While Duneland students are enjoying their summer break, the Support
Services and Maintenance staff are in their busy season, racing against time
to complete projects before the 2013-14 school year starts up next month.
“We’ve got a lot of things going on across the corporation,” Support
Services Director Greg Lindy told the school board at its meeting Monday.
The projects’ overall goal is to provide a good work environment for the
faculty and students, he said.
Lindy said crews will wrap up the roof restoration project at Liberty
Intermediate School in time which has been said to be Duneland’s “biggest
Next, the “wires are being pulled as we speak” in installing the new buzzer
security systems at Liberty Intermediate, Westchester Intermediate and at
Yost Elementary, Lindy said.
Renovations are moving along for Chesterton Middle School’s cafeteria. The
new drywall has been put up, Lindy said, and a purchase order for the new
exhaust hood ventilation system has been issued.
The emergency drive next to the football stadium for ambulance use has been
completed with a new gate which will block regular traffic. Next the support
staff will attempt to finish the landscaping along the drive before the
start of football season, Lindy said.
Staff will also prioritize which parking lot restoration projects they hope
to accomplish this summer. Outdoors they will also undertake various
playground repairs, power washings and paintings on buildings in need of a
As for an update on the new Health and Wellness center for Duneland staff at
the former Instructional Materials Center on Fifth Street, Lindy said the
flooring has been cut and the plumbing and ceiling work have been finished
up. Next, the construction crew will start putting in insulation and a
“It’s moving right along. They’ve picked up the pace pretty well,” Lindy
Director of Transportation Jim Bonfield said Duneland’s fleet of 87 buses
passed the Indiana State Police’s inspection this past month and the new
routing coordinator has done a good job mapping bus routes for next year.
“It’s summer but things are busy,” Schools Superintendent Dave Pruis told
In a related matter, the board agreed on a resolution declaring the need for
emergency funds out of the DSC’s capital projects fund for the Wellness
Center renovation work. The amount, $39,000, will cover extra roof repairs
including the installation of a new gutter.
In other action, the board approved new contracts and salaries for the two
assistant superintendent positions which were named at the last board
Monte Moffett will be Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Human
Relations at an annual salary of $112,000. Jim Goetz will be Assistant
Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction with an annual salary of
Pruis said that the salaries are “slight increases” after the board and
administrators “restructured” the job positions with the superintendent of
operations handling more personnel duties and the superintendent of
instruction focusing on programming.
Both contracts will be posted on the DSC website, Pruis said.
Meanwhile, the board favored a recommendation by Pruis to name its new
corporation treasurer and deputy treasurer. Lynn Kwilasz, the new chief
financial officer for Duneland. She will act as Treasurer, succeeding former
business manager Bonnie Gaston who retired this year.
Mary Jo Brust, who has worked in the business office for a few years as
assistant business manager, will act as DSC’s deputy treasurer.
More personnel matters
As far as hires go, Judith Malasto has been appointed as the new assistant
principal for Chesterton High School as Jeff Van Drie moves up to principal.
Malasto worked before as a teacher at CHS and also in LaPorte before her
most recent role as curriculum coordinator for East Porter County Schools.
She is a Ball State graduate and a Chesterton resident.
John Thanos, a CHS and Purdue University graduate, will take over for former
teacher Bill Caulton as an English teacher at CHS and advisor for the school
yearbook. He will also be one of the coaches for football.
Both Thanos and Malasto were nostalgic at the chance of working at Duneland.
“Duneland has been a big part of my life. I’ve always wanted to come back,”
“It’s nice to be back, it really is,” echoed Malasto.
Also coming to Duneland are Abigail Genig who will teach English at CMS and
previously taught at St. John Lutheran School in Wheaton, Ill. and Southgate
Adult and Community School in Southgate, Mich.
Toni Biancardi will be the attendance secretary for CMS. Gregg Burns has
been hired as the head custodian at Yost and Matthew Biggs will be the new
Resigning are CHS Spanish teacher Julia Clark, CMS instructional aide Bill
Sigler and Bailly Elementary nurse Marion Danko.
Budget schedule takes shape
Also, the board scheduled its time table for its upcoming annual budget
A preliminary review of Duneland’s 2014 will be given at the board’s next
meeting on Monday, Aug. 12. Later that month, the board will meet on Monday,
Aug. 26, where they will agree on publishing the budget followed by
advertisements in the local paper as legal notices. A regular board meeting
will be held on Sept. 9 and then a special meeting exclusively for the
public hearing on the budget will be held Wednesday, Sept. 25.
The budget will be approved at a board meeting soon after. The state
requires schools to submit their budgets by Nov. 1.
Pop Warner pulled
Monday’s board agenda included a request from Chesterton Pop Warner
regarding use of a portion of DSC’s 25-acre parcel near the Westport
Community Center in Burns Harbor.
Pruis said representatives of Pop Warner phoned him earlier Monday and
requested to be taken off the agenda. He said he suspects the group is
currently exploring its options with the Town of Burns Harbor.