O’Connell to Rasmussen

Liam O’Connell

I came to NCCL eight years ago. I was in first grade (there wasn’t any kindergarten then), and I could barely imagine myself in Group 2, let alone eighth grade. The year 2015 was unfathomable. I’ve come so far, and though I certainly can’t think eight years in the future now either, I won’t ever forget NCCL. I have so many memories. I remember my first play, the biannual newspaper project, and the dossier project. I remember all the games and activities I created and did with my friends, from Turtle Tag in third grade to the Story of Liam the Giant today. I remember every Workshop Week class and Greenfest, in addition to everything else I’ve studied here.

I’m really excited to see what comes next. I’ll be going to Saint Andrew’s School in Middletown. I’m really and genuinely looking forward to the school, the teachers, campus, and community. However I’m not even sure I would’ve been accepted to Saint Andrew’s if not for everything I’ve learned at NCCL.

I’ve grown as a student and person in ways that I certainly don’t think I would have otherwise. Due to my parents receiving a sabbatical from the school they work at, I left NCCL for much of last year and moved to Boulder, Colorado. I had a clear contrast of a school experience and so fully value what NCCL does for students. I’ve learned to work hard, but I’ve also learned my strengths, weaknesses, and identity. Thanks to NCCL, I’ve learned not only educational lessons, but lessons in individuality. I feel like there are many possibilities open to me in my life. I have so many different interests that I’ve realized thanks to this school: psychology, politics, and writing, to name several. I’m so thankful to NCCL and to the teachers for helping me appreciate every experience I’ve had. I’ll bring all this knowledge and more with me next year.

Kelly O’Donnell (Class of 2001) Kelly is starting her first year as a 4th grade teacher (2011) through Teach for America. She is teaching in rural Eastern North Carolina. Kelly attended Padua Academy before transferring to North Harford High School. senior (2005). She did well academically and enjoyed the school newspaper and French Club as extra curricular activities.

Beth Olney is married 6 yrs to Michael Gallagher and has two (adorable) sons, Daniel – 4 in July, Joseph – 2 in November. She graduated in anthropology at West Chester State University where she continued to be a star member of the varsity volleyball team and an assistant volleyball coach intern at DE Orthopedic Center.

Jason Olney is married to Kaylee Bender (10 yrs Oct. 2012) & they have twin (adorable) daughters, Allison & Mika (pronounced Meeka) who turned 6 yrs old in April. He has finished his second year at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia majoring in film and animation.

Eric Orndorff graduated from Jefferson University Medical School after attending the University of Delaware graduate program in air and space engineering. He is starting a special rotation in internal medicine at the Medical Center of Delaware. Eric and his wife are expecting their first child on Christmas Day.

Sam Page spent a year travelling, studying and doing voluntary work in Central America, where he learned Spanish and developed a strong interest in Latin America. He is currently attending a university in London, majoring in Iberian & Latin American Studies.

David Pajerowski is married, living in Philadelphia and desperately trying to wrap up his PhD in Bioengineering the University of Pennsylvania. (David graduated in from UD (2001) with a degree in Chemical Engineering and Math. He presently works as a genetic engineer with a company called Physiome in New Jersey. He plans to further his education in the cognitive and neurological development of artificial intelligence.)

Tony Pajerowski is single. He has just finished his fourth year of a Doctorate in Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, but will be finishing in Rochester, Minnesota at the Mayo Clinic starting in August 2008. (Tony is a senior at UD (2001/02) studying Biology and Music. After spending the summer interning with Astrozenica in bioinformatics research he has decided the corporate world should not be his home. So now he stays awake at night wondering which path to embark upon.)

Daniel Pajerowski just completed his 4th year of a Doctorate program in Physics at the University of Florida. He is single and traveling the world giving presentations “in god knows what- something to do with solid states,” says his Mother. He graduated from UD (2001/02) with a major in Astrophysics and Art.

Matt Paladinetti married Theresa Petrowsky on April 19, 2003. They are expecting their first child some time in October. Matt graduated from Caravel Academy in 1995. He has worked for Delaware Park Race Track and Slots as a Fire Lieutenant in their Fire and EMS Department since 1997 where he also heads an employee CPR training program. In the past two years he has assisted in saving the lives of three people after they went into cardiac arrest at Delaware Park. Matt spends a good deal of his time volunteering at the Christiana Fire Co. as a firefighter EMT.

Nori Pao completed her Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Arizona. She was an artist in residence at Anderson Ranch College for a year and then Sculpture Assistant. She then lived and worked (mixed media sculpture and drawings) in New York and taught ceramics at The Craft Students League, a continuing art education program for adults run through the YWCANYC. Nori is now living in Minnesota with her boyfriend. She works as a studio artist and is also Adjunct Faculty in the Fine Arts Department at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design.

