The Duneland School
Corporation honored retiring teachers and support staff this past Wednesday
at a special reception celebration at the Administration Center.
teachers and support staff will have a combined total of 715 years of
service at the end of this school year.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.