By Leah Sander
AKRON — Tippecanoe Valley High School has chosen four students as Rising Stars of Indiana.
At its regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 18, at the high school, the Tippecanoe Valley School Board heard who the honorees were from TVHS Principal Brandon Kresca. They are: Shane Wood, Cheney Canada, Sydney Petersen and Ava Rich.
Indiana high schools may choose up to four juniors for the recognition, which is based on academics and extracurricular activities.
Kresca also told the board what each student plans to do after finishing high school.
Wood plans to study computer engineering and is undecided on a college. Canada plans to study engineering or graphic design at Trine University. Petersen plans to take pre-med studies at Purdue University. Rich plans to study social services at Indiana University.
The board also heard the annual update on Burket Educational Center from teacher Micah Lukens and TVHS Assistant Principal Joel Grindle.
Grindle helps oversee the program.
They reported that 54 students studied there in the fall, and 44 are currently taking classes there this semester. Lukens noted the fall semester set a record for the number of credits students completed, with them achieving 266 credits.
Lukens also recognized two students for their accomplishments: Shanda Williams and Jesse Slone. Both were present at the meeting.
Williams came to Burket during her sophomore year. She struggled, but started to focus more on her studies at the start of the fall 2020 semester. She completed her remaining 14 credits needed to graduate and got her Core 40 diploma.
Slone also struggled before coming to Burket, but now is a leader at the school, said Lukens. He is balancing his normal studies with taking welding classes.
The board also approved hiring TVHS custodians Hannah Eastwood, Breanna Krueger and Michael Inglehearn, Tippecanoe Valley Middle School special needs teacher Keaton Bell and Mentone Elementary School computer lab tech Krista Neace and instructional assistant Jordan Shepler.
They approved Alex Rockhill as Mentone fifth grade girls basketball coach and accepted the resignations of TVSC Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Tania Grimes and bus driver Robert Reid, TVHS custodians Robert Mace, Devin Howard and Jaime Frantom and TVMS special education teacher Sarah Warner.
In other business, the board:
- Accepted $2,000 from Good Oil Co. for school security needs; $2,000 from the Early Learning Coalition of Kosciusko County for three laptops for Mentone’s kindergarten readiness teachers; $2,500 from Splendor Boats and $5,000 from Instrumental Machine and Development Inc., both for the Viking Vittles food program for TVMS students in need; and $100 from St. Joseph Catholic Church of Rochester for the Boomerang Backpacks food program for TVHS students in need.
- Heard a report on high school activities from student representatives Mackenzie Costello and Jaeda Carpenter. Among them: Student council is planning a fundraiser week for Riley Hospital for Children and its last blood drive is in March.
- Heard about a social-emotional learning training day the corporation had for staff on Jan. 4 from Valley Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Grant Writing Lori Tilden-Geiger, Professional Learning Specialist Inga Omondi and Director of Special Services Meagan Wilks.
Valley received a grant from the Indiana Youth Institute for the training in which staff learned strategies to help students with emotional health as well as their own.
The board’s next regular meeting is 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at TVMS.