SYRACUSE — Nearly 300 students are enrolled in a Pathways Cooperative class, it was reported during the regular monthly meeting of the Wawasee School Board Tuesday evening, Feb. 11, in Syracuse. Vince Beasley, first year director of Pathways, based at Wawasee High School, gave a brief report to the school board.
Pathways includes Wawasee, West Noble, Fairfield, Goshen and Columbia City high schools. Beasley noted 15 programs are offered presently, but that number changes from year to year. He said a goal is to have every student earn either dual credits or a certification, or both, from Ivy Tech.
A four-minute promotional video was shown to the school board. Welding, culinary arts, cosmetology, radio and TV, engineering and other programs are a part of the promotional video.
Beasley said there are studies showing students who take career and technical education classes have a higher graduation rate than those who don’t. Pathways courses are electives and students typically don’t apply unless they are interested, he said.
In response to a question from board member Mike Wilson, who asked if any new programs are on the horizon, Beasley said a criminal justice class is a possibility and a new advanced manufacturing class will be offered beginning in the 2020-21 school year at Polywood in Syracuse. Students will not only attend class, but will get an opportunity to be paid for their work.
Pathways classes are open to juniors and seniors.
In other business, Randy Carpenter will be filling in as principal at Wawasee Middle School temporarily. Carpenter is a retired educator and administrator. Susan Mishler, the previous principal, left to take a position with Wildman Business Group in Warsaw.
An opening has been posted for filling the position of Joy Goshert, assistant superintendent, who will retire in June. A permanent replacement for Mishler will likely be named within the next month.
Also on the agenda, Dr. Tom Edington, superintendent, noted in his report to the board an upgrade to the ventilation system for the Wawasee Middle School pool is in the finishing stages. Proper ventilation for the pool has been an ongoing problem.
Edington also noted funding is available now for the first time in about five years for Wawasee Community Schools Education Foundation teacher grants. A total of $25,000 is available due to the sale of the old Syracuse Elementary School.
And the process of replacing student and staff computers has started. Edington said the computers are nearing the end of their four-year cycle and will need to be replaced.
Other agenda items included:
• A total of $5,000 was raised during the Relay for Life fundraiser Jan. 31 at Wawasee High School and will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
• An exemplary behavior report was submitted to the Indiana High School Athletic Association by basketball referee Steve Kline for WHS cheerleader Nyla White.
• Milford Middle School science teacher Mary Brower was nominated for the Armstrong Educator Award.
• Competing for the first time, WHS placed third in the Jobs For America’s Graduates Career Development Conference.
• Edington and James Flecker, director of personnel and legal services for the school corporation, were among those completing the EPIC Superintendents Academy at Butler University. It is designed to “position superintendents for dynamic leadership.”
• WHS students built the frames and did the artwork for the paintings now hanging on the walls in the Warrior Room.
• Trauma training for local childcare personnel was held Jan. 23 and more than 30 attended. Another training session will be offered in March.
• WHS art teacher Brian Whirledge received a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and will visit several European countries in the summer to study art.
• Holly Tuttle of Women of Today presented the school corporation a $7,000 check to be divided as needed among schools.
• The 2020 school tax rate, which varies each year depending on the assessed valuation, is 55 cents.
• School corporation calendars for 2020-21 and 2021-22 were approved by the school board.
• The next session for school administrators and others to meet with area legislators will be March 3.
• Several student absences due to the flu caused WHS and WMS to each be closed for a day recently.