Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Craig Stafford named new principal for CMS

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The Duneland School Board on Monday appointed three new administrators to replace retirees, resulting in the overall reduction of two full-time positions through a realignment of duties.

Chesterton Middle School assistant principal Craig Stafford will replace current CMS Principal James Ton. Music teacher Tom Schnabel will replace Tom Kennedy as Duneland Director of Music, while Karla Wilson, now a media specialist at Chesterton High School, will replace Randall Eckley as Duneland Director of Media.

While they will both be serving as administrators, Schnabel and Wilson will continue to carry some of their current responsibilities. Other tasks will be picked up by other staff.

As part of the ongoing budget reductions prompted by state funding losses, Schabel’s and Wilson’s current positions will not be filled full-time. Stafford’s current assistant principal post at CMS will be filled, but the position of full-time athletic director, now held by Steve LaPosa, who is also retiring, will be filled on a part-time basis. Overall, Duneland will reduce two full-time slots as a result, said Duneland Superintendent Dirk Baer.

Stafford was the unanimous choice of a school committee that evaluated who to recommend to replace long-time CMS principal Ton. Stafford has been a CMS assistant principal for four years, previously serving as assistant principal in the Michigan City Schools.

Stafford was accompanied by a number of family members at Monday’s school board meeting. In his comments to the school board after his hiring, Stafford said the state’s trend in support of privatized schools is unfortunate, but that CMS will not be deterred from achieving excellence despite new directives from the state.

“I’m very humbled and anxious to start my new role,” he said.

Other Personnel

In other personnel matters, the school board approved the following appointments to fill teaching positions that are being vacated this year through retirements. Three of the teachers are first-year teachers.

Christina Miceli, a 2010 graduate of the University of Michigan, will teach math at Chesterton High School. She is also expected to assist with the volleyball program.

Michell Miller, a 2010 Manchester College graduate, will also teach math at CHS. She may also assist with the girls’ basketball program.

Rachel Blythe, an Indiana University graduate who has been teaching four years at Avon High School, will teach English at CHS.

Diana Gill, who obtained her undergraduate degree from IU Northwest and a teaching degree from Ball State, will teach English at CHS. She has three years of experience at Boone Grove High School.

Elisia Beutlich, a graduate of Calvin College, will teach French at CHS.

Christine Good will serve as the English Department Chair at CMS.

Liberty Project

Also Monday, the school board approved bids for school furniture as part of the Liberty Elementary School expansion project. A total of $156,729 in purchases were awarded to the following: Sharp School Services, $124,711; Kramer Leonard, $29,408; and Dunes Office Supply, $2,609.

Duneland Director of Special Services Mark McKibben said the LES addition is progressing rapidly, with an electrical inspection scheduled for this week. All windows are expected to be in by the end of this week, and stud walls are already in place in the east academic wing and nearly installed in the west wing.

In a related matter, the school board approved an easement needed to bring a municipal water line to the Liberty Schools. The water line will be extended from Meridian Road west on CR 900N. The board also approved an additional appropriation out of the Rainy Day Fund for the water line project.

Yost Book Battle

Four Yost Elementary fourth graders who made up the winning team in the school’s Book Battle competition gave a presentation about the project to the school board.

Students Lee Horton, Joey De Hoyos, Payton Stubbe and Andrew Stolz outlined the program, in which students were encouraged to read up to 10 select books from September to February. The students then shared what they know or liked about the books via an online blog. The students formed teams, with each team vying to try to get the most answers correct when quizzed about the books.

Each of the four students wore specially designed Book Battle shirts, awarded to every student who read the minimum three books.

Joining the students in their presentation were Yost Media Specialist Kris Borelli and Yost Principal Anne Stillman.




Posted 5/4/2010




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