Chesterton Tribune



2015 school budgeting process gets timeline

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During a brief meeting Monday, the Duneland School Board set the dates for submitting next year’s budget to the state.

The proposed budget amounts, rates and levies for 2015 will be reviewed by the board during a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 25, followed by authorization to advertise the numbers in the state’s Gateway system where it can be seen by the public, said DSC Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz.

The rates will also be sent to the Porter County Council for a non-binding review, she said.

A public hearing for the proposed budgets and levied funds, like the bus-replacement fund and the capital projects fund, will be made during the school board’s Sept. 8 meeting.

Final budget adoption will be on the agenda for the board’s Oct. 6 meeting to finish up in time for the state’s deadline of Nov. 1.

In other action, the board gave authorization to advertise an additional appropriation of no greater than $185,000 to its rainy day fund. Schools Superintendent Dave Pruis said the money will be put toward purchasing a new delivery truck with a lift gate and an emergency generator for the school corporation’s Special Services building. Pruis said the current delivery truck will be traded in.

A public hearing for the appropriation will be held at the school board’s next meeting on Aug. 12.

Speaking on budget matters, Board President Ralph Ayres said he was pleased to report that the Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission has agreed to give the school corporation $135,000 of proceeds each year for the next 10 years from the new expansion of its TIF district. Ayres sits on the Commission as a non-voting member.

Dunes Learning Center

In his comments section, Pruis showed a video about the Dunes Learning Center, which has a partnership with the school corporation through a grant with the Flora Richardson Foundation. Each year the fourth graders attend an overnight visit where they interact firsthand with the natural environment.

The video, available on, shows classes searching for wildlife in the Little Calumet River, learning about the diversity of the environment. Featuring interviews with Bailly Elementary Principal Kevin Zeck and Flora Richardson Foundation member and retired Duneland teacher Bill Schaudt, the video encourages students to understand their role in nature and how they fit into the community.

“It can’t be replicated in the classroom,” Schaudt says in the video.

The partnership is in its fourth year and last year over 1,200 third and fourth grade students from Duneland visited the center.

Remembering Dr. Speckhard

In another matter, Ayres mentioned the death of former Duneland Superintendent Dr. Karl Speckhard, who passed away June 9.

Ayres said Speckhard started as superintendent in 1970 during the dawn of the consolidated school district and served in that role until 1988. Ayres, who was teaching at CHS in those years, said he really appreciated Speckhard’s leadership.

Personnel Report

Also Monday, the board approved the personnel report presented by Assistant Superintendent Monte Moffett in the consent agenda.

The appointments feature a long list of coaching positions at CHS including Jason Conway as the Girls Varsity Soccer coach and Jill Smoker as the assistant coach; Bryan Nallenweg as the Girls Varsity Track coach; Kathleen Teal as the Cheerleading coach and Sara West as the assistant coach; Jordan Nelson as the Girls Varsity Golf assistant coach; Amanda Gough as the Girls Varsity Volleyball assistant coach; Andrea Levrio as the JV Volleyball head coach and Jill Schnieder and Taylor Chamberlain as volunteer assistant coaches; Emily Frikken as the Girls Freshman Basketball head coach; Kyle Prow as the Boys Varsity Tennis assistant coach; Mitch Nelson and Allen Cochran as Freshman Football assistant coaches; and Poppy Carden as Girls Cross Country assistant coach.

Other appointments include Tonya Kennoy, Tiffany Edwards and Nicholas Delaney as Duneland Schools custodians; Lynne Whelan as CMS attendance secretary; Delbert Pullins as maintenance technician for Duneland; Colleen Bowen as head custodian at Brummitt Elementary; and Deeann Witek as SIMMS coordinator for Duneland.

Colleen McNamara will transfer from her current position as Secretary SCC/Transportation to Custodial Services coordinator.

One retirement was announced -- DSC Administrative Assistant Louise Diederich whose last day was June 30.


Posted 7/15/2014