SYRACUSE — Some Wawasee Middle School students recently completed a project involving life choices and sharing what they learned with elementary level students. During the regular monthly meeting of the Wawasee School Board Tuesday evening, Jan. 15, in Syracuse, a few of the WMS students talked about what they learned.
Five students of teacher Shelley Kunkle told the school board they did biography projects of famous people and learned about some of the positive choices those people made in order to succeed in life. Jackie Robinson, the first African-American Major League Baseball player, and Rudy Ruettiger, the football player at Notre Dame about whom a movie was made, were among the people chosen to study for biographies.
The WMS students visited fourth-graders at Syracuse Elementary and third-graders at North Webster Elementary to share the life lessons they learned through games and presentations. During the school board meeting, a humorous video was also shown.
In other business, in his report to the board Dr. Tom Edington, superintendent, noted school nurses meet monthly and also usually meet during snow days or eLearning days. Edington noted Albuterol, used to treat breathing problems, and Narcan, used for drug overdoses, are now available if needed.
He also gave a brief transportation report to the board and noted one bus driver is currently in training and a couple of routes are open and in need of drivers. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we may look at double routing as an option,” he said.
Edington also shared information from a study done on a few rural and urban school districts in northern Indiana. Since 2009, state funding for rural districts has declined per student even when a district has shown growth, but the urban districts have received more state funding.
The annual board reorganization was completed and Rebecca Linnemeier will remain as the board president and Rob Fisher will remain vice president with Don Bokhart the secretary. Tammy Hutchinson is the board recording secretary, James Flecker is the school corporation attorney and the board will meet at 5:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month with the exception of the third Tuesday in April.
Board members will receive a $2,000 stipend, $110 for regular meetings and $60 for special meetings with a cap of $6,000. Jim Evans, Joy Goshert, James Flecker, Dr. Edington and Don Ritter are all authorized to open sealed bids and receive quotes for school business.
Other agenda items included:
• Donations of $5,000 and $1,750 were approved by the board for steel to be used for the Pathways welding program.
• The school corporation is compliant with Indiana codes and building safety plan requirements as determined by the Indiana Department of Education.
• School corporation employees raised $2,749 for cystic fibrosis research during No Shave November.
• The board approved donations from Doug and Jeannine Schrock in the amounts of $1,500 for the Wawasee High School band, $1,500 for Wawasee athletics and $2,000 for the super mileage cars project at the high school.
• Dr. Edington was invited to and will attend a superintendents symposium in February dealing with how schools can make a stronger impact on local climate/culture.
• In an amount not specified, school corporation employees raised funds for the Steve Jones Scholarship for cancer research. Jones was a teacher for many years.
• The board approved an interlocal agreement to join the Food2School Cooperative for purchasing food.
• The board approved an anonymous cash donation of $550 at Syracuse Elementary to help offset negative lunch account balances.
• Approval was given by the board for a resolution to establish an account at Teachers Credit Union for the use of school corporation credit cards.
• Several out of state or overnight trips were approved by the board including, among others, high school art students going to the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Mich.
• Several Christmas projects to help those in need included, among others, building trades students supplying 36 families and 55 Wawasee students with gifts.