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Mr. Hammell Retiring

The Dennis Township School District regrets to announce the retirement in June of long-time physical education teacher Lance Hammell.
 
After graduating from Western Maryland College in 1984 with a degree in physical education, Hammell taught gym and coached extensively.
 
Hammell started working at Dennis Township in 1990 after a four year stint teaching in Middle Township.
 
"It was always my goal to teach here, especially since I lived in the district and I loved the kids and community," explains Hammell.  "I've been teaching in the same district for twenty-seven years and enjoyed every day of it."
 
While mostly teaching gym, he also taught middle school special education for four years in the late nineties and still helps with in-class support on occasion.
 
He coached wrestling at Middle Township High School for several years as well as coaching every sport at Dennis Township except for baseball.  He also spent about ten years as a referee for high school and college football until a knee injury put him on the sidelines for good.
 
At Dennis Township, Hammell leaves a long legacy of involvement and activity.  He started the Hot Shots free-throw competition in 1990, worked with fellow physical education teacher Steve Sorenson to install the only rock climbing wall in a school gym in Cape May County, worked with the Reef family to help advise a student Bible club at Dennis for the last eleven years, and much more.
 
He presently coaches golf at Cape May County Technical High School and plans to continue with that commitment after retirement.
 
Hammell and his wife Winnie, a preschool teacher in Millville, raised three children in Dennis Township.  Their son, David, is an investigator in the US Marine Corps NCIS and just received an award for Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in his district.
 
Both of their daughters graduated from Flagler College in Florida.  Their older daughter Kelsey is an event planner for Hilton Hotels in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and their younger daughter Marti is a flight attendant for Spirit Airlines and is in graduate school as well as a substitute teacher on occasion in Dennis Township.
 
"I'm truly going to miss this job because of the kids," Hammell states.  However, he also wants to spend more time with his own mother and is looking forward to being able to do that starting this summer.
 
Principal Jamie VanArtsdalen calls Hammell her mentor and a strong shoulder to lean on.
 
"He's a great teacher and someone who really cares about our students," she says.  "We're going to miss him greatly around here and it will be strange to start the school year in September without seeing his big smile in the gym."
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