School Principal Jeff Van Drie is resigning effective June 30, the Duneland
School Board announced at its meeting Monday night.
Van Drie is leaving
to move to South Carolina with his wife Katherine as she pursues a Master of
Fine Arts degree there at Clemson University. “It’s tough,” Van Drie told
the Chesterton Tribune. “I love this place, I love this community,
but my wife is amazing, and it’s her time now.”
Van Drie earned his
undergraduate degree in history from Hillsdale College in Michigan and holds
a Master of Science in education from Indiana University. He served CHS for
13 years. For the first eight he was assistant principal before moving up to
principal in 2013. His experience before Duneland includes teaching social
studies and coaching for 20 years at eight schools. He’s taught around the
world--from Michigan and Ohio to El Salvador and the former Soviet Union. He
coached basketball and football, leading some teams to state championships.
Van Drie will be
remembered at Duneland for helping found the International Baccalaureate
program, strengthening the advanced placement program, coordinating the
school improvement plan, revamping administrative operations, and--most
important--working tirelessly to create and maintain a healthy climate and
culture for CHS students.
Van Drie’s honors
include the University of Chicago Outstanding Teacher award in 1995, the
Esperanza Award from the Rays of Hope Hispanic community group in 1999, and
Indiana Association of School Principals District Assistant Principal of the
Year in 2009.
CHS social studies
teacher Bob DeRuntz took a moment at the meeting to thank Van Drie for his
work at Duneland. “I’ve taught at CHS for 23 years, and I’ve been so
fortunate that for more than half of it Jeff has been principal and
assistant principal,” he said. “He’s been a great leader. He has created a
school where communication with students is based on respect and trust.”
students are being encouraged to register online for the 2018-19 school
the 2018-19 school year will be held July 24-27. All students who are not
new to the district are encouraged to register online. Only students
registering in the Duneland Schools for the first time are required to
appear in person. Students who are moving from one building to another can
still register online.
Registration is at
only one site this year: the Chesterton High School Fieldhouse.