(with the faithful support of many families, educators, businesses, the military, organizations, the faith community, and others)
- 1997: God introduces Manners First to the schools, families, businesses, and communities.
- 2003: Received the Best Practices in Education Award and Most Innovative Grant Writer Award from MBNA Education Foundation
- 2004 and 2005: With assistance from the Delaware National Guard, Team Manners First, an after-school boys’ group for students at-risk and/or with disabilities, was awarded the Leadership Award two years in a row by Delaware’s Secretary of Education.
- 2005: Vo-tech students set a school record for the number of scholarships and awards received, with the total dollar amount exceeding $2 million.
- 2007: Received two Respect Awards at William Penn High School for creating innovative initiatives and contests to improve the respect level at the school.
- 2007: Received the Learning Award for initiating College/Career Learning that exposes All Students to Success (C.L.A.S.S.), an innovative program to assist high school seniors with college admissions and scholarships, career and job placement (the WILL WORK! initiative!), and financial literacy and economic empowerment. The C.L.A.S.S. and On-the-Spot initiatives were instrumental in assisting William Penn’s senior class, who set a school record for the highest number of scholarships and financial aid awards received, with the total dollar amount exceeding $2.6 million.
- 2007: New book: Manners First G.I.F.T.S.
- 2008: For the first time in a local high school’s history, students were admitted to the University of Pennsylvania with the assistance of Attorney Mr. Ralph Sianni.
- 2008: Initiated and developed a school career center at a local high school.
- 2009: Wrote and received a grant to establish a community career center at a local middle school for parents/guardians and students.
- 2009: Initiated Mega Care and Cheerful Givers at a local middle school, where students, staff, and administrators accepted the challenge to become cheerful givers for individuals in need. The project resulted in donations of gift cards, cash, and food. Over $1,500 in gift cards were donated, and every one of the school’s homeless students received a gift card. Several other families also received $100 gift certificates. Students and teachers brought in three containers of nonperishable goods to donate to the Salvation Army.
- 2009: Initiated Team Manners First boys’ group for at-risk students at a local middle school. With the assistance of the school’s staff, students were given opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills and respect for self, for others, and for learning.
- 2009: Introduced Manners First C.L.A.S.S. at the middle school level. The publication focuses on weekly college and career development questions with an emphasis on students’ demonstrating respect for self, for others, and for learning.
- 2010-Current: Launched the Cheerful Givers Campaign, a service-learning initiative that supports homeless students, parents/guardians, elderly, crossing guards, bus drivers, mentors, and other community members who support our schools. Students participating in this initiative earned the 2012 Jefferson Award for Outstanding Youth Services. In 2011 and 2012, the Cheerful Givers Campaign earned a local middle school the designation of the Best Donor School 2 years in-a-row by the Salvation Army.
- 2012: Introduced If You Really Knew… The John Sullivan, Jr., Initiatives, a student-led initiative that helps other students deal with 4 social issues: bullying, acceptance, family issues, and grief. The group has received national and local recognitions for their initiative and works.Some honors and achievements the students from the group received include:
- A tribute from Governor Jack Markell and the Governor’s signing of 2 state-wide anti-bullying bills.
- A letter of recognition from the U.S. Department of Education-U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
- State honors and recognitions from the State Department of Education and State Board of Education Member and Assistant Provost of the University Delaware, Dr. Terry Whittaker.
- 2012: Clayton was selected by the Department of Education with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) to serve as a content expert on academic, social, and college and career development for students. The SREB nation-wide College Access for All Students: Strategies in Career and Academic Counseling initiative was developed in collaboration with other content experts from the fields of professional school counselors and university instructors and professors from across the Southern Region. The SREB college and career curriculum is designed to help counselors and educators encourage low-income, first-generation students from the elementary, middle, and high school levels to plan for and apply to postsecondary education, whether that is industry certification, trade school, technical college, or a two or four-year academic college or university.
- 2013: Scholarships, Cheerful Givers Campaign, and Partnerships All Increased!
