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Duneland schools honor teacher and staff retirees

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The Duneland School Corporation honored retiring teachers and support staff this past Wednesday at a special reception celebration at the Administration Center.

Retiring Duneland teachers and support staff will have a combined total of 715 years of service at the end of this school year.

The following retirees were honored: Philip Carlson, CHS custodian; Brad Cluver, Maintenance; Marie Englehart, Brummitt Art teacher; Dan Garwood, CMS Social Studies teacher; Connie Hamilton, Yost Physical Educ. teacher; Debra Imhof, Yost fourth grade teacher; Patricia Johnson, CHS English teacher; Pat Jones, Brummitt head custodian; Martha Kearney, Yost Music teacher; Stephen Kearney, CHS Math teacher; MaryJo Keck, Yost fourth grade teacher; Cheryl Marckese, Westchester Intermediate (WIS) fifth grade teacher; Sharon McCasland, Brummitt first grade teacher; Karen Mitchell, bus driver; Joyce Mottinger, bus driver; Linda Peele, CMS English teacher; Sandra Phelps, bus driver; Richard Piechnik, Liberty Elem. fourth grade teacher; Jane Shuger, Brummitt third grade teacher; Duane Szymanski, WIS custodian; Claudia Trzeciak, Liberty Elem. fourth grade teacher; Charlotte Vawter, assistant director of Transportation; Jennifer Vidimos, Bailly Elem. first grade teacher; Brenda Wallace, CHS custodian; Doug Wells, district computer technician; Dianna Whitman, director of Guidance for district; and Judith Yagodnik, WIS fifth grade teacher.

Philip Carlson has worked for Duneland Schools for 38 years. He began working for Duneland as a custodian in 1976 at Chesterton High School. Upon retirement, Phil is looking forward to spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

Brad Cluver has worked for Duneland Schools for 24 years. He began working for Duneland in 1990 as a plumber in Maintenance.

Marie Englehart has worked with Duneland Schools for 15 years. She received her undergraduate degree from Purdue and went on to complete her Masters at Indiana University. Before coming to Duneland, she spent five years at Lake Central and eight years at Center Grove Comm. Schools in Greenwood, IN. Marie began in Duneland in 1999 as an art teacher at Brummitt Elementary.

Dan Garwood has worked with Duneland Schools for 41 years. He has taught his entire career at Duneland. The first 28 years at Westchester Middle School and the last 13 years at Chesterton Middle School. Early in his career he was advisor to the Student Council, yearbook and school newspaper. He has enjoyed timing cross country and track meets at the middle school events and talking with many of his students' parents an increasing number which were former students.

Connie Hamilton has worked for Duneland Schools for 41 years. She graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in Physical Educ. and received her graduate degree from Indiana University. Before coming to Duneland, Connie taught one and one half years at Edison Jr./Sr. High School in East Gary. She then began her career at Duneland and has taught at CHS, LES, BA and Yost Elementary.

Debra Imhof has worked for Duneland Schools for 26 years. She graduated from Purdue University Calumet with a degree in Elementary Education and received her Masters from Indiana University. Debra started her career at Duneland as a substitute teacher and was hired the following year at Liberty Elementary. Debra was at LES for seven years before going to Yost Elementary.

Patricia Johnson has worked for Duneland Schools for 40 years. A graduate of Indiana University. Pat is retiring after 40 years of teaching at CHS. She has taught nearly every course offered by the English Department and has served as its department chair for the past 14 years.

Pat Jones has worked for the Duneland Schools for 11 years. In 2003, joined the staff at WIS as a custodian. Two years later, she was promoted to head custodian at Brummitt. Pat is looking forward to her retirement so that she can spend more time with her family and her grandchildren.

Martha Kearney has been teaching for Duneland Schools for 23 years. Martha graduated from the University of Illinois and received her graduate degree from Indiana University Northwest. She began teaching at Westchester Middle School in 1977 and a few years later moved to Bailly Elementary. She also was a traveling teacher between Jackson and Brummitt. She left Duneland for a while to raise her family, but returned to teach at Yost Elementary where she has been for the last 17 years.

Stephen Kearney has worked for the Duneland Schools for 44 years. He is a graduate of Chesterton High School and Ball State University and received his graduate degree from Purdue University Calumet. Steve began his career at Duneland Schools as a math teacher at CHS in 1970. He coached the CHS Super Bowl Math team that won state in 1996, as well as many other teams that were top five finishers. Steve has been a cross country and track coach at CHS for many years and has served as an ambassador for these sports across the state and nationally.

MaryJo Keck has worked for Duneland School Corporation for 32 years. She received both her graduate and undergraduate degree from Ball State University. She began her career as a teacher at Brummitt Elementary in 1972. MaryJo left Duneland for a while, but returned in the 1980's as a substitute teacher and an instructional aide. In 1988, she began teaching in Duneland again. She has taught every grade from 1st through 6th. She has spent the majority of her years at Yost Elementary with the exception of one year at WIS.

Cheryl Marckesehas worked for Duneland Schools for 19 years. She received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and graduate degree from Purdue Calumet. Before coming to Duneland, Cheryl worked for five years in the Merrillville Community School System. She substituted in Duneland from 1991-1995. In 1995 she became a teacher for the Duneland Schools and worked at Brummitt Elementary for nine years. She has concluded her career at Westchester Intermediate for the past 11 years.

