HCCSC board takes next step in process

Jay Peters (left) and Andrew Enderle
Jay Peters (left) and Andrew Enderle Photos by Rebecca Sandlin.

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees took its next step toward posting a referendum question to voters in the upcoming election by giving approval to authorize the administration to send a form of the Operating Question to the state Department of Local Government Finance.

The question, which seeks $1 million per year for eight years to boost teacher salaries and add safety initiatives, was approved 6-0 at the board’s meeting on Monday, June 24. Board President Mathew Roth was absent.

The question, which would appear on the Nov. 5 ballot, asks:

“For the eight (8) calendar years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall the Huntington County Community School Corporation impose a property tax rate that does not exceed six cents ($0.06) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other taxes imposed by the school corporation for the purpose of funding academic and educationally-related programs, managing class sizes, school safety initiatives, and attracting and retaining teachers?”

Scott Bumgardner, the corporation’s assistant superintendent for business and classified staff, said the question still needs to be certified by the DLGF before it goes to voters, which will take about 10 days.

The second, “Project Question,” which asks whether voters would support an increase in the property tax rate to fund a $68,480,000 building project at Huntington North High School, falls under different rules and must have a petition signed by at least 500 voters in order to appear on the ballot.

Bumgardner said Tuesday that the petition “is a little short” of signatures, but teachers and community members are helping to obtain enough signatures by the July 4 weekend in order to add that question to the Nov. 5 ballot.

Superintendent Chad Daugherty thanked those in the community who came to the two public forums that addressed the referendum, calling their participation an example of stakeholder focus and shared leadership.

On another item on the agenda, board members welcomed two new administrators hired into HCCSC, both of which are familiar faces.
Andrew Enderle has been named the assistant principal at Riverview Middle School. He previously taught at Huntington North High School, where he helped design the ABLE Program for HNHS students in partnership with Huntington University.

Enderle earned a degree in physical education and special education from Anderson University, and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Ball State University.

Riverview Principal James Bragg said Enderle is a “high quality individual,” who brings multiple experiences with him to the middle school.

“His passion and compassion for students will have a positive influence on the Riverview community,” he said.

Enderle noted that Daugherty hired him fresh out of college to be a resource teacher at the high school for two years.

“Huntington feels like home,” he said. “That’s kind of how it felt when I interviewed with Mr. Bragg, and that’s why I’m back. I appreciate the opportunity, and it’s an honor to be back with you.”

Jay Peters has also returned to HCCSC from Fort Wayne Community Schools to become the new director of curriculum and instruction, a position vacated by Daugherty when he took the helm as superintendent.

Peters earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Huntington College, a master’s degree from Ball State University and has had an administration and supervision standard license since 1988.

His prior career at HCCSC includes serving as assistant principal at Salamonie School, principal at Lincoln Elementary School and principal at Northwest Elementary.

“We are excited to bring Jay Peters back to HCCSC,” Daugherty said. “Mr. Peters brings a wealth of knowledge from over 30-plus years of experience as a building leader in HCCSC and FWCS. … We are excited for him to lead our principals and teachers in the areas of curriculum and instruction.”

“I’m excited to be back, and it’s truly a privilege and honor to be back to serve here at Huntington County Community School Corporation,” Peters told the board, adding that Daugherty was a principal intern of his while he was principal at Northwest Elementary.

On another matter, the board unanimously approved a two-year extension of the vocational cosmetology agreement with Creations Beauty School.

Under the agreement, the school corporation will pay $5,900 per student through 2021 for the two-year cosmetology program. Daugherty said the fees will pay for an instructor for the program, which is open to up to 20 11th and 12th grade students per class.

The board also approved a fee for a service and administrative outreach agreement with GoSolutions Group, Inc., the firm that helps process claims on behalf of the corporation’s Medicaid-eligible students. The fees vary per claim between 95 cents to $1.15 per student, based on the services they need.

Bumgardner noted that GoSolutions has helped HCCSC collect around $240,000 in Medicaid funds this year.

Two new positions, that of interpreter and educational diagnostician, were also unanimously approved for special education.

The interpreter position will be part time, to help develop a student’s sign language skills so he can communicate.

The educational diagnostician’s position would fill a school psychologist vacancy that has been posted for two months without any applicants.

Daugherty told the board that the corporation currently has two school psychologists, but one of them will retire in December. The educational diagnostician can do some of the assessments and write up reports that the school psychologists currently perform.