School Board honors retiring teachers at meeting


The Switzerland County School Board met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday, and honored two teachers who will be retiring at the end of this school year.

Martha Blodgett and Joanne Gaudin have both informed the corporation of their intention to retire at the close of the 2010-2011 school year, and each was presented with a token of the board’s appreciation at Monday night’s meeting.

Martha Blodgett has been teaching in the Switzerland County system for 38 years, having taught a variety of grade levels in elementary schools. She is currently teaching at Jefferson-Craig Elementary.

“We are going to miss her because she is part of our family,” Jeff-Craig Principal Rhonda Pennington said at Monday’s meeting. “She has done an outstanding job over the years, and she is continuing to do an outstanding job now. We will miss her, but we wish her the best in her retirement.”

Joanne Gaudin has been teaching special needs children for 34 years, and is also closing her teaching career as a member of the Jefferson-Craig staff.

“You will be missed,” school board member Tonya Moore said. “You will never know the impact that you have had on children in this school corporation. You have done a wonderful job and you have been a wonderful influence. You cared about our kids and you worked hard for them. You will be missed.”

School Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Jones spoke about both teachers, having served with them as their principal while she was at Jefferson-Craig.

“These two ladies have been wonderful teachers and wonderful examples for our schools,” Dr. Jones said. “I can tell you from my experiences working with them that they have done an outstanding job of teaching our children.”

Teacher Jill Cord noted that both Martha Blodgett and Joanne Gaudin attended Switzerland County schools before going off to college; only to return to their home county and teach in the system that they were a part of as students.

“I think that’s an outstanding thing to consider,” she said.

Both were presented with clocks by school board president Andy Truitt, and then received an ovation from the audience in attendance.


In other business discussed by the school board:

-  Students honored for “Celebrating Success” in April were: Emerson Schroer from Switzerland County Elementary School; Nick Braun from Jefferson-Craig Elementary School; Alex Herbert from Switzerland County Middle School; and Demetrie Liapis from Switzerland County High School.

-  The school board heard the first reading on its new Pest Control Policy, which allows the parents of students with certain allergies to be notified prior to certain chemicals being sprayed in the schools.

-  A $200 grant for the high school science department from the George Robbins Memorial Fund was accepted; as was a $1,500 grant for the drug testing program from the Governor’s Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana and a $51,990 Rural School grant from the Indiana Department of Education.

-  After some discussion, the school board narrowly approved a measure to approve advertising for bids for three potential school projects this summer: building new dugouts at the high school baseball field; a street lighting project for security in the high school student parking lot and the road between the high school and administration building; and applying a top coat of paving for the student parking lot at the high school, paving the bus parking lot, and finishing the high school practice soccer field.

During the discussion board member Bill Roberts asked why bids were being advertised for projects that the board has not been in favor of in the past. Dr. Jones said that bids were being advertised on these projects so that the school corporation would have some idea of how much they would cost should the board decide to move forward.

Board member Tonya Moore said that she was not in favor of moving forward with any of these projects until after the board held its discussion at its May 4th meeting about the feasibility study that had been done and what may or may not happen with sixth graders in the coming years.

Wayne Daugherty said that the board wasn’t approving these projects, but was merely getting bids on cost. He said that no decision could be made until the board knew the costs involved.

After more discussion, the board voted 3-2 to approve advertising the bids, with Andy Truitt, Nancy Peters and Wayne Daugherty voting in favor; and Bill Roberts and Tonya Moore voting against. Board members Vern Waltz and Jim Phipps were not in attendance at the meeting.

-  A recommendation for Nancy Martin to serve as a high school cheerleading coach was tabled.

-  The sixth grade trip to Camp Livingston was approved.

-  A trip by the boys basketball team to Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, with coach B.J. McAlister was approved.

-  It was announced that the school board will hold an open working session on Wednesday, May 4th, to discuss the feasibility study and consider long term options for where the sixth graders will go to class.