“I have known Ellen and the Magee family for years, and I am confident that she has the experience necessary to serve as the Sussex County Register of Wills,” said Governor Carney. “Ellen also has a passion for public service that will serve Sussex County and our state well. I want to thank Ellen for stepping up and for her willingness to serve.”

“It is an honor to be appointed by Governor Carney and a privilege to serve as the Sussex County Register of Wills,” said Magee. “I will utilize my managerial experience as a longtime small business owner, along with years of public service on numerous boards, commissions and non-profit work. I will ensure that the Sussex County Register of Wills office runs efficiently and in accordance with state laws. I have a heart for public service and I look forward to serving the people of Sussex County in this role.”