LOOGOOTEE – The Loogootee School Board approved the promotion of a long-time high school teacher to the position of assistant principal at Loogootee Middle School on Wednesday.
Shelley Christmas has taught at Loogootee her entire career, 21 years. Last year she taught seven dual-credit science classes. Students who pass these classes also receive college credit.
Christmas said she will teach four dual-credit classes next year, in addition to her administrative duties. A master's degree, plus additional training, is required to teach these classes.
Superintendent Chip Mehaffey said he hopes during the next year that other Loogootee teachers will be able to meet the academic requirements needed to teach these classes in future years. He described Christmas as “a great hire for Loogootee.”
Christmas will assume her new position July 1, replacing John Junco, who resigned after one year in the position.
Mehaffey said Junco loved his job at Loogootee, but a serious family situation has developed which required him to resign.
Loogootee High School Principal Chris Walker described Junco as being “like family to me,” saying he had known him since they went to college together. “He is as good a person as there can be. He has made the school very good.”
School Board President Brent Courter said Walker had told him Christmas was more important to Loogootee schools than he was.
“I'm humbled by the opportunity,” Christmas said after the meeting. “I'm excited. I love challenges.”
Christmas said she was ready for a new challenge after her only children, twin boys, graduated from Loogootee last month. She loves teaching and hopes to always be able to teach at least one class each year.
In other business, the school board received an update on the renovation project from Alan Knepp with the Vincennes architectural firm Myszak & Palmer. The major part of the project is installing a new heating and air conditioning system at both schools.
Knepp said the contractors are probably “getting annoyed with me” because he is on them every day to move the project along. It needs to be completed before students return in early August. He said the contractors have crews working 10-hour shifts five days a week, plus bring in supervisors from other projects to work on Saturday. He said the project is still on budget, with only one change order so far.
In the elementary, Knepp said drywalling was finished in the administrative area. Work has also been going on in the kitchen and restrooms. The ceilings have all been removed and outside work has begun.
Knepp said demolition work is nearly completed in the middle/high school. Workers have started priming for painting, which will begin in a week. In two weeks, the ceiling grid and flooring will be going in. The new heating and air conditioning units begin arriving next week.
In other business, the board renewed its food service contract with Aramark for another year. The board also approved recycling obsolete technology items and auctioning off old furniture. Classrooms will be receiving new furniture as part of the renovation project.