By Caleigh Byrer
SYRACUSE — The future of Milford Middle School was among the many discussion points at the Wawasee Community School Board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Dr. Steve Troyer expressed that the board is still in the data collection phase of the decision-making process; they are taking statistical information, community input and contents of media coverage into consideration.
There will be a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Milford School Gymnasium in which the collected information will be presented and the community will have a chance to address the board. Troyer plans to have created an official recommendation by November or December.
The pre-bargaining hearing led by Troyer and the 2023 budget hearing led by Dr. Brandon Penrod commenced prior to the start of the regular meeting. The fund allocation in the budgeting plan for the upcoming year was presented and discussed in depth at the budget hearing.
The goal is to keep funds dispersed relatively the same as they are as stated in the 2022 budget, but he reiterated that the advertised levy amount is not expected to be fulfilled; the advertised rate stands high as it can only be dropped below that designation, never raised.
It is anticipated that the levy rate will stand at $0.5461.
The total tax rate in 2022 was $0.5399, which was commended multiple times throughout the meeting. The school has one of the lowest tax rates in the area and the board assures that they intend to keep it that way, with the budget adoption set for Oct. 11.
The matter of issuing bonds for projects was touched on by Troyer. Further discussion on 2023 projects of maintenance type items will take place at the October meeting. Troyer stated they are “managing the tax rate to allow the project to continue without placing unreasonable expectations on taxpayers.”
There is now a safety tip line that is run through the Securly security system, serving to protect and monitor students while online. The system notifies the school administration, district and building staff immediately if there is cause for concern. Troyer stated that more often than not, they are notified for things that are not truly concerning, so he has full faith they will always be notified of any truly pressing issues.
This system accepts reports at securly.com/tip. For more information, visit wawaseeschools.org.
The Wawasee High School band received a donation from the Knights of Columbus, the academic hall of fame received a donation from the Lakeland F.O.E., the pathways auto program received a donation from Hollie’s Salvage and Wawasee Middle School received a donation from Douglas and Carolyn Anderson.
During other business the board approved:
Recommendations of employment, transfers and resignations for support services and staff personnel.
Employment — Dalton Robinson, specialized preschool assistant; Davanna Shmucker, special needs paraprofessional; Beth Stolzfus-Ball, WELC lead teacher; Joel Wallenbeck, route bus driver; Douglas Wolferman, route bus driver; Celine Impey-Delagrange, CNA instructor in the pathways department; Adam Moyer, choir teacher; Diane Miller, art teacher; Kayla White, language arts/social studies teacher; and Holly Wilkinson, special education-extended school year.
Transfers — Vicki Hartman, from cafeteria worker to custodian; Tiffany Weisser, hour increase as cafeteria worker; Jason Werstler, hour increase as custodian; Traci Henn, from special education teacher to special education coordinator; Taylor Jacobs, from sixth grade language arts teacher to seventh grade; and April Jones, from aquatics paraprofessional to math/social studies teacher.
Resignations — Ruby Bontrager, cafeteria worker; Dawn Fisher, early learning center teacher; Jennifer Foy, elementary paraprofessional; John Monik, bus driver; Sarah Nordin, elementary paraprofessional; Christine Winters, elementary secretary; and Chelsea Emerick, elementary teacher.
Janice Rose was appointed to the Syracuse-Turkey Creek Township Public Library Board of Trustees.
Overnight trips — The Wawasee FFA Horticulture Team, Oct. 7-12, Career Development Event, Towson, Md.; FFA National Convention, Oct. 27-28, Indianapolis; girls and boys soccer, Oct. 28-29, state finals, Indianapolis; girls golf, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, state finals, Carmel;volleyball team, Nov. 4-5, state finals, Muncie; football team, Nov. 25-26, state finals, Indianapolis; cross county, Oct. 28-29, state finals, Terre Haute; unified flag football, Oct. 14-15, state finals, Westfield; boys’ tennis, Oct. 14-15 and 21-22, state finals (teams, singles/doubles), Carmel.
Dr. Shelly Wilfong presented a recap of daylong work sessions with elementary grade level staff covering a variety of topics.