By Andrea McCann
ELNORA — At the North Daviess Community Schools Board meeting Monday, Superintendent Bob Bell announced that 17 of the school’s 2012 graduates received an Associate of Arts degree in general studies from OCU.
The students completed 64+ hours of college course work while in high school to earn the associate degree upon high school graduation. The group made up 27 percent of the class. OCU waived fees for two students who were part of the free/reduced lunch program. Five of the students are first-generation college attendees.
In a follow-up report on the students, Todd Whitlock, technology, curriculum and testing coordinator, stated: “Twelve of the students have enrolled in an Indiana state funded university, and five of the students enrolled in an independent college or university. Fifteen of the students stayed in state to further their education, and two are enrolled outside Indiana.”
The estimated total savings for the students — who each entered college as a junior — and their families is $582,810.07. That number is based on in-state fees and does not take into consideration financial aid.
“This program has been very beneficial for our community and students,” Whitlock wrote. “We are pleased that OCU and our teachers have worked hard to make sure the course work is aligned and rigorous to prepare our students to be successful. Many schools push Advanced Placement instead of Dual Credit programs, but based on our community numbers being low in adults with college degrees, we felt this fit our community’s and local employers’ needs.”
According to Whitlock, 20 percent of Daviess County adults 25 and older have an associate degree; fewer than 10 percent have a bachelor’s degree. High school Principal Jed Jerrels reported that all 16 Oakland City University associate degree students at North Daviess passed the English/language arts competency test.
In his report, Jerrels also said the staff continues their RISE Student Learning Objectives experience; Beta Club won the Philanthropy trophy for the 10th year in a row by raising $5,000 for Camp About Face; the FFA Crops Judging team will compete in the state competition; and several staff members are attending professional development opportunities.
In her report, elementary Principal Jodi Berry told the board there are 670 elementary students, which she believes ties for an all-time high enrollment. She also said extended RISE evaluations are beginning; she has started a forum on Learning Connection for the elementary staff to provide transparency for the evaluation process and a way to ask and answer questions; Spell Bowl Team placed first in its division and second overall, missing out on first-place overall by only one point; six NDE students won prizes in the Drug Free Calendar Contest; and fourth-grade students participated in an American flag curriculum unit.
Both principals mentioned the Veteran’s Day program was the best the schools have hosted so far.
Bell advised the board that the corporation received 100-percent reimbursement — $13,791 —from the Department of Education for summer school classes.
Under personnel, the board accepted the retirement request of Maintenance Director Jack Bechtel, effective Dec. 2.
“He has been with us 24 years,” Bell said, “the last nine or 10 years as maintenance director.”
The board approved Darrell Wagler to fill Bechtel’s position. Bell described Wagler’s background and listed the certifications he holds.
“I expect Mr. Wagler to hit the ground running,” he said.
In ECA appointments, Brad Steele was approved as a volunteer high school basketball coach.
A field trip was approved for the Crops Judging Team to go to Purdue University Dec. 7 for the state competition Dec. 8.
In other business, Bell explained changes in language for the discipline policy and the school wellness policy.
The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 17.