All nine Duneland
Schools earned a gold star rating for counseling by the Indiana Department
of Education last month. Guidance counselors representing the schools shared
with the School Board Monday what priorities they’ve made to achieve the
chair of the guidance department at Chesterton High School, said CHS was in
its third renewal cycle for the gold star program when the other eight
schools jumped in to follow what it was doing. They reviewed programs to see
which elements were working and which should be taken out for not meeting
the needs of students.
“We worked on
having a plan for every student’s future. School counseling is for every
single student in our building. I think that has been our focus and it’s a
reason this has been so exciting,” said Moffett.
At the high school,
every student took part in a survey for counselors to assess the needs.
Anxiety is a prevalent problem among students, the counselors learned, and
changes were made to counseling programs, Moffett said. Four counselors were
designated for helping students plan for the future after high school and
two others were tasked with student support. A plan was made for every
student’s future, said Moffett.
Counselor Laura Herrod said the counselors came up with a list of priority
goals, including getting low-income students active in the 21st Century
Scholar Program which helps them prepare for college. Another goal was for
students to have a trusted adult they could talk to. “If students have one
significant person, they can be successful,” Herrod said.
counselor for Westchester Intermediate School, said the most apparent result
in the surveys was that most students want to go on to college, while about
one-fourth of the population said they were undecided on what they wanted to
Hurst said she
believes that 5th and 6th grade is a good time for students to become
familiar with what post-secondary education options are available for them.
She said she is reaching out to Purdue University Calumet to set up a day
next spring when students can see the campus, especially those in 21st
Century Scholar program, along with their parents. “We really want to show
them what college is like. Many of them have never been on a college
campus,” Hurst said.
counselor Amy Snyder and Jackson Elementary counselor Liz Martin said other
goals the group came up with include social and emotional learning to
comfort students when they are stressed. Martin said they hope to develop a
community mentor program.
counselor Lindsey Moskalick and Liberty Elementary counselor Kristin Bonez
said they too are focusing on student college and career readiness and
planning a career fair with other elementary schools later in the school
members Mike Trout and John Marshall asked if there is discussion and
opportunities for students to explore apprenticeship programs or learning a
skilled trade in lieu of attending college. They said that they have a
difficult time at their businesses finding potential employees who have
trade skills such as carpentry and electric.
“We are hoping that
kids go on to college and come back to be vital community leaders, but we
are literally having to give up business because we cannot find skilled
workers to do the work for us,” Marshall said.
Moffett said the
counselors are “definitely making sure” that the students know those
opportunities are there for them as well.
LES helps improve
lives of cancer patients
and teachers at Liberty Elementary gave a presentation of their own on how
they took a few days to bring awareness to pediatric cancer.
Ortiz, Chamiya Powells, Liam Gray, Peyton Ostertag, Ruth Ridley, Braeden
Walker, Alise Rodriguez, Ashley Stasny, Jaxson Schultz, Karleigh Pawlyszyn,
and Clayton Valdez talked about the four themed days of special activities
hosted at the school, leading up to its Walk-a-Thon event.
Day 1 was Superhero
Day, Day 2 was Baseball Day in honor of Rusty Schultz, Day 3 was Crazy Hat
Day, followed by the Walk-a-Thon on Day 4 which raised $3,143.31 for
pediatric brain tumor research at Riley Children’s Hospital.
The students got
further into the spirit of raising awareness by making posts, cards and
gifts for children who are fighting cancer.
Christy Jarka said this is the eighth year the school has hosted the
walk-a-thon and thanked the students, parents and teachers who participated.
Later in the
meeting, Duneland Schools Superintendent Ginger Bolinger lauded the six CHS
seniors who were named commended students in the 2018 National Merit
Scholarship Program -- Aaron Brookhouse, Laura Estridge, Joshua Guzek, Jason
Hebblethwaite, Tanaykumar Murarka and Andrew Smenyak.
Bolinger also gave
kudos to the Trojan Guard which advanced to ISSMA State Finals and for
earning a gold division rating in the Class A preliminary competition this
past Saturday in Fort Wayne.
encouraged the community to participate in Chesterton Middle School’s 5k for
Veterans on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 9 a.m., which will benefit the Folds of
The board voted 5-0
to the consent agenda including approval of the school corporation’s
Bus aides include
Jessica Leach, Kimberly Waymire, Diane Palko, Kathy Clemons, Ann Boggs, Jean
Orlowski, Sheree DeLache, Joan McKee, Judy Hewitt, Sherrie Dobrowski, Sarina
Niforos and Jodi Craig. Kim Burton will be a bus driver trainer. Other hires
are Jackson Elementary instructional aide Carrie Sabinski, custodian
Kristene Childress, CHS instructional aide Jill Palmer, Westchester
Interme-diate recess/cafeteria aide Darcie Rogala and Michael Kellems who
will be a safety and security consultant for the school corporation.
month include bus driver Vickie Geressy and route coordinator Shelley