In a series of meetings on Oct. 3, Oct. 11 and Oct. 18, the Nettle Creek schools board has formalized details of a bond sale to fund improvements and buses, approved its 2024 budget and spotlighted accomplishments of school staff and students. 

On Oct. 11, the board approved documents detailing a $1.325 million bond issue that would be repaid over 4 years and 2 months. After the cost of selling the bonds, the schools will have $1.15 million for bus purchases and various capital maintenance projects, according to estimates by a consultant. Without the bond, the money would have to come from education and operations funds.

Repaying the bonds will increase property tax about 6.3 cents per $100 in assessed property valuation, according to the consulting firm, Baker Tilly. Annually, that is $19.94 more on a home valued at $96,400 or $119.70 on 100 acres of farmland.

On Oct. 18, the board heard several staff and student commendations from Superintendent Emily Schaeffer.

She spotlighted fourth-grade teacher Peggy Muller for being nominated for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teacher; fifth grade students and teachers for their “exceptional representation of Nettle Creek Schools while attending the Indiana Statehouse,” and HHS student Peyton Meyer for being a HHS citizen of high character through his actions and leadership.

The board approved the 2024 budget, bus replacement plan and capital projects plan. With no major changes from 2023, they had been discussed during a special board meeting on Oct. 3.

The board had planned on discussing terms of a new contract for teachers during its Oct. 18 meeting. But the Nettle Creek Classroom Teachers Association had not approved the document so discussion was delayed, according to Schaeffer. 

The board also approved the following personnel actions.

Departure: Delaney Oliger, HES instructional assistant.

Extra-curricular hires: Andrew Turner and Paige Stuart, junior high swimming; Annie Koontz, junior high girls basketball; Dustin Jones, 5th grade boys basketball; Evan Lanum, 6th grade boys basketball; Madilyn Coomes, 5th grade girls basketball.

The board’s next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Hagerstown Elementary School LGI room, 299 N. Sycamore St. The public may attend.

Northeastern principal lavishes praise on HHS student

A Hagerstown High School student’s kindness so impressed the Northeastern High School principal that it became the subject of a superintendent’s salute at the Oct. 18 Nettle Creek school board meeting.

Peyton Meyer

Following Peyton Meyer’s actions at the Northeastern vs. Hagerstown volleyball game, Northeastern Principal John Markward wrote a lengthy email about him to Nettle Creek Superintended Emily Schaeffer, HHS Principal Josh Hallatt, Athletic Director Scott Snodgrass and the Indiana High School Athletic Association. Schaeffer shared Markward’s commendation with the board.

In the letter, Markward said he has observed Meyer several times over the past two years, as he is dating a Northeastern student. He’s been impressed with Meyer’s kindness at sporting events and at a dance. Last summer, he talked with Meyer when he drove several freshman students to the neighborhood where Markward lives so that they could sell fund-raising cards.

“The ‘icing on the cake’ for me happened yesterday evening (Sept. 28) when I witnessed his character during and after a volleyball game,” Markward wrote. After describing the match, he wrote about the post-game: “As the match came to an end after 4 sets, I found myself ‘chasing down’ our own students to clean up their area. With angst, our students cleaned up their area and then left, along with the majority of other fans from both teams. What happened next blew me away as an administrator. While all the parents and family relations were talking to the volleyball players, I looked up to find Peyton walking the bleachers, OF HIS OPPOSING SCHOOL, picking up trash that was left behind. This was trash that was left behind by Northeastern and Hagerstown spectators. I was so moved that I made it a point to thank Peyton for going out of his way to pick up trash that was not his and making it a point to our own student section of how a student should act.” 

He wrote, “If I could clone a student, I would clone Peyton and spread him throughout all of the schools in our conference, state, and beyond.”

But he wasn’t able to clone himself: Duty called and so Markward attended the Northeastern school board meeting while Schaeffer and the Nettle Creek board celebrated Meyer.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 25 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.