Board appointee Cathell eager to serve the Indian River district

SELBYVILLE – Indian River School District’s board of education is back at full 10-member strength.

At a special meeting Jan. 24, the IRSD board of education appointed Derek Cathell of Frankford to fill the District 5 board vacancy following the resignation last fall of Douglas Hudson, who moved out of that election district.

Derek Cathell, center, is sworn in by Indian River School District Superintendent Mark Steele, left, and board of education president Charles Bireley.

Mr. Cathell was officially sworn in after the school board conducted interviews with several candidates for the seat. His appointed term will expire on June 30, 2018.

A 1992 Indian River High School graduate, Mr. Cathell is a 20-year member of the Delaware State Police. He is currently a detective with the major crimes unit based at Troop 4 in Georgetown.

His wife Pattiva is employed in the district as the ELL (English Language Learner) counselor with the guidance department at Sussex Central High School.

They have two children: 8-year-old daughter Kean, who attends John M. Clayton Elementary School in the Spanish Immersion program; and 5-year-old son Kase, who is in the Howard T. Ennis School’s pre-kindergarten mentoring program.

“I born and raised in the area,” said Mr. Cathell. “Both of my kids are enrolled in the district and my wife is employed by the district, so obviously I have a vested interest in the well-being of the district as a whole.”

“I know the district with the growth, the population growth especially in the northern north end is quite staggering. I think I can get on there and maybe help try to combat some of these problems,” said Mr. Cathell, adding he has several other relatives and many friends with children enrolled in the Indian River district.  “I want to try to have the best possible education for all of our kids.”

Because Mr. Hudson’s term does not expire until June 30 of 2019, there will be a District 5 race in the May 2018 school board elections. The winner from District 5 will fill that seat until June 30 of 2019, completing Mr. Hudson’s term. That will put that board term back on a five-year election cycle.

Mr. Cathell said he is interested in more than just the appointed term.

“This is going to be a very short term to finish out. I would have to reapply to the Department of Elections, if I am still interested in continuing as a board member, to be considered,” said Mr. Cathell. “I’m probably going to do that … I have already looked into that.”

Scott Collins is the board’s other member from District 5, which encompasses all or portions of Selbyville, Gumboro, Frankford and Roxana.

Also up for election in 2018 are seats currently held by board vice president Rodney M. Layfield (District 2) and Leolga T. Wright (District 3).

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