Chesterton Tribune



School Board hears of help for at-risk students, changes to student council

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At its meeting Monday, the Duneland School Board heard that the four CHS assistant principals are finding ways to help students be better prepared for life after high school and of the Student Council’s reorganization to unify student groups.

Assistant Principal Brent Martinson said the school has taken the 30 most at risk freshmen and introduced them to the Porter County Career and Technical Center where they were eager to learn of different vocations.

“If they have hope, the can succeed in what they do,” Martinson said. “Every child that goes to Duneland Schools has the chance to succeed.”

Judy Malasto told of how Guidance Supervisor Karen Moffett has made the college application process more fun for students. One activity involved identifying different schools’ fight songs and those who correctly answered would get free items from that school, she said.

Rob Blumenthal showed the board new pamphlets for incoming and prospective students at CHS. He said that the school will post 24 new interior signs to help new students and families navigate the halls more easily. He said the school will also be ordering 3,000 bumper stickers or window decals for vehicles.

“You’ll see Chesterton High School all over the region,” Blumenthal said.

Josh Huwig said that the school is conducting a survey with its 127 teachers on what can be done to better the “climate” at CHS.

Student Council

Meanwhile, CHS senior Vanessa Quiroga explained that the Student Council has formed a new executive board to better strategize student organization’s efforts. She is the Council’s vice-president of student affairs.

The Council had noticed that the student clubs were isolated and stepped up its outreach and coordinated community service efforts. In the past two years, the school has raised and donated $9,132 for different causes.

“This is to show it was all for the good. There was a positive change,” Quiroga said.

CHS Summer Trips

This year’s Trail Bound will send a few CHS students on a 12-hour road trip to Cloudland Canyon in Georgia then to Red Top Mountain State Park and then to Savannah, following the route General William T. Sherman took in his “March to the Sea” during the American Civil War.

The students will be traveling from June 12 to June 19 with CHS History teacher Bob DeRuntz. Stops include Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield and Stone Mountain.

Cost for the trip is $700 per student and applications were due Oct. 30.

The board approved the 17th annual Trail Bound trip along with the CHS Marine Biology Program’s trip to Key Largo to earn their lifetime SCUBA diving certificate from July 6 to July 11.

Costs for the “Marine Lab” trip range from $1,950 to $2,050 and applications were due Oct. 30.


Meanwhile, in his comments to the board, Duneland Superintendent of Schools Pruis congratulated the CHS Trojan Guard on its Indiana State School Music Association championship win on Saturday, Oct. 24, in Indianapolis. The Guard will perform this Saturday at the Lucas Oil Stadium as part of the Open Class state finals and will receive its award.

Pruis gave another pat on the back to CHS assistant principal Martinson for being the Indiana Association of School Principals’ selection for District 1 which includes Jasper, Lake, Newton and Porter counties. Martinson worked as principal to Hobart High School before coming to work at Duneland this summer.

Pruis added that students from Valparaiso University contacted him and Director of Services Greg Lindy on weather alerts this winter.

Lastly, Pruis encouraged the community to attend Duneland’s Veterans Day program which will be at 1:30 p.m. in the CMS gymnasium.

“If you haven’t seen it, you need to. CMS I think has the largest production of anywhere in the region,” he said.

Board President Ralph Ayres chimed in expressing his excitement to hear the CHS Girls Bowling team set a new national record at Indiana High School Lakeshore Conference Match last week with a combined score of 2,168.

South Shore deadline extended

Lastly, Ayres said he is grateful that the U.S. Congress has signed on to extending the deadline for commuter and freight rail lines to implement safety controls from the end of this year until December 2018. Otherwise the lines would have gone offline on Jan. 1 which would have been a major dilemma for the large number of Duneland parents who use the South Shore line to travel to work.

“It’s a big relief I’m sure,” Ayres said.

Personnel report

The school board approved the consent agenda containing the latest Duneland staff and coaching appointments.

Jessica Reagor will be the A.P. secretary at CHS. Judith Whelan has been hired as secretary for Westchester Intermediate and David Nawotka will be a computer technician for Duneland. Amanda Jarosak will be a Title 1 aide for Yost Elementary.

Duneland’s new route coordinator is Shelley Beare. Two new bus drivers will join Duneland’s fleet -- Amanda Poland and Daniel Dolph.



Posted 11/3/2015




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