Bucks County Herald

Del Val Golden Eagle passes to teacher with most longevity



Delaware Valley Regional High School’s Golden Eagle is passed along from Scott Cariddi to Sue Coles. According to custom, the Eagle belongs to whichever teacher has been at Del Val the longest.

Unceremoniously, in an empty Delaware Valley Regional High School classroom, retiring German teacher Scott Cariddi passed the Golden Eagle to social studies teacher Sue Coles after lunch on Tuesday, June 6.

By Del Val tradition, the Golden Eagle, a cast-iron decoration that would normally hang above the front door of a Colonial-style house, is placed in the custody of whichever teacher has worked at the high school the longest.

Cariddi said he received the Eagle years ago from math teacher Asa Whitaker, maintaining a chain of custody that began in the 1990s. Lou DiLullo, who was vice principal at the time, said he began the custom, inspired by a similar practice in his Naval unit involving a golden pelican. He says that the Eagle goes to the qualifying teacher “whether they want it or not.”

In any case, 25-year Del Val veteran Coles did not shrink from the honor when Cariddi presented it to her. He put in 32 years at Del Val. Next in line for the Golden Eagle would be teacher and department supervisor Jim Kluska, who is only a few months junior to Coles in terms of Del Val tenure.

“I couldn’t say that the Golden Eagle is a coveted trophy,” explained Principal Adrienne Olcott. “It usually resides in a drawer of closet. But it’s a colorful little custom and could be seen as a reminder of the value that our more-experienced teachers add to our program.”

Cariddi received a standing ovation at the June 5 faculty meeting and Olcott thanked him for the advice and encouragement he gave her when she came to Del Val as an English teacher and girls’ basketball coach. “When I’d be freaking out, he’d calm me down and make me laugh and realize that when you lost a game, the world doesn’t end.”

His own coaching resume includes mentoring the baseball team to a conference championship in 1996, and the girls’ soccer team to a state championship in 2002. He had also coached boys’ track, girls’ basketball and boys’ basketball. He directed several fall plays and had been adviser to the Key Club for a few years.

“Scott Cariddi has been a blessing to the school, and he will be missed,” the principal said.

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