In a meeting most notable for its brevity, the Western Wayne School board decided to move sixth grade from Lincoln Middle/High School to Western Wayne Elementary School.

This year’s fifth grade pupils will attend sixth grade at the elementary school, following a unanimous vote at the May 17 board meeting. Superintendent Andy Stover recommended the change.

Stover told the board that “we had very positive feedback” about keeping sixth grade pupils at WWES at a prior meeting with fifth-grade parents.

He said the change will help balance student numbers between the schools and allow better reading instructional support. And, he added, it will help “preserve the adolescence of our youngsters.” Mixing sixth graders with adolescent students who are up to six years older “is difficult for me to accept.”

Board member Phil Pflum agreed, saying, “I think personally they fit better at the elementary.”

Board member Brent Fortman made the motion to confirm Stover’s plan, Pflum seconded and the board voted for it unanimously.

In other business during a 33-minute meeting, the board approved a two-year extension of a contract with the Richmond Family YMCA for its preschool program.

It also approved a list of food suppliers for the school meals program.

It also congratulated the school food service director, Betty Huddleston, on her selection as an officer of the Indiana School Nutrition Association. She is on track to become president in four years.

During a public comment period, instructional aide Karen Hinkein said she wants the public to know that she is retiring, not resigning, and that “it has been an absolute pleasure to be working for Western Wayne Schools.” She commended changes led in the last two school years by Elizabeth Miller, elementary principal, and Stover.

The board approved the following personnel actions:

  • Certified personnel: Kelsey Agee, pre-K coordinator/teacher; Misty Ingalls, Project Lead the Way media specialist; Dylan Miller, elementary PE teacher; Julie Buhl, IREAD summer school; Maranda Ladd, summer school English session 1; Rachel Ramer, summer school English session 2; Rodney Klein, summer school PE; Kaitlyn Lacey, summer school SAE; Brad Miller, summer school social studies.
  • Noncertified personnel: Zach Bates, summer technology intern.
  • Coaching: Mark Lunsford, varsity girls softball, 2022-23; Jason Hall, high school girls softball volunteer coach, 2022-23; Jeremy Bane, high school wrestling coach, 2023-24.
  • Resignation: Megan Stamps, cafeteria.
  • Retirement: Karen Hinkein, elementary instructional aide.

The board’s next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, in Room 80 at LMHS, 205 Parkway Drive, Cambridge City. The public may attend.

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A version of this article appeared in the May 24 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.