Chesterton Tribune



Veteran teacher retirements announced at School Board meeting

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Duneland Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Human Resources Monte Moffett has begun tallying up the number of years of experience the school corporation will be losing at the end of this school year -- so far 168.5 years -- as six teachers have announced their retirements.

Moffett read the names at the start of Monday’s School Board meeting and a summary of each career.

The retiree with the longest career at Duneland is Music Director Tom Schnabel with 32 years. Schnabel started at Duneland in 1985 and spent two years prior teaching at Portage. He has been Duneland’s music director for the last seven years.

Retiring after 31 years is Jackson Elementary First Grade teacher Elaine Krause who has also spent years teaching at Liberty and Brummitt Elementary schools. Before coming to Duneland, she taught four years in Munster.

Chesterton Middle School teacher Amy Otto will retire after 21 years at Duneland, 16 of which were at CMS. Five were with Westchester Intermediate. Otto taught 9.5 years at other school districts.

CHS Business teacher Rebecca Gierke will retire after 20 years, having one additional year at Lake Station Schools. Gierke has been the high school’s international baccalaureate coordinator for the past nine years.

LES First Grade teacher Gayle Sandquist will retire with 16 years teaching at the school. She has six years’ experience teaching elsewhere.

CHS Business teacher Donna Wilk will retire after 10 years at the high school. Prior to CHS, Wilk worked seven years with Union Twp. Schools and nine years with Michigan City Area Schools.

“We certainly do appreciate all their efforts and their dedication to our students and they’ll be sadly missed,” Moffett said.

Board President Kristin Kroeger said 168.5 years of experience is a lot to let go of but wished all the retirees luck in the next stage of their lives.

“It’s always humbling to hear the number of years of experience that go with them. It’s really hard to replace that experience but we wish everybody well,” Kroeger said.

Personnel report

Also in this month’s personnel report of appointments and resignations, the corporation has hired Joanna Barnewell as a cafe/recess aide for LES. Also at LIS, Kerri Sulkowski will be on the SAT Committee.

At CHS, Poppy Carden will be the Special Education Department Chair. Jacob Leske will coach the Freshman Softball team.

At WIS, Megan Sexton and Nicolas Sufana will coach Boys Intramural Basketball. Diana Schmiegel will coach Girls Intramural Basketball.

Katilin Bruning will be an instructional aide at CMS. Kaylie Kirk will be a kitchen helper for Duneland Schools. Michelle Albright will be a grade 2 level coordinator for Brummitt Elementary.

Resignations include bus driver Susan Gilson Dyer, LIS SAT Committee member Nancy Hoffman, Brummitt Elementary grade 2 level coordinator Katie Curiel, CHS concession manager Sue Sutton, kitchen helper Denise Dudek, maintenance employee Richard Sexton and LIS cafŽ/recess aide Michelle Dietrich.

Technology boosts skills at Jackson

During the meeting, the board received thank you’s and a presentation from staff and fourth graders at Jackson Elementary for the purchase of Google Chromebooks.

Student Lilly Boyter gave the introduction, expressing appreciation for the Chromebooks. Marley Mayer explained the app Kidblog which students can use to communicate with teachers and other students. Ava Persin and Sidney Morris talked about and demonstrated the Keyboarding Without Tears program that teaches students how to type with the Chromebooks’ keyboards.

Next, Rian Goins made an ecosystem presentation created with Google Slides. Garett Koch and Cassie Lange explained Google Sheets’ ability to organize data and how it can be used for science fairs. Karlie Nelson showed how students use Google Docs and tape interviews.

Introducing the students were teachers Brian Norris and Stacy Vesling.

Norris said Chromebooks were purchased for all Duneland 3rd and 4th Grade students.

SCUBA trip

For the 15th consecutive year, Duneland will offer Chesterton High School students the chance to experience a SCUBA program at the MarineLab in Key Largo, Fla.

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Jim Goetz said that the course will be offered during the school’s summer session. Students, teachers and chaperones will leave CHS on Tuesday, June 20 and will return on Saturday, June 24.

Students on the trip will earn a life science credit and their diving certificate while having the opportunity to see the Florida Keys’ reef system and other wildlife. There will also be time for exploring other parts of the island.

Leading the trip this year will be science teacher Dan Paff and art teacher Adam Schultz. The course can take a maximum of 18 students.

Goetz said the fees for students will be about $1,900, which will cover airfare, transportation, meals, hotel accommodations and the scuba gear rental.

Schools Superintendent Pruis said the SCUBA trip is usually approved at the same time as the Trail Bound trip, which will be to the north woods of Michigan this year, but the Trail Bound trip needed advance approval and the board already voted on it in the fall.

Sports teams win praise

Duneland athletes have a hot streak going after taking several wins in sectional championships.

Pruis lauded the CHS Girls Swimming and Diving team for breaking seven records as it won its 18th consecutive IHSSA sectional title. The state championship will be held this weekend in Indianapolis.

The Boys Swimming and Diving team finished its season undefeated winning a 21st conference championship.

CHS Wrestling team finished runner-up in the regional this past weekend.

Garnering a round of applause, Pruis said CHS Gymnastics team defeated rival Valparaiso at CHS fieldhouse on Tuesday. The gymnastics team is currently ranked first in the state.

“Our student athletes are having a great year,” Pruis said.

Also mentioned was the WIS 5th Grade Science Bowl team placing seventh in the state.

CHS Natural Helpers will host their annual coffeehouse fundraiser on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the CHS cafeteria with student talent. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $5.

CHS Family Theater will present “Subpar Heroes,” written by 2009 alum Tom O’Neill and directed by Anne Sharp, on the weekend of Feb. 24-26 in the CHS auditorium. Tickets will be on sale soon.



Posted 2/7/2017




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