The School Board Recognizes

Emily Brown and Della Steif

   Held in the LGI on April 4, the most recent school board meeting covered a broad range of topics. From kindergartener’s favorite part of their year to next year’s changes to the handbooks, the board sat front and center to approve or disapprove the motions. 

   “Welcome to our Monday, April 4 board meeting if you’ll join us in the pledge of allegiance,” Cindy Sues, school board president, said. 

   There were multiple people and groups given awards at the school board meeting. Kolling teacher, Elizabeth Estep, was among those given one. The teacher was given the award for saving a child’s life by performing the heimlich maneuver on a child that was choking at lunch. The school board recognized her as a heroic teacher. 

   “So during lunch I got a call that a student was choking in the cafeteria and everyone ran in that direction. By the time we got in there, I guess, what had happened is another para wasn’t sure what to do and then Liz just took over, gave him the heimlich and saved the student’s life so we’re so proud of her. So Liz, we have a certificate here on behalf of the Lake Central School board that states our serious thanks and gratitude for your quick thinking in order to keep our students safe. We don’t ever expect that we would have to actually perform a heimlich maneuver and see a chicken nugget fly out of someone’s mouth but she stepped in without any hesitation and did put that into action,” Melissa Rettig, Assistant Principal of Kolling, said.

   Along with Estep, multiple students from Lake Central High School were gifted awards for different clubs around Lake Central, these clubs included: National Merit Finalists, Family Career and Community, Leaders of America (FCCLA) State Conference and Business Professionals of America (BPA). These students were given their awards for the hard work and dedication they put into these clubs. The sponsors and teachers around the school were there to support the students who worked for the awards. 

   “Our students who are within this club brought projects within those realms and competed against other schools in the state and we had a wonderful showing and this speaks volumes because really we went in blind.You’re given a rubric, but having not gone before students didn’t know what to expect so this was really outstanding achievement,” Jennifer Schmidt, Family and Consumer Sciences, said. 

   Awards were also given to the Bibich Elementary School spell bowl team. Each student who was on the team was given a medal for their participation. Michelle Snow, the fourth grade teacher who runs the spell bowl team, was there to support the students. A kindergarten class also attended the school board meeting to share with the board what their favorite part of kindergarten is.

   “So this year on Nov. 15, [Bibich Elementary] participated in the elementary spellboat competition that was held virtually throughout the state. The team of 11 fourth graders was led by our coaches Ms. Snow and Miss O’Rourke and Mrs. Vivitch placed third in the state out of 65 teams this year,” Deedee Logan, principal of Bibich Elementary School, said. 

  Aside from the awards, grants were also given to help better the Lake Central schools from a varying range of topics. Officer Kissinger of the Dyer Police Department was given a $10,000 grant. He was given this grant to put emergency buckets in Kahler Middle School. These buckets would be in all classrooms, carry essential items and would be used during an emergency like the lockdown of Sept. 8 at Lake Central. 

   “Ladies and gentlemen, these emergency buckets are amazing. In fact, if there is a lockdown if there is an emergency situation and students need to stay in the room and can’t go anywhere and we experience that Sept. 8, here at Lake Central High School. Erin and company, oh my goodness, and those students had to stay there so the emergency buckets will contain things like basic human needs during a crisis. So the emergency buckets are for basic human needs during the lockdown and you know Sept. 8 we experienced something that we had students locking down for hours on end. This bucket is for them to help with any kind of needs during a crisis and that’s something that we want to expand throughout the whole lake central corporation,” Louise Talent, former teacher, said. 

   Along with all the excitement that came with the awards and grants of the school board meeting, to conclude the meeting the school board talked about school taxes, and other things. One of the most memorable things however, was the agreement by all the school board members to put the different help hotlines on the back of students IDS. Hotlines like the human-trafficking and suicide hotline are just two that are included in this new notion. 

   “It’s effective July 1 of the upcoming on the calendar, but it does require us on student IDS to have help lifelines for various reasons on the back of their ID card so Mrs. Mucha, and our providers, have already worked out. We’ll be ready to go on that for next school year.” Doctor Larry Veracco, superintendent, said.