By Leah Sander
MENTONE — The Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. has received a grant to help with early learning.
At its regular meeting on Monday, June 20, the Tippecanoe Valley School Board accepted a $2,000 Kosciusko Endowment Youth Services grant. It will help support the corporation’s existing Mentone Kindergarten Readiness Center as well as the new Valley Early Learning Academy.
The latter, which is opening for the upcoming school year, will help provide child care for TVSC employees.
The board also accepted the retirement of Akron Elementary School first grade teacher Rhonda Jewell.
TVSC Superintendent Blaine Conley read a statement Jewell had written reflecting on her career. She has spent all of her 48 years of teaching within TVSC.
“As I look back, the most rewarding times are when (I witnessed) a child grasp a concept for the very first time,” Jewell said in part in the statement. “It’s even more so rewarding when a child has really struggled to understand a concept.”
“I’ll miss the students the most and my daily interactions with them,” she also said in it. “First graders are extremely honest … and it is rather unpredictable what might come out of their mouths daily.”
“Reading to a group of students will always be something I’ll dearly miss,” she also said in it. “The amount of children’s books I’ve collected over the years have been such treasures for me to share each year to a new class full of students. I’ll greatly miss teaching life lessons through reading and making reading come alive for my students as I tried to do so for many years through the joy and imagination of books.”
Jewell wasn’t present at the meeting.
In other business, the board:
- Heard that both Akron and Mentone elementary schools have been recognized as Project Lead the Way Distinguished Schools for the past school year.
- Approved the hiring of Tippecanoe Valley High School language arts teachers McKinley Adams and Tindi Nuru; Tippecanoe Valley Middle School math teacher Eric Ocock, special needs teacher Hannah Gibbons and custodian Elijah Holder; Akron cook Lisa Whitaker and instructional assistant Sarah Green; Mentone cooks Sarah Kimble and Colton McCane and fifth grade teacher Ashley Keeney; and TVSC Dean of Students Joe Luce, summer maintenance worker Marcus Jansma and maintenance worker Robert Reed.
- Approved Hunter Ackerman as TVHS girls’ tennis coach, Brittany Mathias as TVHS head cheer coach, Jenna Burton as TVHS assistant cheer coach and Marc Green as TVHS varsity softball coach.
- Approved the maternity leave for Mentone second grade teacher Sarah Kreft.
- Accepted the resignation of TVHS English teacher, JV baseball coach and assistant Unified football coach Joseph Mushalla, softball coach Brittany Mathias, girls’ tennis coach Emily Ackerman, senior class sponsor and academic team coach Lisa Lynch, athletic director Aaron Butcher and business teacher and boys’ tennis coach Nick Kindig; TVMS instructional assistant Candy Shepard and sixth grade assistant basketball coach Kevin Deardorff; and TVSC bus drivers Lisa Engholm and Rhonda Hardy.
- Approved elementary school textbook prices for the 2022-23 school year. They are: $132 for kindergarten, a $10 increase from last year; $133 for first grade, an $8 increase from last year; $134 for second grade, an $8 increase from last year; $133 for third grade, a $2 decrease from last year; $132 for fourth grade, a $6 increase from last year; and $141 for fifth grade, a $7 increase from last year.
The board’s next regular meeting is 6 p.m. Monday, July 18, at Mentone.