Sharon McCasland has worked for the Duneland Schools for 37 years. She received her undergraduate degree from Ball State University and her graduate degree from Purdue University. Before coming to Duneland, she taught one year in Coffee Creek, Georgia. Sharonís career at Duneland as a substitute teach and Title I aide. Later she was hired as a teacher at Brummitt Elementary. Sharon taught fifth grade for two years and has taught first grade for the last 35 years.

Karen Mitchell has worked for Duneland Schools for 25 years. Karen began as a bus driver in August of 1989 for Brummitt students for District approximately 15 years. For the remainder of her driving career she transported students from Jackson. During her 25 year career at Duneland, she also worked 11 years as a recess aide at Jackson Elementary and for five years for Food Services both at CHS and CMS.

Joyce Mottinger has worked for Duneland Schools for 18 years. In 1989, she was hired as a bus driver and served 16 years before leaving the Corporation. Joyce returned in 2011 as a substitute driver for building and trades class route. In 2012 she was re-hired as a bus driver.

Linda Peele has worked for Duneland Schools for nine years. She received her bachelorís degree from Indiana University in 1995. Before coming to Duneland Linda taught at Kankakee Valley School Corporation, Portage Township Schools and for seven years at Lake Station Community Schools. In 2005 she began teaching English at the Duneland Schools Alternative Learning Center. In 2010, she transferred to CMS to teach English.

Sandra Phelps has worked for Duneland Schools for 34 years. Sandra has been a school bus driver since August of 1980. She spent most of her career driving Bailly and Brummitt students. For the past eight years she has driven a special needs bus. Sandra has enjoyed her 34 years driving a school bus, but has especially enjoyed driving for the special needs children who have an indelible place in her heart.

Richard Piechnikhas worked for Duneland Schools for 26 years. He received both is graduate and undergraduate degree from Purdue University. Prior to coming to Duneland he worked for St. Stanislaus School in Mich. City, and Westville Schools. In 1988, he began at LES where he taught fifth grade and one year of third grade. He taught fifth and sixth grade for 10 years at LIS and returned to LES to complete his career teaching fourth grade. Over the years he has coached baseball, basketball, cross country and music. He has performed in numerous Liberty talent shows.

Jane Shugerhas worked for Duneland Schools for 42 years. She is a graduate of Ball State University. She received her graduate degree from Valparaiso University. Jane began her teaching career in 1971 when Brummitt Elementary opened its doors for the very first time. She has had five principals and is the sole remaining original teacher at the school.

Duane Szymanski has worked for Duneland Schools for 17 years. He began working as a custodian at Chesterton High School in 1997. In 2009 he transferred to Westchester Intermediate.

Claudia Trzeciak has worked for Duneland Schools for 19 years. She received her undergraduate and graduate degree from Purdue University. In 1993 she began her career as an instructional aide at Jackson Elementary and as a substitute with the Corporation. Later she was hired as a teacher at Jackson then went to Liberty Elementary for five years. From 2000-2005 she was the director of the former Duneland Schools Gifted and Talented program. In 2006 she returned to the classroom at LES.

Charlotte Vawter has worked for Duneland Schools for 26 years. She began working for Duneland as a bus driver in 1988. Subsequently she became a driver trainer and maintained that position throughout her career. While working she attended Purdue University North Central and earned her Associates degree in business and Bachelors degree in organizational leadership and supervision, graduating in 2003. For the past 13 years Charlotte has been Assistant Director of Transportation.

Jennifer Vidimos has worked for Duneland Schools for 15 years. She received her undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio and completed her graduate degree at Purdue University Calumet in 1989. Prior to coming to Duneland, Jennifer taught one year in the Diocese of Gary. She taught in the Merrillville Community School Corporation for 10 years. She came to Duneland Schools in 1999 to work at Bailly Elementary. She taught one year in third grade and the remainder in first grade.

Brenda Wallace has worked for Duneland Schools for 12 years. She started working for Yost Elementary as a custodian and in 2005 transferred to Chesterton High School. Brenda is looking forward to her retirement, so that she can spend more time with her grandchildren.

Doug Wells has worked for Duneland Schools for 18 years as a Computer Technician. He has a bachelors degree in computer science from DeVry University in Chicago. Before coming to Duneland, Doug was the director of Clinical Engineering-Medical Electronics at University of Chicago for 12 years, worked for Hewlett Packard Medical Division for two years, for Hoffmann-LaRoche (Avco Division) in medical electronics for nine years and as a private consultant for two to three years. He is looking forward to retirement plans to take it easy for a while.

Dianna Whitman has worked for Duneland Schools for 21 years. She received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and her graduate degree from Purdue University. Prior to coming to Duneland in 1993, Dianna was a child care counselor in East Chicago, a director of youth activities in Chicago and a counselor at Andrean High School. Her 21 years at Chesterton High School include her duties as a counselor, guidance director, and her present position as district guidance director.

Judith Yagodnik has worked for Duneland Schools for 42 years. She received both her graduate and undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. She began her career at Duneland School Corporation in 1971. She has worked at Center Elementary, Brummitt Elementary and for the past 13 years she has been a fifth grade teacher at Westchester Intermediate School.

 

Posted 5/23/2014