By Leah Sander
MENTONE — Four Tippecanoe Valley High School students have been named Rising Stars of Indiana.
At its meeting on Monday, Dec. 20, at Mentone Elementary School, the Tippecanoe Valley School Board heard an update on the topic from TVHS Principal Brandon Kresca.
The students, all juniors, are Lily Ault, Abigail Bowers, Kaydence Mellott and Makena Smith.
“Each Indiana high school is invited to recognize up to four students currently in the 11th grade based on their academic achievement,” said Kresca.
“This Class of 2023 is surely promised success and the students are listed on the official website there,” he continued. “I’d like to say that Tippecanoe Valley High School is proud of the work that these fine students have done to receive the high honor of being named as the IASP (Indiana Association of School Principals) Rising Stars Class of 2023. All students are at the top of their class, exemplary role models involved in numerous extracurricular organizations, participate in community service and are student leaders at TVHS.”
The four girls also shared their future plans. They are considering entering into business, computer science, orthodontics and health care.
The board also approved administrative salaries for the school year.
Those are: Kresca, $90,150; TVHS Assistant Principal Dayna Kolanowski, $74,500; Tippecanoe Valley Middle School Principal Scott Backus, $86,957; TVMS Assistant Principal Phelix Omondi, $74,700; Akron Elementary School Principal Scott Sterk, $76,500; Mentone Elementary School Principal Randy Dahms, $86,460; Athletic Director Aaron Butcher, $72,500; Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. Director of Special Services Meagan Wilks, $80,700; and TVSC Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Inga Omondi, $69,080.
The board also heard from Kresca that the Valley FFA forestry team placed first in the state contest recently at Purdue University. It was the second year in a row for that achievement. The team is coached by FFA Advisor Mike Jones. Team members are Isaac Shafer, Dawson Ault, Lucas Parsons and Jesse Scott.
The board also approved the hiring of TVMS family and consumer science teacher Elizabeth Brenton and instructional assistants Leann Carr and Marianne Kromkowski, TVHS custodian Robin Smith and Akron custodian Scott Kruger.
They approved Candy Shepard as TVMS yearbook sponsor, Ryan Adams for the Akron math team and Lisa Andrews as TVHS dive coach.
The board accepted the resignation of Akron cook Mercedes Contreras and math team coach Jonathan O’Cock, TVMS family and consumer science teacher Erin Miller and Mentone instructional assistant Kayla Woodcox.
The board approved terminating Mentone instructional assistant Ivy Swick and the maternity leaves for Mentone kindergarten teacher Valerie Lukens and Little Vikings Preschool teacher Jeanna Lidecker.
In other business, the board:
- Approved reappointing Ryan McFarland to the Akron Carnegie Public Library Board.
- Approved a $500 MAC grant from McDonald’s to be used to establish a reality store at TVHS. Students will learn about budgeting and careers through the activity.
- Accepted a donation of winter coats from Dan Robinson and his wife for kids in need at Mentone.
- Accepted a $600 donation from the Builders Association of North Central Indiana to buy coats for kids in need at Mentone.
- Accepted funds from Mill Creek Church in Rochester for new books for every student at Akron and Mentone schools to keep.
- Accepted $500 from late Burket High School graduate Pat Powell for each Valley schools’ student services funds for student needs.
- Accepted a $1,561 donation from the Fulton County Community Foundation’s Grass Creek Memorial Fund for items for Akron’s Minds-In-Motion program for special education students.
- Accepted $282 from DonorsChoose for sensory materials for TVMS special education teacher Cathy Olson’s students.
- Accepted $322.30 from Mentone Grain and Feed LLC for the Valley Farm to Fork agriculture program.
- Heard a report on student activities at the high school from senior representative Jaeda Carpenter and junior representative Bowers. Student council recently helped with the Miracle Tree program, which provides gifts for those in need in the Valley community.
The board is to have its reorganizational meeting for 2022 at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, at TVHS.