Hoping to eliminate guesswork about the consequences for violating school policies, Lincoln Middle/High School will have a disciplinary matrix in place when school reopens on Aug. 9.

The Western Wayne Schools board approved the system on July 12. It organizes disciplinary infractions into five categories according to their seriousness, said Andy Stover, superintendent. For instance, a serious infraction like bringing a weapon to school would call for expulsion, while something like a first offense for academic dishonesty would merit a lesser penalty.

“One thing that we are really focused on is getting back to accountability. We’ve never really had prescriptive punishment before,” Stover said.

The policy allows no gray areas, he said. Consequences have been developed to be similar to what is meted out in nearby schools.

The Lincoln handbook also outlines consequences for excessive unexcused absences. Students who are absent from a class more than 10 days in a year will be denied credit for that course. They may still earn credit by completing an online credit recovery course.

This will be the first year that Western Wayne has had two student handbooks, one for the high school and another for Western Wayne Elementary. Policies and procedures are different based on student ages.

Both handbooks have a new statement about student misuse of artificial intelligence. A section defining academic dishonesty states that students claiming work produced by artificial intelligence as their own will be treated the same as if they had copied someone else’s work.

The board also approved a three-year memorandum of understanding with Cambridge City Police, which provides a student resource officer at both school buildings. The SROs will get a 3% pay raise but other terms remain the same as in previous agreements.

In June, the board approved a shared services agreement with Blue River Valley Schools; a memorandum of understanding with the Boys & Girls Club of Wayne County, which operates a club at WWS’ administration building in Pershing; a limited partnership amendment between WWS and Sodexo of Indiana; and a sponsorship/engagement agreement and a contract service agreement with Reid Health. 

In personnel news, Stover announced that Dustin Riley resigned as Lincoln’s assistant principal. He took the athletic director job at Franklin County High School in Brookville, nearer his home.

He also said that Rob Bills’ position as transportation director has been filled by promoting two longtime employees. They are Jeff Riggle, the auto mechanics teacher, bus mechanic and frequent driver, who will continue in those roles but with leadership authority; and Linda Wynn, longtime transportation assistant, who will lead logistical work such as planning and supervising bus routes. Bills retired at the end of the 2022-23 school year.

Other recent personnel updates:

  • Hires: Rodney Klein, athletic director/dean of students at WWES; Morgan Ferris-St. John, high school science teacher; Kari Christie, Tracey Maish and Kaitlyn Ooten, third grade teachers; Krista Weireter, second grade teacher; Gavyn Wells, student worker to assist Sodexo in moving teachers’ rooms and/or building and other projects; Jessica Cox, sixth grade teacher; Chloe Beaty, kindergarten teacher; Ross Ferguson, high school science teacher; Morgan St. John, high school English teacher; Sarah Morehouse, ag teacher; Megan Scales, RTI Math Coordinator.
  • Resignations: Alaina Kessler, middle school agriculture; Rachel Ramer, high school English; Rae Turner, middle school special education; Misty Guffey, elementary; Jordan Randall, high school Spanish/tennis coach; Grant Ingalls, LMHS instructional aide
  • Teacher retirements: Diana Bell and Melanie Feller, elementary; Trina Gulde, Jim Lewis and Joy Miller, middle school; Phil Renforth, high school
  • Extensions (one year): Administrators Renee Lakes, Elizabeth Miller, Chad Liberman
  • Renewals of non-certified contracts: Peggy Huesman, director of finance; Robin Hokey, director of human resources; Betty Huddleston, director of food services; Ben Burris, director of technology; John Salmon, technology assistant; Stacie Huffine, data reporting; Jan Lunsford, high school treasurer; Shelly Brumfiel, elementary treasurer; Kim Pattison, school nurse 

The board’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9, in room 80 at LM/HS, 205 E. Parkway Drive, Cambridge City. The public may attend. Those wishing to speak during a public comments portion of the meeting will be asked to register.

Share this:

A version of this article appeared in the July 26 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.