MENTONE — The Tippecanoe Valley School Board spent most of the first meeting of the school year held tonight Aug. 19, discussing the upcoming softball field project and the latest class of distinguished alumni.
The board approved for Barton Coe Vilamaa Architects & Engineers, Fort Wayne, to advertise bids for the upcoming softball project at Tippecanoe Valley High School. A representative of the firm was present at the meeting to give a brief description of the project.
One of the main features of the upgrade are the two public restrooms added to a concession stand building. These restrooms are the only ones in this area of the school campus, meaning they will serve more than just softball fans. In addition to the restrooms and concession area, the building will also contain a storage area and press box.
The current softball dugouts will remain, but the whole field will be re-graded. The project also includes new fencing, a new concrete pad for the bleacher area and a new netting system behind home plate for increased visibility.
The project budget is estimated at around $700,000 and it was noted that the project would not increase the tax rate. The bids are due before the October school board meeting, with construction estimated to begin in late October. The actual fieldwork will begin after this schoolyear’s softball season is completed.
The board was introduced to The Tippecanoe Valley Distinguished Alumni Class of 2019. Those honored in this year’s class include:
- Terry and Sandra Tucker, Mentone High School class of 1959
- John Hart, Mentone High School class of 1974
- Ryan Williams, TVHS class of 1976
- Rick Shepherd, TVHS class of 1986
- Michael Jones, TVHS class of 1993
- Tim Fleck (deceased), TVHS class of 1982
- Marty Gearhart (deceased), TVHS class of 1982
Honorees will participate in induction day activities on Friday, Sept. 13. During the school day, the honorees will participate in a panel in front of students to share information about their lives and chosen careers. Later in the evening, The Valley Hometown Fund is holding a tailgate event before the football game, where the distinguished alumni class will be introduced at halftime.
During the meeting, the board was also introduced to and approved the hiring of new TVHS Assistant Principal Joel Grindle. Grindle is from Plymouth and has been a head basketball coach at Argos and North Montgomery schools.
“We’re excited to have you aboard — you look good in green!” commented Superintendent Blaine Conley.
In other news:
- The board recognized TVHS Ag Teacher Mike Jones for being awarded the FFA Honorary American Degree for outstanding contributions to FFA.
- The board recognized TVHS English Teacher Kris Walker for making the top 30 of the Indiana Department of Education’s 2020 Teacher of the Year nominations. Walker has made it to the next round of the process and his final ranking has yet to be announced.
- The board accepted a Fulton County REMC Roundup Grant of $500 for the Akron Elementary physical education department.
- The board approved the hiring of Robin Heckman, math teacher at TVMS; Kara Robinson, instructional assistant at Akron Elementary; Brittany Meier, instructional assistant at Akron Elementary; Brittany Julian, instructional assistant at Akron Elementary; Rebecca Murphy, instructional assistant at Mentone Elementary; Kara Smith, instructional assistant/library assistant at Mentone Elementary; Dustin Williams, instructional assistant at TVMS; Hillary Rodewald, instructional assistant at Burket Educational Center; Courtney Eaton, bus driver; Emiley White, instructional assistant at Mentone Elementary; Vera Whitted, custodian at Mentone Elementary; Alec Whitted, custodian at Mentone Elementary; Krista Neace, instructional assistant at Mentone Elementary; Kayla Scott, instructional assistant at Mentone Elementary; Kevin Power, custodian at TVHS; Catelyn Lee, custodian at TVHS; Arthur Carver, custodian at TVHS; Sarah Cabrera, custodian at TVHS; and Julie Anderson, custodian at TVHS.
- The board approved Brittany Watson as the varsity girls’ softball coach at TVHS.
- The board accepted the resignation of Jake Everett, TVHS assistant principal; Cory Cooper, TVMS assistant principal; Joshua Faris, instructional assistant at TVMS; Kasee Brady, instructional assistant at TVHS; and Jason Rice, assistant football coach at TVHS.
- The next regular school board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, at Mentone Elementary.