Centerville-Abington’s four building principals each presented three 2023-24 school improvement goals at the Sept. 20 board meeting. 

Sam Pritchard said Rose Hamilton Elementary will focus on all students improving math and vocabulary and more students demonstrating character/citizenship traits.   

Kelly Van Winkle wants 70% of Centerville-Abington Elementary’s grades 3-6 to be at or above grade level in math and 74% to be proficient in reading comprehension on the spring NWEA assessment.

Other CAE goals are fewer out-of-school suspensions and a higher attendance rate.

Teachers will focus on writing. Through data analysis, they discovered students really struggled with writing last year. Despite showing tremendous growth on NWEA reading, students didn’t make similar gains on Indiana’s ILEARN test. 

The junior high also aims to improve math and reading scores and reduce discipline issues.

Brian Bellew said CJH’s suspensions and in-school suspensions doubled last year to 120-plus. Twenty-eight were related to vaping.

Bellew anticipates a decline because the main culprits are no longer enrolled, and many were repeat offenders.

“Ninety-five percent of our kids are really good kids,” he said. 

Tim Hollendonner, high school principal, wants 80% to score at or above grade level in math and reading comprehension on NWEA. He also wants to decrease discipline incidents by 20%.

Hollendonner is proud CSHS has more graduates earning Academic Honors than Core 40 diplomas.

The board could approve those goals at its 7 p.m. Sept. 27 meeting.

In other business

  • Teacher Kim Carter reported the summer overseas trip she took with 21 students and staff went “exceedingly well.” She received permission for a June 2025 trip to learn about art and architecture in Paris, French Riviera, Florence and Rome, costing about $4,700 per student. CSHS students’ behavior was complimented many times by others. A French server thanked them for giving up seats for elders. “If you hold them to a high expectation, they will behave at that expectation,” Carter said.
  • No one attended the public hearing on 2024 budgets or at the district/teachers’ union negotiation meeting.    
  • The board discussed prospective policies on topics including tobacco, communicable diseases, access to instructional materials, civility/decorum, transfers, suicide prevention, medical needs and public comments/concerns.
  • Synergy Homecare’s donation of $250 for CSHS Drama Club plus a GoPro camera, lapel microphone and memory card for CSHS’ newspaper/multimedia class from DAJO Photos were approved.
  • The board met new School Resource Officer Andrew Jordan.

Personnel news

  • Hires: Jennifer Cornett, corporation nurse; Donna Sykes, cafeteria sub; Stacie Schlotterbeck, sub bus driver; Misty Whittaker, social worker; Stephanie Baker, JV girls basketball coach
  • Pending hires: Jerett Rusznak, CAE substitute; David Pickering, Greg Chamness and Ayla Tincher, bus drivers; Tamara Estes, CAE special ed aide; Chad Robertson, boys bowling coach; Robyn Yarbrough, RH cafeteria
  • Transfer: Victoria Bevins, fifth to sixth grade girls basketball coach; Makayla Wert, permanent sub to preschool aide
  • Rehire: Mike Gardner, girls bowling
  • Volunteer: Hannah Coyle, student teacher; Richie Fralick, boys basketball
  • Resignations: Tiffani Thornburg, instructional coach; Kay Troutwine, Rose Hamilton school nurse, Sarah Sparks, RH cafeteria; Ashlyn Turner, CAE night custodian; Brittany Bowery, fifth/sixth cheer coach; Ellen Walker, preschool assistant; Mike Downing, boys bowling coach



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A version of this article appeared in the September 20 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.