By Leah Sander
AKRON — The Tippecanoe Valley School Board has accepted the resignation of one of its principals with reluctance.
The board accepted Akron Elementary School Principal Chrissy Mills’ resignation at its regular meeting on Monday, May 17, at Akron. The resignation is effective at the end of the current school year.
She’s resigning after 19 years in education within the corporation, including nine as Akron principal.
The resignation comes after she and her family decided to move to Georgia so that her husband, Shannon Mills, can pursue a job.
Mills reflected on her time at Akron following the meeting.
“This has been my dream job. You know growing up here, going to school here, just being part of that, knowing that I wanted to be a teacher and then come back and be an administrator,” she said.
“You know, God opened that path for me and it has been an amazing journey, with my staff going through the building project and seeing a brand-new building completed, it’s been a dream job for sure,” she continued.
She’s unsure of her exact job plans but hopes to stay in education whether in a school system or at a university.
The board also recognized Akron Reading Interventionist Debb Lee, who’s retiring.
Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. Superintendent Blaine Conley shared that Lee’s worked for 37 years in education, all within the corporation. She also taught kindergarten and first grade.
He also reflected on his time working with Lee at Akron and read a statement by her.
“I feel like I’ve chosen the best profession and look forward to seeing what the future holds for Akron Elementary and Tippecanoe Valley Schools,” it read in part. “I really enjoyed watching the little light bulbs come on, especially in kindergarten. The first time a child realized that they could actually read a word or a sentence was priceless. I love helping students learn and grow each year. There’s no bigger reward.”
The corporation had a reception for Lee before the meeting.
The board also heard an update on Akron from Mills and her staff.
They highlighted the school’s student council, which raised $7,490.46 for Riley Hospital for Children. They also spotlighted the school’s math and spelling teams.
Like all of the other Valley schools, Akron adjusted in light of COVID-19, in such ways as clubs meeting outdoors.
“We really tried to keep things as normal as we could this year within the elementary. I just really want to thank my staff. They did a wonderful job making this a great year for the kids,” said Mills. “We haven’t been able to do some of our traditions, but that’s OK because we’ve started some new traditions.”
In other business, the board:
- Approved hiring Tippecanoe Valley Middle School sixth grade science teacher Scott Sterk, sixth grade English teacher Emily Ackerman, seventh grade English teacher Kendra Housel and sixth grade special needs teacher John Paul Secrest and TVHS instructional assistant Maria Walsh and custodian Thomas Teel.
- Approved making Inga Omondi the TVSC director of curriculum, instruction and assessment.
- Accepted the retirement of TVSC bus driver Rebecca Chenoweth and the resignations of TVHS and TVMS choir teacher Mark Williamson, TVHS language arts teacher Shelly Engle and French teacher Genoveva Ramirez, TVMS nurse Kaela Virgil, custodian Abraham Smith and seventh-grade assistant basketball coach Kyle Ritchey and Mentone Elementary School cook Kayla Landis.
- Approved textbook fees for the 2021-22 school year. There’s no change from last year for elementary students, with the prices being: $122 for kindergarten; $125 for first grade; $126 for second grade; $135 for third grade; $125 for fourth grade; and $134 for fifth grade.
- Approved $200 from Pike Lumber Co. for a snow cone machine for an end-of-the-year celebration at Akron and $551 from DonorsChoose for engagement packs with such items as games and sensory items for TVMS special education teacher Cathy Olson’s students.
- Accepted a $1,000 Fulton County REMC Operation Roundup Grant to purchase the book “Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning” for TVHS staffers.
- Approved stipends for TVSC employees.
“Full-time teachers and administrators will receive a $1,250 stipend for extra duties performed during the pandemic,” said Conley. “Half-time teachers will receive the pro-rated amount. Classified staff members will receive stipends based on the number of days and hours of work in their positions.”
The board’s next regular meeting is 6 p.m. Monday, June 21, at Mentone.