SYRACUSE – The Wawasee Community School Corp. board  heard good news from the outset of their meeting Tuesday evening.
Superintendent Tom Edington presented 10 items in his monthly “Good News” report including cash donations totaling near $70,000.
Topping the list was a donation of $60,000 from the June Laudeman  Instructional Improvement Endowment to Syracuse Elementary School, given in honor of a family member and former teacher at the school. The money will be used to pay for an instructional coach. Dina Coverstone, current fifth grade teacher at the school, has accepted the position with the guarantee that at the end of the two-year contract she can return to the classroom.
Syracuse Principal Eric Speicher said, “She loves the classroom, and I wouldn’t want to lose her.”
The full pledge from the foundation is $120,000, which will be distributed over a two-year period.
The other donations were:
• $7,500 from the North Webster PTO to help with that school’s new kindergarten playground.
• An anonymous donation of $1,000 to the ECO Challenge summer camp.
• $1,000 from the Dekko Foundation for use by the Milford School kindergarten and first grade teachers.
• A new flag pole donated by the Milford American Legion to Milford School.
• A wooden boat from the 1960s donated by residents Luke Knecht and Gerard Gausselin to the marine trade program.
• A wind break on the western boundary of the North Webster School playground from Mark King. King and his associates planted 300 spruce trees, materials and labor totaling $735.
The superintendent also recognized school psychometrist Sara Evans for her service on the Indiana School Psychologist board and Wawasee High School Principal Mike Schmidt for his upcoming participation in a certification program for law enforcement officers, presented by the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police Inc. in Indianapolis. Schmidt will sit on a panel discussing “Working with School Administrators and Staff.”
Many certified staff positions were approved, including the resignation of Cory Schutz as business teacher from Wawasee High School. They hired Holly Sautter and Jeff Phillips as WHS summer school teachers; Taylor Burkart for WHS business; Andrea Diaz for WHS language arts; Tyler Boganwright for agriculture at WHS; Michelle Kerlin for Wawasee Middle School family and consumer science; Alison Dailey for WMS art; Kim McCreary and Emily Worell for temporary half-time Milford fourth grade; and Regan Eakins for full time secondary math at the high school.
Transfers, besides the Coverstone move, include Liana Butcher moving from fourth grade at North Webster to fifth grade at Syracuse; Hope Fiedeke from a leveled literacy interventionist at North Webster to a full time third grade teacher at Milford; Brittany Gummere from temporary third grade to regular at North Webster; and Paige Keim from Milford fourth grade to Syracuse second.
Ginda Bordones was granted a one year leave of absence from teaching third grade at Milford;  bus driver Pat Meyers is taking a year off; and food service employee Vicki Brown was granted retirement.
Support services changes include the resignations of paraprofessionals Ann Schlabach and Tony Ganshorn; the hiring of paraprofessionals Teresa Wiedeman, Lindsey Gunderson and Tony Upchurch; and transfers of Lynn Atwood from remediation to special ed paraprofessional; Deb Connett from LLI paraprofessional at North Webster to media specialist at WMS; Tabatha Reber from administrative to superintendent’s secretary at central office; and Tammy Hutchinson from the athletic department at WHS to the receptionist/substitute coordinator at central office.
In other business, the board approved two change orders for the current construction project at the high school. These are $5,887 to R.E. Crosby for added ducted returns for the radio studio and $3,192 to Shambaugh and Sons for replacement and addition of valves.