SOUTH WHITLEY — Whitko School Board recognized the corporation’s transportation department and discussed student projects during its meeting Monday, April 15.
Jim Bumbaugh, a bus driver for Whitko School Corporation, attended the meeting with approximately 12 bus drivers and discussed recent changes the transportation department has made with bus routes.
Bumbaugh told the board that after the Fulton County school bus accident in October 2018, all of the department’s bus drivers immediately re-wrote their routes to ensure that all stops were door-side so that students did not have to cross any roads.
“I wanted our bus drivers to come out to the meeting tonight and be recognized,” said Bumbaugh. “They re-wrote their routes all on their own and I just can’t speak highly enough of them.”
The transportation department also discussed Traversa, a student transportation software that the department is currently looking into. The software provides accurate data for bus stop times and would allow for text alerts to be sent to parents when buses are going to arrive late.
“Also, we really, really need bus drivers,” said Bumbaugh. “Like everyone else, we need drivers. If you know anyone who’s looking to help out, send them our way.”
The board also watched Project Lead The Way stop-motion animation projects by sixth graders at South Whitley Elementary School. Group projects included the rivalry between Ares and Poseidon, two figures in Greek mythology; and Phoenix, a bird in Greek mythology that can regenerate itself after death.
“I watched firsthand all the work that went into these projects, and it was incredible to see all their hard work come together like this,” said Whitko School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Brandon Penrod.
South Whitley Elementary School’s tech team also gave a special presentation at the board meeting. Students who are a part of the group help assist students and teachers by creating how-to videos and posters on how to care for one-to-one devices and how to complete software updates.
Todd Geiger, Whitley County 4-H extension educator, was also at the board’s meeting to discuss the 4-H STEM Connection program. The program is a hands-on experience for youth to learn about STEM topics such as food science, engineering and computer programming.
“A lot of our projects, even outside of STEM, have real-world value,” said Geiger. “It’s very hands-on and is also not limited to just Whitley County. We have a student from California who we send materials to and every summer, they come out to the fair and compete.”
South Whitley Elementary School Principal Bryan Emmert also reminded the public that the school will hold its kindergarten round-up event at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17.
The following students were recognized at the meeting as students of the month at their schools in the Whitko School Corporation:
- Breeanna Bentley, Pierceton Elementary School
- Brayden and Landon Bowers, South Whitley Elementary School
- Wyatt Clark, Whitko Jr./Sr. High School
- Shoshana Keim, Whitko Jr./Sr. High School
In other business, the board:
- Approved the appointment of Cindy Kreger to the Pierceton Public Library Board for a four-year term beginning immediately.
- Approved the continuation of Randall Holler’s appointment to the South Whitley Community Public Library Board.
- Approved the retirements of Sheila Gillett, Whitko Jr./Sr. High School business teacher; and Robert McComb, Whitko Jr./Sr. High School science teacher.
The board’s next meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 20, at Pierceton Elementary School.