Last week I attended numerous celebrations in our schools to honor students and staff for their accomplishments. I invited the valedictorian and salutatorian from our high schools to breakfast because I wanted to carve out some personal time without distractions to learn from their experiences what we do well and what we need to improve upon. I take their suggestions back to our staff to address. I found it interesting that all four students spent their entire academic careers attending Perry Township Schools.
Perry Meridian’s valedictorian is Jackie Hsu for achieving a grade point average of 4.62, ranking first out of 547 students. He will study computer science at Yale in the fall. The salutatorian is Lauren Daeger, who achieved a 4.50 gpa. She plans to major in international studies with a concentration in Latin American studies and Spanish at Indiana University Bloomington.
Southport’s valedictorian is Jensen Smith; he earned a 4.62 gpa, ranking first out of 478 students. Smith will study international business at IU Bloomington. The salutatorian is Victoria Updike, who earned a 4.5 gpa and plans to major in psychology and minor in Spanish at IU Bloomington.
These students not only excel academically but they are immersed in extracurricular activities from Best Buddies tutoring programs to National Honor Society, choir and even publishing the school newspapers. These students work from sunup to sundown and beyond!
On another note, I must take a moment to honor the talent that this district is losing through retirements this year.
Martha Brown (17 years), Sharon Bryant (17 years), Karen Butchko-Cleary (27 years), Charlotte Champion (33 years), Elizabeth Cooper (28 years), Barbara Ellis (23 years), Martha Fair (11 years), Judy Gary (10.5 years), Mary Ann Gaybrick (18 years), Joyce Gentry (34 years), Susan Greaves (38.5 years), William Harding (14 years), Donna Harrison (18 years), Sharon Hritsko (23 years), Holly Jones (28 years), Mary Jungemann (19.5 years), Lynda Key (38 years), Marcia Kirk (41 years), Ann Marie Knoll (21 years), Elizabeth Levin (31.5 years), Richard Lines (11.5 years), Janet Lucas (33 years), Patricia Meyer (19 years), Karen Newport (28.5 years), James O'Brien Jr. (43 years), William Penish (37.5 years), Jacqueline Pearcy (19 years), Catherine Radomski (40 years), Cindy Shrontz (25 years), Jeff Teter (35.5 years), Barbara Toon (29 years) and Lois Vick (19 years)
We wish them many happy and healthy years of retirement.
Now and always, it is with tremendous pride that I serve as your superintendent.