February 2015 Mustang Express

February 2015
Corporation Monthly Newsletter for the School Town of Munster
The Winter Blues?
It is that time of year again where we are all suffering a bit from the
winter blues. The holidays have passed and Spring Break seems to
be far away. Days of snow, gray skies, and cold weather dominate
our daily existence. Most of us are bored and tired. The football
season is over; television reruns are becoming the norm, and finding
fun things to do seems to be a difficult task to accomplish.
Dr. Jeff Hendrix
There is an answer to these winter blues. It is the School Town of Munster. This is an
exciting time in our district. Our website holds the key to finding out what is available
to do on a cold, gray day. Our sports teams are in full swing. Our high school
wrestling team is winding down its season and preparing for sectionals, regionals and
state competition. The girls’ basketball season is also finishing their season strong as
they move into the state competition. Our boys’ basketball teams are in the middle of
their season. If you like the water and the beach, then you can
In this issue:
watch are coed swim teams compete in sectional and state
competitions. If you are a fan of dance competitions, then you
 Planning for the
will enjoy watching our Munster Dance Team perform.
New Year
Department News
School News
At the School Town of Munster, we offer many activities that
relate to clubs, plays, and dances. Several clubs are meeting
after school each week for students to participate. The Munster
Theater Company is performing Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of
Notre Dame. At the end of this month, the Turnabout Dance
will held at Munster High School.
In closing, the School Town of Munster offers many opportunities
for our students, parents and community to participate and
support our schools. We are always looking for volunteers to serve in our schools and
in our after school events. We are also just a phone call away to answer questions
and provide information about our academics and extracurricular programs.
Again, let us help you beat those winter blues by inviting you to be a part of the School
Town of Munster.
Dr. Jeff Hendrix
Page 2
Super Chat with Dr. Jeff Hendrix
Super Chat with Dr. Jeff Hendrix is a new monthly podcast program for the School Town of
Munster hosted on the corporation website at http://www.munster.us. The program is designed to provide
corporation and school information on events, issues and information that is pertinent to the
School Town of Munster community. Topics for this monthly program will range from finance/
budgeting, academic programs, curriculum, assessment, and instructional practices to student organizations, extracurricular activities and sports. The program this month will feature Linda Bevil, Eads Elementary Principal and Nicole Guernsey, Elliott Elementary Principal sharing information on assessment. The show is hosted by Gary Puckett, a national talk show host and writer. To access the show
from the STM website, the listener must click onto the FlyPod logo, where the listener will be redirected to the podcast page and player. There is also a comment section on the FlyPod page for community feedback. We look forward to our community’s responses and ideas for future shows.
West Lake Special Education Cooperative
In 1972, Lake Central School Corporation and Munster School District joined resources to form the
West Lake Special Education Cooperative. This relationship was created in an effort to bring most
students with a disability closer to home.
It is the belief of the Cooperative that the doctrine of least restrictive environment, as required by
federal and state regulations, includes a full continuum of services and must include the option of
general education placement with supplementary aids and services. It is the goal of the Cooperative
to educate each student in his/her neighborhood school.
West Lake offers comprehensive services to each building in an effort to support students in their
home environment.
Referral for Special Education Services: Any individual (ie: parent, teacher, principal) suspecting that a
child is having difficulty in the regular classroom and could possibly benefit from special education,
should initiate a referral for possible testing by contacting the building principal. Every effort will be
made to assist the child at the building level. If strategies fail, permission for testing will be
sought. Any questions in this regard, please contact the Director at 219-865-1171.
Page 3
Hour of Code 2014
We live in a digital world, surrounded by computers and personal devices; however, for many, the concepts of computer science and coding are a mystery. The first step to demystify code and show that
anybody can learn the basics is to participate in the Hour of Code. In its inaugural year in 2013, the
Hour of Code introduced 15 million students to computer science.
The Hour of Code event is meant to make students aware of how easy it is to learn computer coding.
The Hour of Code is a global movement that is reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries.
Hour of Code takes place every year and involves students setting aside an hour to learn computer
Heather Bognar, the technology aide at Eads, believes that whatever career students choose, their
ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. “That’s why our
entire school joined in on the largest learning event in history.” At Frank Hammond, students remarked that it was both challenging and fun. For Leah Nozick, “The Hour of Code [has] made me rethink my options of jobs. Programming seems like something I would want to do when I get older.” The Wilbur Wright Computer Club did their hour of code after school. All teachers in STM were
encouraged to participate with their students as the district works to provide opportunities for our students in a technologically enhanced world.
For more information regarding Hour of Code, visit http://hourofcode.com/us.
Dr. Phyllis Gilworth
Director of Instruction and Assessment
Page 4
Eads Elementary School
Eads 4th Annual Family Math Night took place on January 29th. Family Math Night gave the students
an opportunity to show off their math skills. Meanwhile, parents got to see what their children are learning in math and maybe learn something new about mathematics themselves. During Math Night, students and their parents walked around and participated in activities based on different mathematical
topics. This night gave parents a chance to learn about our school improvement goal.
Why have a Math Night?
Math Night helps students overcome their anxiety about math, with unusual topics to spark their
interest and volunteers to help them when they get stuck.
