School honors Morris with library renaming

Thursday, June 20, 2013
Deer Meadow principal Gwen Morris (right) laughs as superintendent Dawn Puckett tells a story from the retiring educator's 41-year career with Greencastle Schools. The school board voted unanimously this month to rename the Deer Meadow media center in honor of Morris.

While spending a big portion of its June meeting honoring retiring staff members, the Greencastle School Board bestowed no higher honor than what it did for Gwen Morris.

The Deer Meadow library is now named the Gwen Morris Media Center in honor of the retiring principal.

Petitions signed by 180 residents had already been presented, and media assistant Janice Heavin also spoke to the board members to make the move.

"One of Gwen's big emphases is reading," Heavin said. "She's started I don't know how many reading programs for Deer Meadow."

Heavin's appeals were likely not necessary, as board members happily approved the request.

"Without a doubt, Gwen treats every child who comes through that building as if he or she were her own," board vice president Mike White said.

With 41 years of service to the corporation, Morris was the longest tenured retiree.

Superintendent Dawn Puckett took a few moments to honor each retiree, several of whom were in attendance.

The 2012-2013 retirees also included Janice Evans, 40 years; Stephen Ball, 37 years; Trish Lowe, 31 years; Mary Moore, 27 years; Joseph Crooks, 21 years; Diana Callahan, 20 years; Sharon Hoskins, 18 years; Carol Call, 18 years; Jeff Sigworth, 15 years; Shirley White, 14 years; and Maurice McKee, 12 years.

"This group of individuals represents 294 years of service, which is huge for our corporation," board member Denise Sigworth said.

Another person completing his service to the school corporation was board president Mike Dean, whose term ends on June 30.

White reported that Dean was out of state on the day of the meeting, but that his fellow board members thanked him for his 12 years of service.

Dean will be replaced on the board by new Madison Township appointee Dale Pierce, who previously served 17 years on the board.

In other business:

* The board changed the July meeting date to Wednesday, July 17. Central office staff requested the change because the regularly scheduled date of July 10 falls too close to the July 4 holiday to properly prepare financial reports.

* School lunches will increase five cents for the coming school year. Lunches will now be $2.45 for elementary students and $2.55 for middle and high school students.

* The board also approved a number of personnel items.

The board accepted the retirement of GHS special education teacher Mary Moore, along with the resignations of Tzouanakis special education teacher Alisha Staples, GMS counselor Jennifer Brodar, GHS science teacher Jeremy Kiesler and GMS life skills instructional assistant Ashley Allred.

New hires included assistant superintendent Jeffrey Hubble, GMS assistant principal Bryan Emmert, GHS special education teacher Rachel Adams, GHS math teacher Rebecca Hoesman, GHS English teacher Margaret Walters, speech and language pathologist Sandy Baker and GMS part-time math teacher/part-time athletic director Lance Sluder.

Summer hires include Logan Kuhne, GHS math; Donovan Wheeler, GHS English; Glenn Hile and Bradley Key, GHS government/economic; Sharla Arnold, K.I.D.S. program coordinator; and Kathy Terry and Jessica Stockton, K.I.D.S. program teachers.

The board granted special education teacher Jennie Pryce a transfer from Tzouanakis to Deer Meadow. Gina Ames was also granted an unpaid leave of absence for the upcoming year.

Classified employee moves included Lucinda Fox transferring from GHS guidance secretary to database coordinator and the hires of Brenda Meyer as GHS guidance administrative assistant, Hannah Mitchell as K.I.D.S. pre-school teacher and Amy Lewis, Brenda Green, Audra Millican, Nicole Bartels and Kim Rossok as K.I.D.S. instructional assistants.

Extra-curricular hire included Walters as varsity volleyball coach, Hoesman as assistant volleyball coach, Garry Anderson as varsity cross country coach and Ivonne Martinez and Laura McMaster as volunteer assistant cross country coaches.

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