David Parker (Class of 2009) is a sophomore at Newark High School (2010). I have been at NCCL for nine years now. My highlights have been working in Group One, having fun with all my friends, and apprenticing. Apprenticing was extremely fun; I really liked working at Days of Knights. I’ll miss my friends and the breaks we always got, we will never get those in high school – I wish we would though. When I go to Newark High School I’m looking forward to meeting tons of new friends and I’m hoping I’ll have a lot of fun in all my classes. I will also see all my old friends that graduated last year. The lessons I have learned here at NCCL are that you should always be open to suggestions, and always have an open mind. You should also be kind to everyone so other people will be nice to you and hopefully you will have more friends that way. I’ll take with me all of the knowledge and advice that I have gotten from the teachers.

Raymond Parker (Class of 1993) graduated from Newark High where he played basketball, belonged to the cross country team, the Key Club, the Nature Society and the Chess Club. He received the Principal and Athletic Director Awards. Ray graduated from the University of Delaware in 2002 with a B.S. in Economics. He started a job with Accenture early 2003 then quit at the end of the summer to go back to school. He got halfway through a MA in Economics also at UD before moving to Richmond in Aug 2004 to be closer to His girlfriend, Kristin (now his wife). They met in June of 2003 at a wedding. After that, He took a job at Ernst & Young in Jan 2005 and worked there as a healthcare consultant until April 2009. While he was there, They got married on November 3rd, 2007, and had their first baby, Sophia Marie, on Sept 20th, 2008. Ray started a new job this May with a very small healthcare consulting company called DSH Management Solutions, LLC. So, for now he is just busy with work and chasing after their 8-month old!

Caroline Parker is married and expecting her first child. (She attended Del Tech for a year of nursing school and then moved to Florida where she attends Hillsborough Community College in the nursing program. She joined the cheerleading squad and works 2 jobs.)

Catharine Parker (Class of 2003) Catharine will be interning in Bermuda this summer (2010). “I’m finally going to train dolphins!” She graduated from Newark High School where she played soccer, and volleyball, and was a member of the Key Club, the Drama Club, and the Student Government. She says that NCCL “made me more confident about myself and my opinions. It has taught me to not worry about what people think of me because everybody is themselves here. And I have learned to accept everybody for who they are, and not try to make them something else.” She now attends Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL where she is currently working on an Environmental Studies major with a double minor in Biology and Psychology. She recently traveled to New Zealand to participate in a dolphin research project, and hopes to pursue a career in environmental conservation and education.

Travis Parsons (Class of 2003) is attending The Concept School. Some of his favorite memories of his two years at NCCL include playing basketball with the other kids and Sean during breaks. His favorite subjects at NCCL were gym, writing, and science.

Miranda Partie (Class of 2010) is attending Sanford.

Kim Passidomo graduated from Newark High School and is attending Maryland Institute College of Art.

Miranda Peak

I have been going to NCCL ever since 1st grade. At the time there wasn’t any kindergarten, but I would’ve come for that. NCCL is one of the best schools I’ve ever been to, and I’m glad I came here.

I feel like each group was very different from one another, so each had their own set of memories. In Group 1, my favorite memory would be playing in the fenced in area, before we were allowed outside with Debbie Keese or Kelly Orga. Before the bikes, there would be a little area under the climber where we would hang out or play games. In Group 2, I remember studying the Native Americans and going to a park where we would build stick forts in the shape of  teepees. I also liked doing the thing in the morning where we would read the date off the board in Spanish and English and we got to have three people share whatever they like to. I would share a lot. In Group 3, my most memorable experiences would be the dictatorship part of our government unit. Sean dressed up as a dictator (a scary one), and everyone was separated into groups. We had to try and survive for a week. Many people died. I have memories of Group 4 (maybe because they are mostly more recent).  Shaver’s Creek was really fun, because we got to get to know people more by doing activities every  day.  My favorite project in Group 4 were making book trailers. We got to film each other in peoples’ trailers and that was also really fun.

For high school, I’m going to Wilmington Friends. I’m looking forward to meeting new people, but I’m also kind of nervous. I heard it’s a nice and friendly school. I’m also looking forward to the sports there (I’m doing field hockey in the fall then lacrosse in the spring) and I’m really excited about that. By being at NCCL, I’ve learned how to be independent with figuring problems out on my own.

To high school, I will take my writing skills that I have learned by being at NCCL.

Thank you NCCL and all of the NCCL teachers and faculty for making NCCL a great school.

Alexis Pecore is attending Delaware Technical College. Alexis graduated from St. Elizabeths High School, Class of 2011, in June. She has chosen to begin her college life at Del Tech with a major in Early Childhood Education. She enjoyed great success participatibg in four years of St. E.’s Cheerleading Squad with Senior year as solo captin of squad. She is a contender for a scholarship awarded at St. Elizabeths for having the most Volunteer hours completed in her 4 years of high school. Alexis’ life changed completly, yet temporarily, January of ’11 due to being a passenger in a serious car accident. She spent the next 4 months, not as the Captain of the Cheer Squad, but healing her body at home instead, with a couple hours in school each day. Through PT, Cognative Therapy, tutoring and an incredible amount of rest, she has made outstanding progress. She hopes to be able to drive and work again by summer time! Her mom and dad I are incredibly proud of her for attending to this change in her life with dignity, tenacity and humor.

