The Smyrna School District held its annual Employee Recognition Luncheon Friday at Smyrna High School.

The luncheon was filled with memories from the 2013-2014 school year from recognizing staff members with perfect attendance to honoring district employees with thirty-plus years of working in the district.

Smyrna School District Superintendent Debbie Wicks started the luncheon noting that while things aren’t always perfect in the world whether it’s mass shootings or a battle for schools funds by some law practices and special interest groups, she was once again reminded why education matters while attending the Class of 2014 graduation on May 31. She said all members of the district staff have played a part in making it so the Class of 2014 has limitless potential.

“As I listened to the student speeches at graduation, I was struck by a similar theme among the speeches. That is, in spite of what challenges and successes the future might bring, Smyrna graduates could always call the Smyrna School District home,” Wicks. “Yes, our student leaders reflected about how the best years lay ahead and about how opportunities and challenges would present themselves to graduates. But they reminded their peers that their teachers, the support staff, their friends and their families make Smyrna a very special place – a place they could always call home and a place that helped prepare them for what lays ahead.”

Then Wicks went on to talk about the accomplishments of this past year from passing two referendums – major capital improvements and current expense – to the success of sports at all levels in the district including undefeated seasons by several sports at the middle school and coaching awards at the high school.

While the DCAS results won’t be officially released until the State Board of Education approves them, Wicks said the preliminary results show Smyrna had a very good year. Wicks pointed out ways in which the Smyrna School District family gave back this year including participating in the Relay for Life and donating blood.

“As always the Smyrna School District Eagle Spirit of teamwork and community core values move us through good and bad times with equal grace. We have come to understand that there are more lessons learned in tough times then if times were perfect,” Wicks said. “Being good roles models through trying times remains one of our biggest joys and one of our biggest challenges. Thank you to each of your for caring enough to share your continued faith in the Smyrna School District.”

Later in the luncheon, the school district honored retired Smyrna Police Chief Wil Bordley and Board of Education President Jeff Clark. Bordley was the first student resource officer, while Clark is coming to the end of this third five-year term on the school board; Clark didn’t run for a fourth term.

Bordley, who now teaches criminal justice at Delaware Tech’s Georgetown campus, said it is his current job of teaching students in the southern part of the state that has reminded him the Smyrna School District is a special place.

“The students talk about the challenges in Seaford and Laurel, where they can’t get referendums passed so I see how lucky the community is in the Smyrna School District,” Bordley said. “Debbie, thank you for all that you do.”

School Board President Jeff Clark said the school district has faced a lot of challenges over the years, but has managed to maintain itself quite well; he has enjoyed being a small part of the success of the Smyrna School District.

“We do have the best school district in the state and I firmly believe that,” Clark said. “The reason we do is because of you the administrators, the staff, the teachers.”