The unexpected still does happen and at times comes in the form of a generous financial gift. If still in doubt, consult with Eric Speicher, Syracuse Elementary School principal.
During the regular monthly meeting of the Wawasee Community School Corp. Board of Trustees Tuesday evening, the board heard a report about a generous, and quite unexpected, financial gift that will allow for employment of an instructional coach to assist Syracuse Elementary teachers in learning and instructional techniques. The Laudeman family is donating $120,000 to be paid in two $60,000 installments this year and then in 2015.
Speicher said during the last school year he was approached by someone who said they knew of someone else wanting to help Syracuse Elementary. “They did not say how they would help or how much they could help,” he said, so he compiled a list of a few needs with the instructional coach being a top priority.
Then the unexpected happened in the form of the donation from the Laudeman family. “This literally came out of the blue and I’m really very excited about it,” Speicher said. Dina Coverstone, a teacher at Syracuse Elementary, will be the instructional coach with the understanding she will return to her classroom after the coaching is completed.
The financial gift will be known as the “June Laudeman Instructional Improvement Endowment.”
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Dr. Tom Edington, Wawasee superintendent, told the board Kosciusko County was one of 18 counties chosen to apply for grants for a pilot early learning program at the preschool level. A grant proposal was submitted. If approved, it would mean more students will be added to the various preschool programs already in the area. It is a program administered by the Family and Social Services Administration.
In other business, the board approved a change order affecting current summer construction projects. One is for $5,887 to add duct returns for the radio studio being renovated at Wawasee High School. And the second change order is for $3,192 to add additional valves and replace old valves as needed.
Other agenda items included (and approved by the school board as needed):
• North Webster Elementary PTO donated $7,500 for the new kindergarten playground at the school.
• Area resident Luke Kneckt donated $2,000 for the purchase of a 1960s wooden hull boat to then be donated to the marine trades program at WHS. Students in the program will repair and rehabilitate the boat and then it will be sold with the funds received divided between the marine trades program and the Wawasee Community Schools Foundation.
• The first student day for 2014-15 will be Aug. 12 with new teachers orientation beginning Aug. 4.