Wawasee Schools Ready for First Day

Wawasee Schools hosted an open house for teachers the day before the first day of school. (Photo: Nick Deranek/News Now Warsaw)

SYRACUSE — A big kickoff for teachers and staff for the Wawasee Community Schools took place Tuesday morning in the high school cafeteria.

Superintendent Tom Edington gave a presentation to his staff in preparation for the new year which is set to begin Wednesday morning. He used the metaphor of a porcupine, as in when you go to touch the large rodent, you may get stuck or poked with it’s quills.

Edington wants his teachers and staff members to embrace their students with the mindset that even when you try to help, you may get poked with a student who may not be as easy to work with, but you continue to try anyway, regardless of how you feel when you get stuck. He wants his teachers to build up those student relationships:


Before Edington spoke, Mindy Coblentz spoke about the Wawasee Dollars for Scholars program, which grants students scholarship dollars every year. In the 2018-19 school year, 13 students were granted scholarships that totaled $14,000 combined, which was an increase of roughly $2,000 from the year before.

Money for the Dollars for Scholars is received through a small donation from staff paychecks and other donations. This year, staff will have the option to make their donation through an auto-debit from their paychecks.

Also announced during the meeting were new teachers and staff members at each school in the district:

  • Wawasee High School has a new principal, assistant principal and eleven new teachers.
  • Wawasee Middle School has two new teachers
  • Syracuse Elementary School has two new teachers
  • Milford School has one new teacher
  • North Webster School has four new teachers

Edington says not all the staff is brand new. Some are moving from one other area school to the other, but he says retaining staff shows the dedication that each teacher has had to the district, despite them going through some big budgeting issues nearly ten years ago, when big staff changes were made.

At the beginning of the meeting, everyone was asked to stand as Edington announced different lengths of teaching years. When the last gap of years was announced, which was 1983-1985, six teachers continued to stand.

District attendance is down 650 students from the year 2000 as 2,900 students will attend the schools starting Wednesday. Edington says the lower attendance number is one of those “porcupines” that he mentioned during his presentation, but his staff is ready for a brand new year.