Chesterton Tribune



Duneland School Board hires teachers for new school year, appoints coaches

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Duneland School officials welcomed 11 new teachers at Monday night’s DSC board meeting along with a reading specialist, instructional aides, and the new CHS football coach, many of whom were in attendance.

Hopes and attitudes of those who introduced themselves to the board ran high expressing their excitement for starting the 2013-2014 school year.

“It’s an honor to be teaching in this school system. It’s like a dream come true,” said Laura Balk who will start teaching kindergarten in the fall at Jackson Elementary. She graduated from Western Michigan University last December with a degree in Elementary Education.

Also starting at Jackson teaching first grade is Abby Collins. She is a graduate of Chesterton High School and Purdue University-North Central who has been a long-term substitute teacher and RtI aide at Bailly Elementary.

Kristen Schacht, a 2004 Valparaiso University graduate and Michigan City native, will teach music at Jackson. She has been an elementary music teacher for the past eight years in Colorado.

“I’m very excited to come back to this area and be closer to family,” she said.

Another CHS grad who is happy to be back in the community is Brandi Nay, who will be a third grade teacher at Brummitt Elementary.

“It’s nice to be home and stay here,” said Nay, who has also been a camp counselor at the Duneland YMCA and a long-time substitute and RtI aide at Liberty and Yost Elementary Schools.

A Valparaiso resident, Joselyn Goldsmith will teach fourth grade at Liberty in the fall after having received her degree from Ball State University.

Jackie Gore, a Portage High School alum and Manchester University graduate, will teach third grade at Liberty. Jennifer Wheeler has been appointed as an instructional aide for Liberty.

At Yost, Karen Donley, who comes from Crown Point and is a University of Wisconsin graduate will teach first grade. Erin Rhodes will also teach first grade at Yost in the fall. She graduated from Andrean High School and earned her Master’s degree from Ball State. Previously she taught four years in Hamilton Southeastern Indiana.

Yost will also be gaining a reading specialist from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Amber Pierzakowski Jackel, who taught reading to second, fourth and fifth graders there. She is a graduate of LaPorte High School, Ball State University and received her Master’s from the University of New Mexico.

Two new teachers coming to CHS will be Jordan Nelson, to teach French, and Jessica Nygra, to teach English. Nelson is Purdue University-West Lafayette graduate while Nygra, a Portage HS grad, taught previously at the Thea Bowman Academy and has been a long-time substitute.

Kimberly Tumbas, who has been a High Ability instructor for the past year at Jackson, will teach second grade there. She is a Purdue University-West Lafayette graduate and previously taught in East Chicago.

Liberty Elementary Principal and High Ability Director Christy Jarka introduced Laura O’Dell who will be High Ability aide for the Duneland Schools as will Holly Koedyker.

Retiring from CHS is art teacher Daniel Vidt. Resigning are Brummitt second grade teacher Kristen Saler and CHS assistant volleyball coach Erin Bozetarnik.

Sports at CHS

Meanwhile, Duneland Assistant Superintendent Monte Moffett also listed the coaching positions for CHS next fall.

As was recommended by Athletic Director Garry Nallenweg, Mark Peterson will replace former football coach John Snyder in the fall.

Nallenweg said the new coach will “bring vast experience” to the football field. Peterson completed three years as head football coach at Portage and three years at Bishop Noll before joining the staff at CHS where he currently teaches science.

Peterson said he will coach his team reinforcing the values of the Duneland community.

“I think we have all the possibility to have a great year this year. We’re ready to hit the ground running,” Peterson said.

Other coaching positions approved Monday: Andrew Prater - JV Football; Kyle Yelton - Volunteer Football Assistant; Steve Stachyra - Volunteer FB Assistant; Josh Ribar - Volunteer Football Assistant; Tom Moeller - Cross Country Assistant Coach; Brian Carden - Girls Varsity CC Coach; Summer Watt-Forgey - Girls Assistant CC Coach; T.R. Harlan - Varsity Volleyball Coach; Taylor Chamberlain - Varsity Assistant Volleyball Coach.

Courtney Lesperence - J.V. Volleyball Coach; Jill Schneider - Volunteer Volleyball Assistant Coach; Bill Biehl - J.V. Soccer Coach; Dave Galloway - Girls Varsity Soccer Coach; Mike Whisler - Girls Varsity Assistant Soccer Coach; Randy Coudriet - Volunteer Girls Soccer Assistant Coach; Tom Bour - Boys Varsity Tennis Coach; Ransom Johnson - Boys Varsity Tennis Assistant Coach; Lisa Christianson - Varsity Head Cheerleading Coach; and Sue Sutton - Concessions Manager.

Retiring Superintendent of Schools Dirk Baer congratulated the new staff members and wished the group all the best.

“Have a great school year in the fall. You’re in a great place,” he said.


Posted 6/25/2013