Media Alert: Office of Highway Safety Kicks Off New Safe Family Holiday Campaign & Reactivates SoberLift

Media Advisory: 

November 22, 2019

Initiative reinforces the importance of safe driving behaviors

during one of the busiest times of the year


The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is launching its new Safe Family Holiday Campaign, as well as reactivating the SoberLift initiative ahead of Thanksgiving weekend.

Through a combination of tactics – traditional media, social media, and grassroots efforts partnering with restaurants, businesses, and statewide partners – OHS will educate Delawareans about the increased dangers associated with holiday driving to reduce crashes and fatalities on Delaware roadways during the holiday season.  


Iron Hill Brewery

620 Justison Street

Wilmington, DE 19801


Monday, November 25 at 11 a.m.


Robert Coupe, Cabinet Secretary of Delaware Department of Safety & Homeland Security

Kim Chesser, Director of Delaware Office of Highway Safety

John Yeomans, Chief of Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement

Dave Ennis, Regional Program Manager of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Representatives from: OHS, Delaware State Police, first responders, corporate partners, government and business leaders

Traffic Safety Carolers


The relaunched “Safe Family Holiday” campaign coincides with OHS’s traffic enforcement period running Wednesday, November 27, 2019, through Wednesday, January 1, 2020, and focuses on responsible driving and pedestrian safety during one of the busiest travel times of the year.

Carolers will be on-site at the following prominent community events and locations throughout the state, performing their newest round of holiday favorites with a unique safety-messaging twist. They will be joined by street teams that will encourage passersby to pledge responsible driving.

    • Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Winter WonderFEST2019 in Milton, Delaware
    • Sunday, Dec. 8 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Christmas in Smyrna at the Smyrna Opera House in Smyrna, Delaware
    • Monday, Dec. 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Caroling on the Circle in Georgetown, Delaware
    • Saturday, Dec. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware
    • Saturday, Dec. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Dover Mall in Dover, Delaware

In addition to Safe Family Holiday, OHS is pleased to announce its reactivation of the SoberLift program, in partnership with Lyft®, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, statewide. The program will begin on Wednesday, November 27, at 3 p.m. and run through Sunday, December 1, at 2 a.m., and will provide free Lyft® vouchers* (maximum value of $15) for individuals who want a safe ride. To participate in the program, individuals need to text “SOBERLIFT” to 99000 to redeem the discount code.

Campaign sponsors include: Breakthru Beverage DE, Captain Morgan, Two Stones, Buffalo Wild Wings, Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen, First State Brew Bus, Kelly’s Logan House, Washington Street Ale House/Oyster House, Wilmington Blue Rocks, Delaware Department of Insurance, Dewey Business Partnership, Bluecoast Seafood and Grill Rehoboth, The Starboard, Liquid Alchemy Brewing, and Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C).

For more information, please visit

CONTACT:  Cynthia Cavett (302) 744-2743 or 

You can follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety by clicking on:

Delaware Office of Highway Safety Web Site




About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at


Delmarva poultry producers gain export opportunities as China opens markets

DOVER, Del. — Today’s announcement that China has made the decision to lift its ban on poultry imports is welcomed news for Delmarva poultry producers.

“The opening of Chinese markets has been something that we have been looking forward to for a number of years,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “The ability to export poultry to China will help our producers here on Delmarva and across the United States.”

According to the 2017 USDA Agriculture Census, 734 family farms in Delaware produced more than 52 million chickens and other poultry for meat production. Poultry production generates nearly $3.4 billion dollars of economic impact on Delmarva.


Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4542,

New members to join Teachers Advisory Council

Secretary of Education Susan Bunting welcomes the second cohort of her Teachers Advisory Council to gather feedback of educators from across the state.


Established last year, the council includes up to two teachers from each of the state’s 19 school districts and up to six charter school educators. Bunting aims for the group to facilitate communication, contribute to solutions, and help increase the voice of teachers in policy decisions.


“I greatly value the opportunity to hear directly from those who work closest with our children,” said Bunting, who also meets bi-monthly with current and past district/charter and state Teachers of the Year. “These educators see first-hand how our policy decisions are working in our schools.”


Advisory council members are recommended by their superintendents or the Delaware Charter School Network for the voluntary role. Bunting asks each to share his or her personal feelings as an individual rather than serve as a representative of a district or charter school’s position on an issue.


