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Delaware Governor: Jack Markell

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  Archived Posts From: 2010


We Keep Moving: National MS Society

Written on: March 22nd, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors

On Friday, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society launched their first video story at  Here’s the theme of the awareness campaign:

“Moving forward is what life is all about. We Keep Moving is a site for people affected by multiple sclerosis – unique stories about what it means to live with MS and journeys of overcoming the obstacles – how we each keep moving in our own way. Join us as we embark on a ten-week journey across the country and hear from ten amazing individuals about how they keep moving regardless of multiple sclerosis.”

The message and the stories I’ve heard so far are relevant and inspirational for all of us.

Earlier this month, I was surprised to be named “Governor of the Year” by the National MS Society.  It was truly an honor, even more so because I had the opportunity to meet so many dedicated, warm-hearted and interesting people.

I know that the Delaware Chapter works extremely hard to help people with MS move their lives forward.  In fact, right now they’re busy getting ready for this year’s Walk MS events on April 17th I want to thank them for their ongoing efforts.

Standing (L to R) are National MS Society, Delaware Chapter, board members Lawrence D. Green and Maria C. Schaffer; Debra Veenema, the chapter’s director of programs and services; board member Heyward Damon, Jr.; Gov. Jack Markell; board member Diana Caine; Kate Cowperthwait, the chapter’s president; and seated are Marie Eldreth, the chapter’s coordinator of programs and advocacy, and MS advocate Darnell Trower.

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Teamwork & Vision for Success in Our Schools

Written on: March 17th, 2010 in Education

Delaware’s team finished our presentation to the panel of national experts reviewing our Race to the Top application today.  I was honored to lead our delegation, and grateful for the opportunity to work closely with such outstanding professionals.

Thank you to all of those who were engaged in this process, including the team members with me today:

  • Mervin B. Daugherty, Ed. D., Red Clay Consolidated School District Superintendent
  • Diane T. Donohue, Delaware State Education Association President
  • Lillian M. Lowery, Ed. D., Delaware Secretary of Education
  • Marvin N. Schoenhals, Former WFSF Financial Corporation CEO & Vision 2015 Chair

Our team was diverse, representing tremendous and high-level cooperation around a bold plan for change.  Whether or not we are one of the few states to win funding, the real victory here is evident in the team we have mobilized. We believe in our plan and have already taken steps to make it happen.  We have made real changes together – teachers, administrators, the business community and state government.

I also appreciate the efforts of President Obama, Secretary Duncan and others at the Department of Education to create a program and an atmosphere that incentivizes states to strive. As the Chair of the Democratic Governor’s Association and the chair of the National Governor’s Association’s Common Core Standards Initiative, I have seen the positive impact this process has had across the country.

Our nation’s governors know that getting people back to work and improving our schools are among the most immediate issues we’re facing – and stronger schools are fundamental to our long-term economic success.

We are proud to participate in a process that encourages states to make clear their goals for student achievement and lay out in great detail how they plan to achieve them.  Reform does not spring from bold pronouncements alone. Change requires teamwork, cooperation and a sense of shared vision. I think what’s unique about Delaware is how much we have taken that to heart.

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The Polar Bear Plunge!

Written on: March 15th, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors

I had a great time on Sunday at the annual Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics.  People came from all over Delaware to have fun for a good cause.  It was an honor to meet the athletes, and I could barely feel the cold!

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Delaware National Guard: Serving at Home and Abroad

Written on: March 12th, 2010 in Recognizing State Employees

Earlier this week, I attended a change of command ceremony for the Delaware National Guard.  Brigadier General Terry Wiley is retiring, and Brigadier General Scott Chambers is taking his place as Assistant Adjutant General.  Congratulations to both General Wiley and General Chambers.

General Wiley and General Chambers at the Change of Command Ceremony

General Wiley entered the military in 1966 and fought in Vietnam.  He is a highly decorated officer, and has served the citizens of Delaware and the rest of our United States well.  I would be sad to say “goodbye” to him, but fortunately, I don’t have to.  He lives in Middletown and remains a valuable member of our community.  While I wish him a happy and relaxing retirement, I’m quite sure that General Wiley will continue to find ways to make Delaware a better place!

While I was with our Guardsmen and women, I thanked them for their service during the storm.  They have a unique dual mission: the Delaware National Guard serves overseas to fight for all Americans, and they also stand ready to help us here at home.

Spc. Mark Reid grapples with the chain on a recovery mission during Arctic Vengeance II.  Photo by taken by taken by SPC Lori Bilyou, a DNG Soldier who is also a teacher at William Penn.

Right now, some of our soldiers are risking their lives abroad. The 262nd Maintenance Company is providing convoy security in Iraq.  In Afghanistan, the 238th Aviation Company is flying Black Hawk helicopters; the 160th Engineer Company is constructing and maintaining infrastructure and base camps; and the Embedded Training Team is working closely with the Afghanistan Police as trainers and mentors.

Others Guardsmen and women recently risked their lives to keep us safe on our own streets. We called upon almost 400 soldiers — many of whom served during both snowstorms — even though their families were dealing with the same problems that people across the state were facing.  They helped thousands of Delawareans by transporting essential personnel to keep hospitals and other facilities running, rescuing people stranded on the roads, and ensuring that dialysis patients and others with medical emergencies were able to get lifesaving care.

On behalf of all Delawareans, thank you for your service in foreign lands and in our homeland.  Thank you for keeping our communities safe and for being an important part of them.

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Generating Sustainable Energy, Industries and Jobs in Our State

Written on: March 11th, 2010 in Job Creation

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting Motech Americas to meet some of the 70 employees working to produce high-quality solar panels.  I learned a bit about Motech’s expansion plans — a welcome success story following GE’s previous decision to close the factory in Newark.

While I was there, I also met several entrepreneurs who are employing our neighbors in a variety of renewable energy businesses.

During these challenging economic times, it’s encouraging that a number of businesses in the renewable energy and related fields are choosing Delaware as a great place to expand.

I’m sure you’ve heard that Fisker plans to build a plug-in hybrid at the former GM factory at Boxwood Road.  You may also have heard that NRG acquired Bluewater Wind, demonstrating that they believe offshore wind energy is important for their bottom lineDuPont is emerging as a leader in solar technology components.  WL Gore, White Optics, PTM Manufacturing, Sanosil, Autoport, IonPower, and Ashland are examples of other companies that have decided that Delaware is the right place for them to grow.

We have an opportunity now to make Delaware a national leader in this area.

That’s why we unveiled yesterday the Delaware Clean Energy Jobs Act.  I was joined at Motech by Senator Harris McDowell, Senator Harris McDowell and Governor Markell talking about clean energy jobsRepresentative Earl Jaques, and Representative Pam Thornburg, and I look forward to working closely with them and other members of the General Assembly to pass this bill, create quality jobs and expand local manufacturing.

More information on the legislation is available here.

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