Who made waves in 2018? Quite a few! So many I’m gonna have to do this in multiple parts! Instead of doing one article for each person (which I haven’t had time to do the past two years), it’s time to consolidate! These people made 2018 a very interesting year. Some were good things and some were… not so good.
The candidate for State Auditor grabbed the headlines on this blog a lot this year. While I defended her to the hilt, the News Journal decided to smear her good name throughout the summer. In one of the most bizarre and biased series of articles I’ve ever seen in my life, Kathy McGuiness might as well have written the stories herself. While Davies did eventually vindicate her name in an appeal with the Merit Employees Review Board last month, the voters in Delaware’s Democrat party decided to throw McGuiness into Tom Wagner’s seat in the September Primary. It wasn’t a landslide victory on McGuiness’ part. She got 41% of the vote to Davies’ 35%. Davies handled the whole thing with grace and dignity. Time will tell if she will keep her position (which she won back in the MERB appeal) in the Auditor of Accounts office but she will always have the distinction of being the most qualified in that race.
I hardly ever write about private schools. But the firing of Cindy Mann at Padua Academy sparked outrage up and down the state. In March, Father Nicholas Waseline abruptly terminated Mann when she questioned funding issues. Students, parents, and alumni protested the firing. Eventually, Mann got her job back after an immense amount of public pressure. A month after the debacle, Father Waseline (who was already in declining health) passed away.
State Representative Mike Ramone
You would have thought I cracked the internet in half when I broke the news about State Rep. Mike Ramone allowing nudist parties at one of the pools he owns. The article was so controversial and invited such derision on this blog I had to permanently set up all comments for moderation. While Ramone survived Delaware Spa Party-Gate, his reputation took a beating when he interjected himself into employment issues with his opponent, Democrat Stephanie Barry. Shortly after, it was revealed he voted on a Blockchain bill while he was heavily invested in the technology. Not one of Ramone’s better years!
The Charter School of Wilmington Teacher
A teacher at Charter School of Wilmington was fired by President Sam Paoli earlier this year. This event was the catalyst for CSW teachers ultimately voting in majority to join the Delaware State Education Association. There were disgruntled staff at the Wilmington charter school and they were sick of Paoli’s warped style of leadership. But it wasn’t until the teacher was terminated (unjustly) that the teachers and staff really got things moving.
The Sarcastic Letter Writer
Back in May, I published a letter a Delaware teacher wrote to the Department of Education. It was a truly awesome letter which blasted the DOE over their unconditional love of standardized testing. It got a ton of hits on here and teachers up and down the state knew exactly what the author was talking about!
Patrick and Deb Heffernan grabbed some headlines this year! Pat Heffernan had some crazy outbursts about the diploma with modified standards bill in his last hurrah with the Delaware State Board of Education. He was always very vocal but even this was a bit too much. Especially given it was a great bill that corrected a wrong for a small percentage of students with disabilities by getting rid of the dreaded certificate of performance instead of a diploma. Heffernan resigned from the State Board of Ed shortly after his rants.
State Rep. Deb Heffernan brought the very controversial House Bill #435 into the House. This gave developers, like Buccini-Pollin, huge breaks from the Voluntary School Assessment fee. Even though the bill went the way of Romaine lettuce at Thanksgiving, it didn’t stop the Delaware DOE and Buccini-Pollin’s lawyers from creating an illegal Memorandum of Understanding that violated Delaware law. It gave BP a huge $1.7 million dollar break. And then the DOE snuck in a regulation about it under the radar of pretty much everyone until a few days ago. Both the Heffernans are dear friends of Governor John Carney, who lives in the same area up in the Brandywine School District. Make of that what you will.