A fund has been established for donations toward restoration of a mural in the Northeastern High School gym.

The Northeastern Wayne schools board set up the fund during its Sept. 20 meeting. Donations can be sent to the high school with a notation that the money is to go toward the gym mural.

The mural became an issue over the summer when the board approved a gym restoration plan that included painting the gym. The mural of a knight mounted on a horse, painted in 1976, would have been painted over. After some discussion on social media, several Northeastern patrons in June asked the board to leave the mural in place. The board altered this summer’s plan, leaving the mural until at least next summer.

In other business, the board reviewed a 2024 school budget proposal very similar to the current funding plan. Budget figures that are higher than what the school corporation expects to spend will be advertised, with the expectation that the state will reduce them in December when the school district’s property tax values are known, according to Dr. Matthew Hicks, superintendent. Most Indiana school districts follow the same strategy.

The education fund calls for receiving $11,866,301 in funds from the state, as determined by student enrollment. The district expects to spend $1,217,805 for debt service (bond repayment); $247,000 in pension debt; $2,275,000 in operations; and will put $800,000 into the rainy day fund for unexpected contingencies.

No one came to the board meeting to speak during a public hearing about the proposed budget, capital projects and bus replacement plan. All three plans received board approval.

Heather Crull holds a certificate from the Northeastern school board, honoring her achievements in wrestling. Photo supplied by Northeastern Wayne School Corp.

In other business, the board congratulated Heather Crull, a junior at Northeastern High School, on winning a bronze medal this summer in the U17 World Wrestling Championship. 

It also honored students of the month, including Ryan Crawley from the Early Learning Center; Mia and Juniper Melton from Northeastern Elementary; Alei Mackey from Northeastern Middle; and Michael Henderson from Northeastern High School.

The board also confirmed the following personnel actions reported by Hicks.

Departures: Laurence Fouche, bus; Tyler Hostetler, HS treasurer; Cassidy Turner, Damsels director; Alexis Heaston, permanent sub; LeAnne Slick, transportation secretary; Sierra Stevens, food service; Gerry Keesling, athletic director, effective at the end of school year 2023-24.

ECA/ New positions: Crystal Russell, bus; Claira Laughlin-Foster, JV softball coach; Tori Russel, volunteer softball coach; Allison McCummons, FFA co-sponsor; Kevin Cool, FFA sponsor; Kristy Anderson, junior class sponsor; Trisha Peters, Art Club; Kraig Rose, yearbook, Model Legislature; Julie Coryea, Geneva Price, senior class co-sponsors; Geneva Price, HS choir director, National Honor Society, Fine Arts Academic Team coach, Academic Team coordinator; Ashley Tice, junior class sponsor; Heather Smith, Student Council sponsor; Charlie O’Brien, Science Academic Team coach; Rachel Bales, sophomore class sponsor; Martha Wilson, Spanish Club sponsor; Carrie Mitchell, HS drama coach; Carrie Mitchell, stage production; Sydney Townsend, JV volleyball assistant coach.

Changes: Cindy Davis, special ed TA; Tyler Hostetler, business ed teacher; Elizabeth Wissel (for Rodney Ghearing); Amber Duncil (for Mrs. Metcalf); Jenn Powell, ES-TA; Madisyn Hill, ES-TA; Dianna Harris and Alex Meinsen, ES TA-special ed.

Hires: Loree Cooper, ES-TA; Lydia Smith, LatchKey; Christine McClanahan- (replacing Tyler Hostetler); Alyssa Sheets, food service; Roxann Hollingsworth, ESSER interventionist; Dalton Nickloy, ES-TA; Jessica Chasteen, custodian.

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A version of this article appeared in the September 27 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.