Starke County News Items
Published: October 28, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
The effort teachers at North Judson-San Pierre schools have put into preparing students to take ISTEP tests is paying off. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says test scores from 2009 to 2014 reflect steady gains. Math scores have gone from 62-percent proficiency in 2009 to 81 percent in 2014 for grades 3 through 8. During that same time period English/Language Arts scores have improved from 66 to 77 percent.
Johnson also notes the growth has been sustained over a period of time. Rather that peak and dip, she says students are showing steady year-to-year gains according to the data. She and corporation testing coordinator Venita Cunningham shared that information with the school board last week.
Published: October 25, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
The class composite and group photos of North Judson and North Judson-San Pierre High School graduates will soon have a new home. They were recently displaced from Grand Central Station in downtown North Judson after a church took over that space. North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson told the school board this week those photos will be on display at the new North Judson Town Hall when it opens later this year.
The town is moving into the bank building on Lane Street next to Ray’s Super Foods. First Farmers Bank and Trust donated that building to the town earlier this year, and it is being refurbished for occupancy. The bank has a newer building behind the North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library and no longer needs the other space. Johnson says the photos will be on loan for display at the town hall.
Published: October 22, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
North Judson-San Pierre School Board members raised a question about the balanced calendar during their meeting last night. The proposed calendar moves the start of school to the first of August, adds longer breaks in the fall and spring that can be used for remediation if necessary and ends the school year the first of June. The first semester would still end in December before the two week Christmas break as it presently does.
Board members wondered what the earlier start to the school year would do to high school students who work for Pioneer detassling corn during their summer vacations.
Questions have also been raised about youngsters in 4-H who compete at the Indiana State Fair in August. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says she will talk to the other superintendents in the area about possibly starting school two weeks later and getting out in mid-June. She noted that would push the end of the first semester into January. However, students would still have some time to review lessons before taking final exams.
Extending the year into June would also accommodate the state-mandated I-Read exams, which are given to third graders in March and with re-tests in June. If school is still in session, the corporation could avoid the expense of summer school.
Johnson told the board she’s talked at length with Knox and Oregon-Davis Superintendents A.J. Gappa and Greg Briles. The corporations are part of the same vocational and special education cooperatives and share other resources like occupational therapists, so the superintendents want to make sure their calendars line up as closely as possible.
The North Judson-San Pierre School Board could vote on the balanced calendar at their Nov. 18 meeting. Johnson wants to hear from the public one more time before making a final decision. However a date for another presentation has not been announced.
Published: October 21, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
A longtime Knox High School teacher and farmer is the 2014 Starke County Chamber of Commerce Henry F. Schricker Award winner. The honor is given annually to a resident who embodies the former governor’s credo of “service before self.” Frank Skronski moved to North Judson from Chicago with his family as a young man. He joined the Navy, which is where he met his wife of 51 years, Evelyn Lippelt. After leaving the service he attended Elmhurst College and earned a degree from Northern Illinois University.
Skronski taught biology for 33 years in Knox and continued to farm. He also put his skills as a barber to use by frequently giving haircuts to the homeless. In the 10 years since he’s been retired from teaching Skronski has been active in numerous organizations, including Starke County Community Services, the Northwest Indiana Services, SS Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church and many other organizations. One of his most notable contributions is helping to found the St. Vincent DePaul organization in North Judson and recently helping to establish a second chapter in Knox. The organization focuses on helping those in need by providing services ranging from financial aid to furniture and rides to distribution of Christmas gifts.
Skronski will be honored on Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Starke County Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center. Contact the Chamber at 574-772-5548 to make reservations for the dinner.
Published: August 16, 2014
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
Applications are now being accepted by the Indiana State Police for the 75th Recruit Academy.
Applications must be received via email by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 30. Anyone interested in a career as an Indiana State Trooper can visit http://www.in.gov/isp/2368.htm for detailed information on the application process and career information.
You must be a United States citizen in order to be considered for a position with the Indiana State Police as a trooper. You must also be at least 21 years of age and less than 40 years of age, meet minimum vision standard requirements, possess a valid driver’s license, be willing to serve anywhere in the state, and be a high school graduate or have a general equivalency diploma.
The Indiana State Police Department is competitive with its salary wage, according to the department’s news release. A recruit is paid $1,417 bi-weekly during the academy training. When training is successfully completed, the starting salary is $38,444 a year. Benefits are also included.
Community Services of Starke County’s Food Pantry has two collection sites in North Judson. You can drop off much needed food items during regular business hours at:
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