MENTONE — The Tippecanoe Valley School Board chose to honor the corporation’s teachers of the year during the meeting held tonight, July 20.
Tania Grimes, director of curriculum, explained that each year, the Indiana Department of Education conducts the Indiana Teacher of the Year program to recognize outstanding classroom teachers. For the 2019-2020 school year, every teacher was named a Teacher of the Year for excelling during a difficult time. But, the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation still chose to select building Teacher of the Year recipients, with one of them being named the corporation’s Teacher of the Year.
“Each Teacher of the Year was selected because they have the respect and admiration of their colleagues,” said Grimes. “The four teachers are experts in their fields who guide students of all backgrounds and achievement levels to achieve excellence. They collaborate with their colleagues, students and families to create a school culture of respect and success.”
Caroline Day, school counselor at Mentone Elementary was honored as the corporation’s overall Teacher of the Year.
“I am fortunate to be part of a tremendous staff. Mentone Elementary and Tippecanoe Valley School District teachers know their students on a personal level,” said Day in her portfolio submission. “They recognize tough days for those in their classroom. They lend help and a listening ear and know when to utilize additional resources. Sometimes this means crawling under a desk with a student that has retreated, calming a student whose fists are clenched on the playground or comforting a student who is distraught. It’s during these times that students see that we truly care.”
The other three Teacher of the Year recipients were Kyler Kearby of Tippecanoe Valley Middle School, Christopher Rassi of Akron Elementary and Beth Landis of Tippecanoe Valley High School.
The board also gave final approval for the corporation’s reopening plan. The only thing changed had to deal with the wording related to COVID-19 symptoms and positive test protocols. These two sections now come directly from the Indiana Department of Health’s provided template.
The next regular school board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17.
In other news, the board also:
- Honored retirees Julie Baxter and Deb Tillman.
- Approved the hiring of Aaron Letinksi, PE and strength and conditioning coach at TVHS; Sarah Warner, special education teacher at TVMS; and Jennifer Randall, third-grade teacher at Akron Elementary.
- Approved a change in personnel for Charitra Adams as kindergarten teacher at Akron Elementary.
- Approved the resignation of Hannah Durkes, fifth-grade volleyball coach at Mentone Elementary; Jeremy Bowers, assistant softball coach at TVHS; Nikki Rutherford, athletic director at Mentone Elementary; Katie Kauffman, PE and health teacher at TVMS; and David Lash, sixth-grade boys’ basketball coach at TVMS.
- Accepted the maternity leave of Holly Sausaman, preschool teacher at Mentone Elementary and Kayla Rassi, music teacher at Akron Elementary.
- Approved the summer school contracts for the elementary and middle schools.
- Approved facility-use contracts for Beaver Dam Preschool and Jack & Jill Preschool.
- Approved real estate leases with Kosciusko County Head Start/Cardinal Services.
- Approved revisions to the TVHS athletic handbook.
- Approved resolution COVID-19 Universal Board Authority.