- 2013: Partnered with Wilmington University.
- 2014: Continuous partnership with local churches.
- 2014: Selected by SREB to help create the High School College and Career Initiative.
- 2015: Developed Wilmington University graduate level Online Course: Counselor As A Consultant-for graduate students in the Education School Counseling Program.
- 2016: Developed and teach University of Delaware undergraduate course: Problems and Challenges Facing Education in Public Schools.
- 2016: Presented at American School Counselors Associate-ASCA National Conference in New Orleans: School Counselors as The Solution to Closing the Gap.
- 2017: Manners First turns 20.
- 2017: CLASS celebrates 10th Year Anniversary
- 2017: Giving God All the Glory-All the Glory for the Greater Works and Greater Exploits of Manners First and the Greater Works and Greater Exploits to come.
- 2017: Wrote a proposal for a District-wide Work Based Learning (WBL) program for Colonial School District.
- 2018: OMG, this is amazing!!! I think you’ve given me way too much credit. I’d love to replicate this newsletter for my program. Dr. Lea D. Folds-Work-Based Learning Coordinator Griffin-Spalding County School System
- 2018: It is heartening to see the great opportunities that the students at Wm. Penn have and are well prepared for by participating in community service activities during their high school years. CLARE GARRISON Volunteer Services Coordinator/Volunteer Delaware
- Other works in 2018:
- Received Colonial School District Board Honor for Work Based Learning. Employment Initiative for working with The Wallin School-Alternative Program.
- Developed an online education course: Problems and Challenges Facing Education in Public Schools at the University of Delaware.
- Developed Colonial School District WBL Course, Manual, Student Handbook and website
- Participated and partnered with OWBL in DOE’s 1st Year WBL Pilot Program. Wrote the special education policies and procedures for WBL.
- Developed the First WBL Center in Delaware
- 2019: “What a great newsletter so thank you for sharing with us! We love working with the students in our community trying to expand their knowledge as well as creating a relevant link between school and the workplace. This relevance makes high school more meaningful for students, parents, staff and businesses that will eventually hire them. Your commitment and dedication to this ideal are extraordinary!
Thank you again for all of your assistance!” SHANNON MAGUIRE DELUCIA, J.D. Director of Human Resources. HOTEL DUPONT
- 2019: “I wanted to let you know that Daniel started the job at Price Toyota. He LOVES it!!!! He came home smiling ear to ear! Thank you so much for your help. We both appreciate it so much. I have 3 boys so I’m sure this will not be the last time you will be hearing from me. Lol” Ms. Tellie Russler. Parent
- 2019: “The success of this CTE audit is because of our WBL program.” Dr. Brian Erskine, WPHS Principal
- 2019: “The Work Based Learning program is making a big difference for our special education students.” Stephani Spadaccini, DVR
- 2019: “How was our Partners Board Meeting Honor? “2 thumps up.” Dusty Blakey, Superintendent
- 2019: “Thanks, so much for sending this report — and for your very kind words about any contribution I may have made to the effort, which was minimal in comparison to the incredible efforts you and your colleagues put into this amazing WBL program. Really much more than a program — a MOVEMENT — with tremendous impact on students’ (and employers’ and community members’) lives! Way to go, my friend. Look forward to hearing even more success stories as the program continues to grow and evolve!
Dr. George Tilson, Career DOE WBL Consultant
- 2020: Helped to write a statewide student donation initiative with Wilmu and Delaware School Counseling Association to assist needy students and families statewide during the pandemic crisis.
- 2021: Manners First EDU Mobile APP
- 2022: Isaiah 43:19
We are thankful for our partners! Through their support, we are providing quality and effective services to our students and communities.
Our partners are working in collaboration with our mission to continuously improve the achievement level of all students. We work to reach a share goal to increase the high school, college, and vocational training graduation/completion rates.
Through the collaborative work of our dedicated partners, we are making a difference!
For questions, Email us
We Thank You for Your Support!