The Duneland School
Corporation is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 “Teacher of the
Year” and “Employee of the Year” Recognition Program.
The winners are:
Elementary Teacher of the Year Š Cris Petro of Liberty Intermediate School;
Secondary Teacher of the Year Š Robert DeRuntz of Chesterton High School;
and Employee of the Year Š Nicole Moloney, Secretary at Bailly Elementary
students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and members of the community
were asked to nominate a DSC teacher and/or classified employee for this
recognition program earlier this year. A selection committee made up of DSC
administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community members narrowed
down the nominations and interviewed the final nominees before selecting a
winner for each category.
Finalists in each
of the categories:
of the Year - Sue Calkusic of Jackson Elementary, Joyce Goodwin of Liberty
Elementary, Betsy Kazmierczak of Brummitt Elementary, Cathy Roles of Bailly
Elementary, Becca Taylor of Yost Elementary, Nicole Wilson of Westchester
of the Year - Suzanne Amling of Chesterton MS, Vince Arizzi of Chesterton
MS, Erin Cochran of Chesterton High School, Robyn McBride of Chesterton High
School, Holly Williams of Chesterton High School.
Employee of the
Year - Amanda Hicks, secretary at Chesterton Middle School, Ardie McKernin,
nurse at Liberty Elementary, Faith Michael, media secretary at Westchester
Intermediate, Mary Beth Whitmer, secretary/receptionist at Chesterton High
This year, due to
social distancing, the winners were awarded at their homes or at their
school by DSC administrators.
Each of the winners
received a $500 monetary award from the following local sponsors: McColly
Real Estate (Paul Boyter) Š Elementary Teacher of the Year; 1st Source Bank
Š Secondary Teacher of the Year; Ellis Electric Inc. Š Employee of the Year.
In addition, a
plaque honoring the winners will be on display at the Duneland School
Corporation Administration Center.
of the Year
Cris Petro, is a
fifth grade teacher at Liberty Intermediate, has been teaching for the
Duneland School Corporation (DSC) since 1996. She received her Bachelor's
degree in science from St. Joseph's College in 1991 and her Master's in
Education from Indiana Wesleyan in 2011.
She began her DSC
career at Bailly Elementary School as a fifth grade teacher for four years
before moving to the fourth grade where she taught for 18 years. In 2018,
Cris transferred to Liberty Intermediate School to be a fifth grade teacher.
As an educator,
Cris has always been active in extracurricular clubs and activities with
students. She is currently a robotics coach; playwriting, producing & Acting
Club sponsor; Camp Invention instructor; Special Education Resource Fair
Committee member and Agency sponsor/volunteer; intramural volleyball
assistant and Military Care Packages and Letters sponsor.
include: Runner Up for the June Scobee Rodgers National Innovative Educator
Award; a four-time 5% Club Honored Educator; and International Student Media
Festival Coach -- State Champs in 2004 & 2005 and Judges' Favorite at
Internationals in 2005.
of the Year
Robert DeRuntz, is
a Chesterton High School Social Studies teacher, has been teaching for
Duneland Schools since 1995.
European History and Law abroad in the Netherlands in 1992. In 1995, he
received his Bachelor's degree in Education, History from Ball State
University and a Master's degree in History in 2003 from Purdue University.
include an Eli Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship in 2001 and 2014 and
being selected as a 5% Club Honored Educator numerous times. For the past 20
years, Bob has traveled the U.S. with students in the Trail Bound program -
a summer travel and learning experience for students to study our historic
sites and hike our national parks.
Since 2003, he has
constructed a living history Civil War encampment at CHS, through which 500
US History students are annually 'drafted' into the Union army. The Civil
War Camp includes tents, equipment, period clothing, weapons and food cooked
for the students over an open fire. This has become a CHS tradition that
everyone looks forward to each year.
Bob has served as a
member and a Building Representative of the Duneland Teachers Association
for 25 years. For the past five years, he has served as the Chairman of
Employee of the
Nicole Moloney has
worked for Duneland Schools since 2010. She began her career at Duneland as
a lunch and recess aide at Bailly Elementary School and in 2013 she
transitioned to administrative assistant to the principal.
Prior to coming to
Duneland Schools, she was a medical office administrator for Associates in
Neurology, PC in Valparaiso for six years. Nicole is a 1996 graduate of
Chesterton High School.