Chesterton Tribune



Insurance switch will save Duneland Schools

Back To Front Page



The Duneland School Board made an insurance switch at its meeting Monday that will save the School Corporation $130,000.

Mike Anton and Julie Mendoza, of Anton Insurance, reported they looked at three different proposals for changing Duneland’s property and casualty insurance, and they recommended Duneland switch from Liberty Mutual to Great American.

Anton said the savings are a result of the Board’s management: “I think you can thank your experience and the way you handled the school corporation in the past few years.”

Anton said Liberty Mutual is a leader in school insurance in Indiana, but they tend to make assessments based on state data rather than corporation-specific information. “As other insurers are coming into the market, we’re able to capture savings from that,” he said.

Board President Brandon Kroft thanked them for saving the School Corporation, and the taxpayers, money. “We very much appreciate your hard work,” Kroft said.

Food service

The Board also approved Wellness and Nutrition Manager Tammy Watkins to contract with Piazza Produce, out of Indianapolis, to provide produce for Duneland Schools in the 2019-2020 year.

Watkins said Duneland is contracting with Piazza after Duneland joined a group RFP by the Northern Indiana Education Center. Piazza will be serving many school corporations in the area this school year. “A great deal of their produce is local Indiana produce, so that’s why we like to use them,” Watkins said.

Watkins also reported the Duneland Schools will be providing more fresh fruit and vegetables in its breakfast and lunch options this year--without raising lunch prices.


Public Relations Director Bridget Martinson reported registration for returning students begins Monday, July 15. Returning students can be registered online.

Like last year, there will be single-site registration for new students or students whose residency has changed. New student registration is at CHS Tuesday, July 23 from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 5 p.m., and July 24 and 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

Other Approvals

The Board approved an annual resolution authorizing Duneland to invest using banks that are approved on a state registry but outside Duneland’s geographic area. Duneland CFO Lynn Kwilasz said the approval is a housekeeping matter the Board revisits every year.

The Board approved another housekeeping measure, allowing Kwilasz to cut checks to extracurricular treasurers and food service workers so they can make change for cash purchases in the next school year.

Board comments

Duneland Schools new Superintendent Chip Pettit extended thanks to the Porter County United Way for sponsoring Kindergarten camp, to Bailly Principal Kevin Zeck for being principal for elementary summer school this year, and to CHS History teacher Bob DeRuntz for leading Trailbound.

Pettit also took a moment to comment on his first day on the job: “On a personal note, today is my first official day. I’m honored to serve you in this capacity. I do not come with an agenda or a to do list. I come with an open mind to do what’s best for the kids.”

“I look forward to partnering with you and providing a world class education to the children at Duneland,” Pettit added.

Board member John Marshall commented that the search for a new superintendent involved a lot of meetings, interviews, and study over the past six months. Marshall had high praise for Kroft, specifically: “In negotiating our superintendent’s contract and getting everything set up, this president like no other has really stepped up and lead this Board through a very long, arduous process.”

Kroft noted that Judy Malasto is returning to her position as director of secondary learning after being Interim Superintendent since December. Kroft thanked Malasto for her work, and Malasto got a standing ovation from the room. Malasto responded, “I can’t say enough about what a pleasure it was to serve this community, our teachers, parents, and students.”



Posted 7/5/2019




Search This Site:

Custom Search