Erica Pecore Erica Will be a Sophomore at St. Elizabeths High school next year. She has enjoyed being a Team Flyer at Nitros Competitive Cheerleading, with her team earning first place for all competitions but one this year and first place sweeps last year.

Elizabeth (Liz) Pilchard (Class of 2003) is attending William Penn High School. Liz says that at NCCL, “I learned to be open minded and I learned to stand up for what I believe in. So at other places, I will work my butt off for what I want. And nothing will move me.

John Pilchardis attending Palm Beach Atlantic University majoring in film and television.

Jason Pinder owns and renovated a piano bar in Middletown called Maynard’s. The News Journal has said that it offers elegance and execution as well as saying that it is brilliantly beautiful!

Joy Pinder is attending Hodgson Vo-Tech. Her interest in sewing, which she learned how to do at NCCL, led to her decision to become a fashion designer. She says, “I feel going to NCCL was a wonderful experience. Having teachers you can talk to and actually learn from is great when it comes to education.” She helps her brother Jason in the summer at his piano bar and is a volunteer coach for 7 through 10 year-olds. She mentions that she did the staining in her brother’s brilliantly beautiful restaurant.

Mason Pinder

I have been at NCCL since the middle of sixth grade, but it feels like I have always been here. I didn’t have many friends before going to NCCL, but instantly I knew everyone here and felt right at home. I was able to play Magic the Gathering, and write computer programs with the other kids and talk about my billions of ideas to Ray.

Over the three years that I have been in Group 4, I enjoyed being able to apprentice at Days of Knights and aftercare with NCCL and Star Campus.  I was able to see what it was like to actually be working somewhere. Being one of the first kids to apprentice at Star Campus was engaging and exciting. I am always going to remember how fun it was to have the apprenticing experiences. Because of NCCL, I began writing computer programs, and it was so useful and slightly difficult learning different programming languages, and making cool programs like my grad project! Camping trips were the first time I have ever gone camping, and probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for NCCL. Workshop weeks were where I fully got into computer programming and learned how to make a pinball machine in woodworking, experiment in science challenge, try to make neat things, and learn photography.

Next year I will be going to Design Lab High School. Their curriculum is based around science and technology. I spent two years in the eighth grade and would not have learned as much or have gone to Design Lab! (Since they are just opening next year, that experience wouldn’t have been available to me last year.) We say that this year I earned my NCCL master’s degree.  During this year I had fun learning more things, and I feel like I am even more  prepared for high school. I am ready to excel at the Design Lab! I am going to be one of the first set of kids going to the Design Lab High school, and am looking forward to seeing how it will grow and change throughout the years that I go there. I am a little nervous about the Design Lab because they are just starting and might not know how to teach everyone the best way, or how the school will turn out, but I’m also excited to see how it will grow and am happy to have a part in its beginning.

I will miss all of my friendships and everyone from NCCL and will definitely visit after graduation! I will always remember the way that school was taught, and make sure to tell the people at Design Lab what NCCL was like and why it worked, which might help shape Design Lab a major amount. I will never forget the friends and how nice everyone was! I would not have started a game developer team for video games, if not for NCCL and the other kids!


Remi Daniel Poindexter (Class of 2004) is attending the University of Delaware majoring in Spanish, Latin American Studies and Art History with a minor in English. He is hoping to study abroad. Previously he says, ” After 4 years I finally graduated from high school! We didn’t get any funny awards, but my experience was great. My time in the International Baccalaureate Programme was challenging but somehow I managed to remain stress-free. While at Mount Pleasant High School, I participated in too many activities to list, met lots of new people, and started speaking Spanish. Next year I will be going to the University of Delaware in the Honors Program with the hope of going to medical school thereafter. I am excited to be moving on once again and look forward to what the future will hold. ”

NCCL highlights: Being with my friends, camping trips.

NCCL opportunities/experiences: NCCL has given me the opportunity to feel more confident in the things I do. I also feel more comfortable around people.)

Roger Price is married and has two children. He has been a disc jockey, studio manager and chief engineer for various radio stations, a free-lance on-camera actor, voice talent and print advertising model, and the national spokesperson for Circuit City stores. He has taught Sound for the Stage at Longwood College in Farmville, VA, and does on-camera training videos. He has his own recording studio, Whisper Recording.

Brian Pruett was married in August 1998. He is working in the Post office and has recently bought a house.

Kyla Rafert graduated from Friends School where she took every art class, played volleyball and softball, and was in a school musical. She now attends the Rhode Island School of Design.

Eric Rasmussen and his wife finished refurbishing their 58 foot pilot boat on which they live. They are expecting a baby in February 2001. He works refurbishing boats.

Heidi Rasmussen is the quality control specialist for products and employees for Illy Expresso of America (a coffee company).

Reed Rasmussen is still singing with the Seattle Symphony Chorus and working at QFC as a gourmet chef.

Tami Rasmussen Tonder is caring for her husband and two sons. She works as a public works engineering consultant. She really loves her job!