Incumbents Jason Bradley and Bill Collick have filed for re-election to the Cape Henlopen school board.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Bradley said he still has work to do.
“We’ve made a lot of progress, and I want to make sure we stay on track,” he said. “It’s exciting to see changes happen over time.”
Bradley won the five-year, Area B seat by a landslide over candidate Gary Wray in 2015, and was named board vice president for the 2019-20 school year. He sits on two district committees: buildings and grounds as well as citizens budget oversight.
“The board we have works really well together, and I want to be part of that for the next five years,” he said, noting encouragement from Superintendent Bob Fulton and Assistant Superintendent Jenny Nauman cemented his decision to run.
Bradley says he has no agenda; he said he votes his conscience and what is best for students.
“I don’t have a soap box; I just want to do a good job - the best I can for our students, faculty and staff, and the community,” he said. “Those priorities haven’t changed in five years.”
His extensive experience in restaurant management gives him a unique perspective on financial goals and decisions, Bradley said. Over the years, he has worked for Outback Steakhouse, Big Chill Cantina, and now, Wawa in Bethany Beach. He has served as board president of Rehoboth Cooperative Preschool, Lewes Little League and Seaside Jewish Community.
“I’m not an educator, but focusing on financial aspects is my strength, and that helps the board,” he said.
After prioritizing budget items the past several years, Bradley said he is in favor of a March 31 operating expense referendum that would cost the average taxpayer $64 more a year and generate $3 million for the district.
Following that, the next big venture is redistricting elementary schools for the 2021-22 year, he said.
“Some are crowded, and some are not at capacity,” he said. “Then, we’ll redistrict middle schools when the new middle school in Lewes is done. We want to give enough of a heads-up so parents are prepared.”
As a board member, Bradley said, he most enjoys visiting schools and talking to teachers and students about what is and isn’t working, and how he can help make things better.
Bradley lives in Lewes with wife Melanie, musical director for Clear Space Theatre. Their older son, a Consortium student, graduated in 2016; their younger son attends Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts.
Collick won his one-year, at-large seat in a landslide over Chuck Mowll in 2019 to fill the remaining year of member Roni Posner, who retired before her term expired. After one year on the board, he said, he’s ready for a full term.
“You make the most impact when you do something over a period of years,” he said. “That’s how you can gauge how you’re doing.”
While Collick said he has seen gains in closing the achievement gap and raising student test scores, he said more needs to be done. “It’s easier to get to the top than to stay there, and we need to continue to work for progress.”
Collick mentors at several district schools to help students with reading and math, and he recruits retirees as new mentors.
“It’s important to get ahold of kids early on, and seeing them progress from elementary school through college makes me proud,” he said. “We have seen a lot of growth here, but part of that growth has brought people here with tremendous backgrounds, in education and other fields, with the ability to help kids.”
With 43 years in education, Collick retired in June 2018 after 18 years with the district, most recently as Cape High football coach and dean of students. He sits on the district’s athletics and extracurricular committee.
Early in his career, he taught at Rehoboth Elementary, then coached football at Delaware State University for nearly 20 years, where he amassed the most coaching wins in football history and served as director of athletics.
Collick lives in Milton with his wife, the former Nancy Gooch. He has two children and three grandchildren.
Both five-year school board terms begin July 1, 2020, and expire June 30, 2025.
The election is set for Tuesday, May 12. Filing deadline is 4:30 p.m., Friday, March 6. For filing information, call Department of Elections Sussex County office at 302-856-5367.
Editor’s note: The two candidates are listed in alphabetical order.