Chesterton Tribune



Duneland Schools honor teacher and staff retirees

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The Duneland School Corporation honored retiring teachers and support staff this past Wednesday at a special reception celebration at the Administration Center.

Retiring Duneland teachers and support staff will have a combined total of 314 years of service at the end of this school year. The following retirees honored were: Maria Bachuchin, Kindergarten teacher at Bailly Elementary; Kim Cassler, registrar at Chesterton Middle School (CMS); Estelle Chaddock, social studies teacher at CMS; Marcia Cwiakala, second grade teacher at Jackson Elementary; Cindy Cohn, Title 1 Aide at Bailly Elementary School; Alice Estill, fourth grade teacher at Jackson Elem.; Carolyn Harden, second grade teacher at Brummitt Elem.; Gloria Horn, second grade teacher at Jackson Elem.; Kathy Miller, nurse at Brummitt Elem.; David Owen, industrial technology teacher at CHS; Kirsten Renehan, art teacher at CHS; Judy Stewart and Donna Whitenack, both teachers of Family and Consumer Science at CHS and Karla Wilson, media specialist at CHS and DSC director of Media Services.

Maria Bachuchin received her undergraduate degree from Slippery Rock State College and her graduate degree from Purdue University. During her 38 plus years at Duneland she has taught in all five elementary schools in grade Kdg., 1st and 3rd. Most of her career has been spent teaching Kindergarten. In addition, she was the CHS Gymnastics coach for 25 years, leading her team to three state championships and as runner up three times. During that time she received Indiana’s Coach of the Year four times. She retires with 38 years.

Kim Cassler began working for Duneland School Corporation in 1996 as an assistant processor/processor in the Corporation’s Instructional Materials Center. In 2000, she moved to Westchester Middle School to work as the Registrar in their Student Services Dept. In 2001, she transitioned to the new Chesterton Middle School and has worked there until present. Kim plans to work part time at the Westchester Public Library and do some traveling. She retires with 20 years.

Estelle Chaddock graduated from IU and Calumet College of St. Joseph. She received her graduate degree from Valparaiso University and earned her administrative license through Indiana State University. She was the Dean of Students at CHS, the Duneland Alternative School director and spent her last six years as a CMS Social Studies teacher. In addition, she hosted the WDSO radio show, “Just Ask.” She retired with 14 years.

Marcia Cwiakala earned her graduate and undergraduate degrees from Indiana University. Before coming to Duneland, she taught at St. John Bosco and at the Portage Schools. Marcee taught at Bailly and Liberty Middle School before moving to Jackson Elementary. During her 36 years at Duneland she has taught grades 2-4 and 7-9 as well as English and math.

Cindy Cohn received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and her graduate degree from Ball State University. She taught for 10 years, two at Washington Twp. School and eight at East Allen County Schools in Fort Wayne, IN. After raising her family, Cindy had the opportunity to return to education as a substitute teacher and later as Title 1 aide and an instructional aide at Brummitt Elem. and for the last 11 years she has been a Title 1 Aide at Bailly Elementary. She plans to spend more time with her family and grandchild and to travel. She retires with 16 years.

Alice Estill received her undergraduate degree from Purdue North Central and her graduate degree from Indiana Wesleyan. She began at Duneland in 1996 as a long-term sub. In 1997, she was hired as a teacher. She taught fifth grade at Liberty Intermediate for two years and has taught grades 1-5 at Jackson Elementary. She retires with 20 years.

Carolyn Harden received her undergraduate degree from Valparaiso University and her graduate degree from Purdue University. Upon graduation, Carolyn taught one year in Mississippi before coming to Duneland. Carolyn taught for several years at Yost Elementary before moving to Brummitt Elementary. She has primarily taught in the first and second grades.

Gloria Horn received both her undergraduate and graduate degree from Purdue University. She began her teaching career in 1990 at Jackson Elementary. She has taught first, second and fourth grades at Jackson. Gloria was also the Corporation’s Gifted and Talented coordinator for four years. She retires with 16 years.

Kathy Miller has been a nurse for 36 years. Her interest in the nursing profession began as a CHS high school student in the vocational program as a nursing assistant at St. Anthony’s Hospital. She went on to earn her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Purdue University Lafayette. She was a nurse at St. Anthony’s for 10 years and at Cardiovascular Associates for eight years. After raising her family of four, Kathy began working at the Duneland Schools part-time and in 2002 she took on a full time nursing position at Brummitt Elementary. Kathy will retire with 14 years at the Duneland Schools.

David Owen received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and his graduate degree from Indiana University. He taught industrial technology at Highland High School for 15 years. He left teaching for 11 years to work for CADD Midwest in Chicago before opening CADD Management, an autodesk/autoCADD dealership in Merrillville. In 1997, he returned to teaching Industrial Technology at Chesterton High School. He retires with 19 years.

Kirsten Renehan received her undergraduate degree from Luther College in Iowa and her graduate degree in drawing from Northern Illinois. Kristen taught ten years in Schaumburg, IL before coming to Duneland in 1994. She has taught art at CHS for the last 22 years. Kristen has taught all art subjects, but her major concentration has been in the International Baccalaureate Visual Arts, Drawings and Visual Communications. She retires with 22 years.

Judy Stewart received her undergraduate degree in vocational economics from Purdue University in 1975. She went on to receive her graduate degree from IUN. In 1976, Judy began teaching home economics at Liberty Middle School where she taught for 24 years. In 2001, she joined the Family and Consumer Sciences Department at Chesterton High School teaching regular and advanced nutrition and wellness courses. She completes her Duneland Schools career in teaching with 40 years.

Donna Whitenack received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University. She began her career at Duneland Schools in 1973 at Chesterton High School teaching home economics, now referred to as Family and Consumer Sciences. In addition to her teaching, Donna was the department head for 15 years, the director of costumes and make-up for all CHS plays and musicals for 28 years, and the coordinator of the CHS Prom for 26 years. She retires with 43 years.

Karla Wilson received her undergraduate degree from Oakland City University. She went on to receive her graduate degree from Ball State. Prior to coming to Duneland, Karla worked for the North Newton School Corporation in Morocco, IN for six years. She then traveled to Germany with the Dept. of Defense Schools for eight years. She returned to the US and taught at the LaPorte Community Schools for seven years before coming to Duneland as a media specialist at Chesterton High School. In 2010, she became the DSC Director of Media Services in addition to her duties at CHS. She retires with 16 years.


Posted 5/20/2016




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