A bittersweet moment came at the end of Monday’s Duneland School Board,
marking a combined 26 years of service between At-Large member Janice Custer
and Jackson Twp. representative Nick Jurasevich who are leaving their posts
at the end of this year.
Custer first joined the board in 1996, a few years after having retired from
23 years of teaching at Chesterton High School. She said her leadership on
the Duneland Teacher’s Association sparked her interest school board
Board Vice-President Mike Trout presented Custer with a plaque for her 16
years of service and another for her years as president of the board,
including the current year.
Reflecting on her tenure, Custer said with a laugh, “I’ve enjoyed it … for
the most part.”
For his ten years on the board, Jurasevich was quick to say, “I’ve enjoyed
every moment of it.” He said he has reminisced about the many over-the-phone
conversations he has had and was a little bit surprised to realize that most
of them were with Duneland students.
“I want to say thank you to the kids because they’re the reason we’re here,”
Jurasevich, who works as a customer service manager for Reiter Automotive
and a permanent deacon at St. Patrick’s Parish in Chesterton, was presented
with a plaque from Trout thanking him for his service. He has been a board
Jurasevich lost a reelection bid this November to newcomer Kristin Kroeger.
Custer decided not to run for a new term. Her seat will be filled by John
Marshall, a former school board member.
Duneland Schools Superintendent Dirk Baer said he has gotten to know both
Custer and Jurasevich quite well referring to them as “good people of good
character caring about our kids” and have had their share of disagreements
and concurrences over the years.
“We’ve had our differences about some things, but never about what is best
for the kids,” Baer said.