Ernesto Martinez will be the new director for Discovery Charter School
heading into the 2012-2013 school year.
Martinez’s appointment was officially recorded into the minutes of the
Discovery Charter School’s board of directors meeting on Wednesday. The
board also recognized the appointment of Ryan Erdelac as the school’s new
Being with Discovery since its opening, Martinez will succeed outgoing
director Karen Poplawski who announced her resignation earlier this year.
Martinez previously acted as Discovery’s Grade 4-7 team leader and has
taught third grade during his five years working as an employee of American
Quality Schools which is Discovery’s management company. A LaPorte native,
he is a Purdue University graduate and is currently earning his masters in
elementary education and school leadership at Indiana University Northwest.
Parents have had the opportunity to meet with Martinez this week and he will
be “rolling out” his plan for the next school year at another meet-and-greet
session in the next few days. Part of the presentation will entail the
renovation planned for the building that will add more middle school
As the new assistant director, Erdelac will be new to Discovery having
previously taught fourth grade at Yost Elementary.
AQS assisted the board in interviewing candidates for the positions. Final
selection was then made by the board.
Paplowski said Discovery will also be bringing on four new teachers next
year, two new positions and two replacements.
In other business, board president Laurie Metz asked the board to consider a
number of minor policy revisions that will be reflected in the 2012-13
school handbook. The board firmed up wording in a handbook to reflect that
children must be 5 years old before Aug. 1 in order to be included in
kindergarten enrollment. Some changes to the school’s expulsion policy were
unanimously tabled until the May meeting.
Meanwhile, with the Indiana State Assembly’s decision to approve funding for
full-day kindergarten to public schools throughout the state, Discovery will
add a third kindergarten class. Metz said this will bring the number of
kindergarten students from 44 to 66 (22 students per class) which reduced
the number of names on the wait list.
The target enrollment for the 2012-13 school year at Discovery is 458
students compared to the 378 enrolled for this year. Metz said currently
there are 141 names still on waiting lists.
In addition to the extra Kindergarten class, Discovery will be adding a
third 1st Grade class and the middle school will expand to include a full
8th Grade class just as 7th grade was added this year.
classrooms May 5
Board member and Parents Action Council (PAC) President Janine Girzadas said
the big “Discover Your World” fundraising event is coming up on Saturday,
May 5, at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City. The event
starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. Third Coast Spice Café will cater
the event, Aged 2 Perfection will offer wine and beer tasting, and musical
entertainment will be provided by Nick Byrd and MoJo Daddy.
Ticket cost for the fundraiser is $40 per adult. Anyone interested in
purchasing tickets can contact Girzadas at
She said PAC has sold close to 100 tickets and expects attendance to closely
match last year’s number of 130.
The fundraiser will feature silent auctions of gift baskets specially themed
for each individual classroom.
Girzadas reported that the Grandparents Day event this past month received
high marks from those who participated and said they would be interested in
continuing the event next school year.
In her director’s report, Poplawski said that ISTEP testing will begin on
Tuesday, May 1, for grades 3-7. She also said Discovery School received a
passing rate of 96 percent from the Indiana Reading Evaluation and
Determination exam (IREAD-3).
The state requires all third grade students pass the reading test before
continuing on to fourth grade. Poplawski said that students who fail the
exam can be exempted if they have an IEP (Individual Education Plan).
Also at the meeting, Girzadas said orders are still being taken for school
uniforms next year. Uniforms will be available for pick up at school
registration on July 25-26.