Wawasee Board Hears About Instructional Coach

<span style=”font-family: Verdana, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: small; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; line-height: normal;”>The Wawasee Community School Corp. Board of Trustees heard a report from Dina Coverstone Tuesday evening on Syracuse Elementary School’s instructional coaching program.
The position of instructional coach came about through a private donation. Coverstone had been teaching prior to taking on the new duties. She has been working alongside the other teachers at the school, keeping them abreast of state and federal standards, technology and even teaching classes with them. 
“It’s been a learning year for me,” she said. “I now have the full perspective of kindergarten through fifth grade.”
Syracuse Principal Eric Speicher said the teachers trust her. 
“I have to evaluate them, and she doesn’t,” he said. He told the board that IREAD-3 results for third-graders are above 90 percent, crediting her with contributing to the good scores.
Director of Curriculum Joy Goshert told the board that all schools were allowed by the state to take the ISTEP with paper and pencils, since the online testing did not go without problems. “It’s been quite an interesting month since we last met,” she said. Goshert said the results will not be available until fall. She also said that CTB/McGraw-Hill would not be the testers next year.
She also presented results on a survey on the school calendar taken by 589 respondents. These included students, parents, staff, business owners and district residents.
The theme was, “If we’re not doing a non-traditional calendar, people like what we’re doing.” However, she said results on whether or not the schools should use a non-traditional calendar showed that 57.22 percent are in favor, as opposed to 42.78 who would rather stay with a traditional calendar.
A few changes were made to high school policies. Principal Mike Schmidt said the policy handbook made a small change – a clearer definition of e-cigarettes – but Athletic Director Steve Wiktorowski said he re-wrote the athletic policies. 
“I addressed the items that people ask me about the most,” he said, explaining there is information on cheerleading (which is not a sport according to the Indiana High School Athletic Association); home schooled and foreign exchange students participating in sports; and the legality of accepting awards while participating in club sports. 
The biggest change, however, was a four-step disciplinary program for substance abusers. The first offense results in a player taking off one-third of the season; the second offense requires the player to take off half of the season and attend at least four sessions of counseling at Bowen Center.
Good news was announced by Superintendent Tom Edington, who presented certificates of appreciation to Allen Coblentz and his high school supermileage team which successfully competed in the 2015 Shell Eco-Marathon in April with their gasoline, ethanol and diesel vehicles. The gas vehicle placed 11th with 724 miles per gallon; ethanol placed third with 695 miles per gallon; and the diesel placed second with 1,227 miles per gallon. Team members are Aaron Beer, Owen Donahoe, Dominick Faurote, Brandon Fox, Marcus Gagye, Paige Hlutke, Chase Johnson, Leonard Kline, Austin Lemberg, Will McCarthy, Blake O’Connell, Emma Rager, Evan Ranfranz, Sam Rookstool, Kevin Schlipf, Vito Signorelli and Ben Slabaugh.
Board trustee Mary Lou Dixon said she thought the team did not get enough recognition. “They need more and better,” she said.
Also recognized were students from Milford School who presented their iCare program, which will provide toys and comfort items to children in hospitals.
In other business, the board:
• Accepted the resignations of Ashlee Ort, Wawasee Middle School aquatics paraprofessional; Michaela Roth, Milford School physical education teacher; and Gina Bordones, Milford third grade teacher.
• Was informed that Nick Finken has submitted his resignation as Wawasee High School head athletic trainer.
• Hired summer school teachers: Cindy Brady, Amanda Knipper, Bill Lantz, Molly Hunter, Knipper, all at Syracuse; Brigette Lindeman, Deanna Cunningham, Laurie Fredericks, all at North Webster; Danielle Hartzell, Jennifer Acton, Shari Davis, Mickey Speicher, Cherie Sweatland, Jaimi Andrew and Heidi Schock, all at Milford.
• Hired Wendel Landes to teach biology and Cheyenne Blanchard as functional skills teacher, both at WHS.
• Hired summer paraprofessionals: Krista Stouder, Syracuse; and Brandi Pratt, Arely Pizana and Alexis Mast, all at Milford.
• Recognized the WHS Superbowl teams for their combined placement in the state’s top ten teams for its class. The award was based on the cumulative scores of all six rounds at the area competition.  The Wawasee Middle School superbowl science team was congratulated for placing third at state level.

(Story By The Times Union)