By Tim Ashley
SYRACUSE — Wawasee Community School Corporation recently announced the five applicants for the school board vacancy that will be created at the end of October due to Mary Lou Dixon’s departure. All five applicants live in Turkey Creek Township.
The applicants are Vicki Morton, Nancy Nelson, David Rosenberry, Rob Chalk and Andy Cripe.
A forum for the five applicants is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, in the lecture room at Wawasee Middle School.
Morton serves on the Wawasee Junior Achievement board of directors and has also served on the board for Cardinal Services in Warsaw. She also serves as a volunteer for CASA and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University. Morton spent more than 36 years in internal auditing and financial management roles in several companies.
“I have been in numerous classrooms in the Wawasee schools,” she said. “I have observed dedicated Wawasee teachers, administrators and counselors. Due to my involvement in CASA and BBBS, I have educated myself on childhood trauma by attending various webinars, seminars and reading books.
“Prior to the COVID shutdown, I had been asked to be a community member of the Wawasee schools childhood trauma taskforce.”
Morton has also taught numerous JA classes.
Nelson, a graduate of Ball State University, began working for the school corporation in December 1966 when it was still known as the Lakeland School Corporation. She worked for nine different superintendents before retiring after 46 years.
She was a classroom teacher, reading coordinator, media director, audio visual computer chairman and taught GED night classes for 28 years. Nelson still keeps score at Wawasee girls basketball and volleyball games and has worked at academic competitions and other school events.
She also helps with the school science curriculum trips to the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation.
“As you can tell, I might bleed green and gold,” Nelson said. “I am interested in working on the school board because of my pride in Wawasee. I have been a part of this corporation in many capacities, however I never knew the operation of the school board.
“I would like to complete my circle of knowledge.”
Rosenberry is a 1990 graduate of Wawasee High School. He served for many years in public safety and is currently employed by a Leader in Next Generation 911 services. He served with the Kosciusko County 911 Dispatch Center for 21 years and was the 911 director.
He also served 28 years with the Milford Fire Department.
“I have an eight-year-old son who is enrolled in the Wawasee school system,” he said. “I have a vested interest in seeing that the performance of our schools continues to grow and excel. I feel that together with my experience as a parent, a public safety professional and a volunteer, that I can join our current school board members and help Wawasee Community Schools be a great educational experience for all our children for years to come.”
Chalk graduated from Wawasee High School in 1995 and owns and operates Track & Trail Powersports in Columbia City with his wife, Jessica.
“My interest in applying for the vacant position is to create a stronger connection, increased communication and transparency between the school board, administration and the Wawasee community,” he said.
Cripe is a graduate of Northridge High School and has college degrees from Indiana University. He is the owner of QES/Beta-Con and Hammerhead Enterprises and executive vice president of Horizon Transport. Through the years he has managed six product managers and 11 production facilities.
He has coached youth football, basketball, baseball and soccer for many years, is a board member for Loveway and has also volunteered at Boomerang Backpack, with PTO and the Lakeland Youth Center. He received an Entrepreneur of the Year award from the chamber of commerce.
“I want to help tell our story and assist in any way possible to help us to improve on, what I believe to be, a great ‘product,’” he said. “I do have an ‘agenda’ and that is to do my part. My wife and I feel that we have a responsibility to actively serve our community. If we really want what is best for this place we call home, then I can think of no better way or place to serve than our schools.
“I am not a teacher or an administrator, that leaves positions like the school board as an avenue to give back and get involved. Simply put, I want to serve, help and offer any guidance that I can.”