The 2019-20 members are:

  • Appoquinimink: Luke Crossan of Waters Middle School and Shelby Gordon of Bunker Hill Elementary School
  • Brandywine: Matt Hoopes of Concord High School and Jenna Magee of Lombardy Elementary School
  • Caesar Rodney: Melissa Rapp of Caesar Rodney High School and Kim Weber of Welch Elementary chool
  • Cape Henlopen: Greg Berman of Cape Henlopen High School and Shorel Clark of Brittingham Elementary School
  • Capital: Lesley Louder of Dover High School and Natascha Ward of William Henry Middle School
  • Charter: Guy Cooper of Providence Creek, Tami Lunsford of Newark Charter, Dara Savage of Early College High School, and Karen Willey of Sussex Academy
  • Christina: Christina James of Shue Medill Middle School and Kyle Reed of Gallaher Elementary School
  • Colonial: April Bullen of McCullough Middle School
  • Delmar: Ryan Shockley of Delmar Middle School and Sonja Warner of Delmar High School
  • Indian River: Dana Lambert of Lord Baltimore Elementary School and Clarissa Oglesby of Sussex Central High School
  • Lake Forest: Jennifer Louder of Lake Forest North Elementary School and Wendy Rust of Lake Forest High School
  • Laurel: Danielle Eastgate of Laurel High School and Ali Voss of Laurel Elementary School
  • Milford: Nick Jefferson of Milford High School and Kim Sekscinski of Mispillion Elementary School
  • New Castle County Vo-Tech: Andrea Green of St. Georges Technical High School and Angie Parsons of Hodgson Vocational Technical High School
  • POLYTECH: Tina Lykens and Cameron Sweeney of POLYTECH High School
  • Red Clay Consolidated: Kathy Gormley of Highlands Elementary and Barbara Prillaman of Conrad Schools of Science
  • Seaford: Marisa Clarke of Central Elementary and Robert Edmondson of Seaford Middle School
  • Smyrna: Catherine Evans of Sunnyside Elementary and Jennifer MacDonald of Smyrna High
  • Sussex Tech: Carolyn Maull and Tony Varrato of Sussex Technical High School
  • Woodbridge: Katie Kotowski of Woodbridge High School (only one teacher designated)


The first meeting of the 2019-20 school year is at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18 at the Collette Education Resource Center, 35 Commerce Way in Dover. The group will meet every other month to discuss a variety of issues affecting teachers.


Media contact: Alison May,, 302-735-4006

Delaware celebrates Lights on Afterschool

Hundreds of children, families, business and community leaders will come together throughout the state and nation Thursday at Lights On Afterschool events to celebrate the achievements of afterschool students and draw attention to the need for more afterschool programs to serve children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk each weekday afternoon. There are more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events across the nation emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school. Lights On Afterschool activities celebrate the many benefits of afterschool programs and encourage lawmakers, businesses, and others to support afterschool funding.


“I am grateful for the schools and community partners that work together throughout the school year to provide enriching activities in safe environments so our children can learn, grow and thrive after school,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.


Organized by the Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool has been celebrated annually since 2000. This year, more than one million Americans will demonstrate their support for afterschool by taking part in the only nationwide celebration for afterschool programs.


A newly released national poll illustrates that the high level of support for afterschool shown by those joining Lights On Afterschool celebrations extends to the overall population. The poll found that nearly 9 out of 10 adults (89 percent) believe afterschool and summer programs are important to their communities. The poll also found strong backing of public funding for afterschool and summer learning programs, with 2 out of 3 adults surveyed saying they want their federal, state and local leaders to provide funding for afterschool and summer programs. Demand for afterschool programs continues to far outpace the supply of existing programs. More work needs to be done to meet the great need for afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.


Many afterschool programs around the nation are supported by funding from the Federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative. Since its creation, it has provided funding to allow millions of children to attend afterschool.


Lights On Afterschool is organized by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs.


Media contact: Alison May,, 302-735-4006

Top national mathematics, science teachers recognized

Four Delaware teachers have been named as recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest recognition that K-12 mathematics and science teachers can receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. The finalists were honored last week at the national awards ceremony in Washington, DC.

The 2017 national awardees are:

Kathleen Olenderski (mathematics) of Alfred G. Waters Middle School in the Appoquinimink School District.
Joshua Gates (science) of the private Tatnall School

The 2018 national awardees are:

Jennah Truitt (mathematics) of Lord Baltimore Elementary School in the Indian River School District
Danielle Rash (science) of Olive B. Loss Elementary School in the Appoquinimink School District

The Delaware Department of Education also has named six teachers as 2019 state PAEMST finalists:

Katherine Hoffecker (mathematics) of Middletown High School in the Appoquinimink School District
Eileen Voltz (mathematics) of the Charter School of Wilmington in the Red Clay Consolidated School District
Kathleen Wilson (mathematics) of St. Georges Vocational Technical High School in the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District
Jordan Estock (science) of Concord High School in the Brandywine School District
Elizabeth Plant (science) of First State Montessori Academy Charter School
Rachael Smith (science) of Hodgson Vo-Tech High School in the New Castle County Vo-Tech School District

The national finalists and state awardees will be recognized later this school year at the Delaware STEM Conference. Information will be forthcoming.

The goal of the PAEMST award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching in addition to honoring individual achievement. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. The award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. Every year each state selects up to three mathematics teachers and three science teachers as state finalists. A national selection committee reviews state finalist applications and selects one awardee in each content area for every state. Teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science. As part of the recognition process, awardees take part in a weeklong series of networking and professional development activities in Washington, D.C., and receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

For more information about PAEMST and to see nomination forms and application instructions, visit