Chesterton Tribune



Duneland Schools Superintendent Pruis announces retirement

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Duneland Superintendent of Schools David Pruis will retire after June 30 this year.

Pruis read aloud a letter addressed to the school board at the end of its meeting Thursday saying he will end his 13-and-a-half-year career at Duneland and is looking forward to spending time with his grandchildren.

“During my tenure here, I have truly enjoyed working with the board, our administrative team, our professional faculty and staff and patrons of our school community on behalf of our students,” Pruis said.

The “genuine interest and support” of the educators at Duneland have been “very commendable,” he said, thanking his colleagues. “I’ve been blessed and so appreciative of the fact that I have been able to participate in many of those endeavors.”

Pruis praised others in the Duneland community for all the school’s success, becoming emotional at times reading his letter, and offered his best wishes to the “wonderful and talented students, dedicated staff and administrators, the school board and the community in addressing the day-to-day challenges in public education.”

A superintendent of Hamilton Community Schools for four years and Union-North United School Corporation for seven years before that, Pruis came to Duneland in 2003 as assistant superintendent of operations and human relations under School Superintendent Dirk Baer.

When Baer retired in 2013, the school board promoted Pruis to take his place starting that July.

Pruis said he makes his departure “with mixed emotions.”

“It’s January, not June. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’re going to have some fun, and there will be some not so fun times, but the strength of this corporation is all about people. And we’ve got some of the best there is, anywhere,” he said.

Board President Kristin Kroeger thanked Pruis for “exemplary leadership.”

“We have done some very difficult, new things under your tenure,” Kroeger said. She said Pruis has passionately worked to the benefit of the Duneland Teachers Association and the students.

Board member Mike Trout said Pruis has served the schools well in all his roles. “He’ll be hard to replace,” he said.

Board member John Marshall said Pruis has always demonstrated quiet leadership and confidence and he’s instilled that in others.

“If you truly know (Pruis), you know he’s all about the kids and about public education. I appreciate everything he’s done for the school system.”

Board member Ron Stone said Pruis has continually stood up for the best interest of the students and the teachers.

As a longtime Chesterton resident, Board member Brandon Kroft said he’s known a lot of superintendents in the district and is pleased to have worked with Pruis.

Kroeger, Marshall to lead board

Thursday’s meeting served as the school board’s annual reorganization. On the motion of Stone Kroeger was elected board president, Marshall vice-president and Kroft secretary.

Board members will be compensated at $2,000 per year plus a per diem rate of $112 each regular board meeting and $62 for special meetings. Those are the same rates as past years. Board members are also offered the schools’ health plan.

Marshall will again be the board’s legislative liaison and delegate for the Indiana School Board Association.

Duneland Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz will remain the corporation treasurer and Business Administrator Mary Jo Brust will remain vice-treasurer. Both positions are bonded for $100,000.

The corporation will keep Dr. Alex Molina of the Franciscan Physician Network as its physician. Harris, Welsh and Lukmann will serve as the corporation’s legal counsel for the 48th year in a row.

Interest rises

Meanwhile, school board members learned Thursday that interest rates are improving for the corporation’s investments.

The board recessed its regular meeting to convene as the Duneland Schools Board of Finance.

Kwilasz presented a list of the bank investments from 2016, with a total of $179,574 in earned interest, a considerable leap from the previous year’s figure of $38,420, and about $14,000 the year before that.

Part of the reason for the improvement was the corporation was given freedom this year to actively invest its funds, seeking bidders from throughout the area. Accounts with Chase Bank were closed and Duneland began interest checking with Centier Bank. Centier accounts brought in $58,009 and Lake City Bank accounts accumulated over $100,000 with matured certificate of deposit accounts.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen six figures,” commented Pruis.

Superintendent comments

In his comments portion of the meeting, Pruis invited the public to attend the CHS Show Choirs’ Winter Showcase this Saturday at 7 p.m. in the CHS auditorium. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, $8 for children 10 under and can be purchased at

The CHS Boys Basketball program will hold an all-you-can-eat spaghetti fundraiser on Friday, January 20, starting at 4:30 p.m. at CHS. Tickets are $5.

The CHS guidance department will hold a junior student parent night on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m., in the cafeteria to help students focus on senior year and beyond.

The CHS Music Department will host a big band bash featuring music and dancing of the 1930s and 1940s at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, and Saturday, Feb. 4, in the commons area of the high school. Tickets are $12 or $10 each if four or more purchased.

Pruis also commended the CHS Boys and Girls Basketball teams, the CHS Boys and Girls Swim and Dive teams, and the CHS Boys Wrestling team on recent victories.



Posted 1/13/2017




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