Math Night introduces math topics in a different way than they are introduced in class, appealing to
the student’s differing learning styles.
Math Night helps students understand how math applies to many different kinds of problems in real
Math Night gives busy parents and teachers one more chance to connect with each other and with
resources in their community.
Math Night shows parents what their children are learning about in math.
Math Night gives teachers feedback about their school’s math curriculum.
Math Night shows kids that math is fun!
We would like to thank all of our families that joined us for Family Math Night. We appreciate your participation and the support you have given your children. And a special thanks to the Munster High
School Project X students who came to Eads and helped with the games.
Linda Bevil
Eads Principal
Page 5
Elliott Elementary School
Elliott Happenings……..
Elliott Happenings
We honored our Kind Eagles at an assembly at the beginning of the month. The students that were honored were: Alessandra Tovar, Brooklyn Harris, Max Kent, Logan Dumaresq, Ibrahim Ouyuon, Jaden Trejo, Leo Robinson, Owen Hoogeveen, Logan Williams, Abbey Masterson, Byron Szulczewski, Jahari Anderson, Alex Mohammed, Nathan Cleary, Justin Reid, Cerina Karahalios, Matthew Kowalczyk, Annie
Fuller, Charlie Mitchell, Thomas Livingston, Ian Paprstein, Marco DeCero, Cheyenne Richmond,, Olivia
Richey, Juan Guzman, Giovanna Ferrante, Lauryn O'Mara, Juliette Dixon, Simon Casey, Mia Unzueta,
James Flatt, Lauren Hoogeveen, Matthew Keilman, Brett Adams, Josh Palma, Andrew Keilman, Peyton
Johnson, Julia Gajewski, Steven Smith, Clayton Sinwelski, Sierra Sweeney, Julia Grabelle, Jake Uylaki,
Joel Flores, Anna Anderson, Brianna Richmond, and Edgar Mariscal. This month we are working on the
respect trait. Watch for next month’s Respectful Eagles.
day of school on January 26th. Look at a few of the creative projects our 1st graders made out of 100 things.
celebrated our 100th day of school on
January 26th. Look at a few of the creative projects our 1st graders made out of 100 things
Page 6
Elliott Elementary School, cont’d from page 5
Elliott Happenings, cont’d……..
For the past several months, the Elliott first graders have welcomed former school librarian Mrs. Marlene
Kaplan, and retired teachers Mrs. Iris Lem, and Mrs. Merrill Yalowitz, in their classrooms. Alongside parent volunteers, the ladies come every Thursday to lead small groups in activities that reinforce what Mrs.
Burzynksi and Mrs. Frazier have taught throughout the first part of the week. Mrs. Kaplan, a Munster resident who was a librarian at Lincoln Elementary in Calumet City, and her friends do their “homework” every
Wednesday as they pick up the books they will share with lesson plans and classwork. They are well prepared and well received. The children can’t wait for them to arrive and the reading fun to begin. If the ladies arrive early, they walk around quietly assisting children with activities. Mrs. Kaplan enters Mrs. Frazier’s room holding “treasures” she has brought that are associated with the story she is sharing. Mrs.
Lem, a Dyer resident, was a former teacher at Todd Hall School in Lincolnwood, IL. Mrs. Yalowitz, a former Munster resident of 30 years and current St. John resident, has also taught in IL. She was once a
second grade teacher at Lanier School in Munster. She has two grandchildren who currently attend Munster Schools. Jake is a junior at MHS and Lily is a seventh grader at Wilbur Wright. All the ladies have
wanted to give back to the community and thought volunteering at a school would be one way.
Ms. Nicole Guernsey
Elliott Principal
Page 7
Frank Hammond Elementary Notes
January Activities
Happy New Year to all as we move on to second semester at FHH!
Fifty (50) Frank Hammond students worked very hard to practice and fine tune their talents into a
“Fun, Fun, Fun!” 2015 Variety Show at the MHS Auditorium! Families, friends, staff, and students
were treated to a 29 act show that truly demonstrated both the dedication and the talent of these students. Even the bad weather days didn’t deter their dedication! The talented acts included a variety
of dance routines, fabulous voice solos, a Mustang “mini” cheer routine, amazing performances on
piano, violin, other musical instruments, and even a Blue Man Group drum performance! Student emcees and the incredible MHS auditorium crew kept the show running like clockwork! Many thanks go
out to both the MHS Auditorium crew and the PTO Committee of FHH Parents, headed by Leigh Ann
Westland, who made it all come together!
Students topped off the evening with a group finale of “Fun, Fun, Fun!” enjoyed by the proud family
and friends!
On January 23, the four fifth grade classes from Frank Hammond attended the play, “I Have a
Dream”, at the Center for Performing Arts in Munster. The study of African Americans’ civil rights
struggles is a part of the 5th grade curriculum in conjunction with the study of the Constitution and We
the People. This play brought to life the history of that struggle as students learned of the story of Martin Luther King, Jr. After the play, several students commented on how educated Dr. King was, and
others were stunned that whites would turn fire hoses and police dogs on black children marching for
freedom in Birmingham, Alabama. Discussions after the play included observations about the nonviolent demonstrations during the civil rights movement compared to some demonstrations today.
The whole play had only 5 actors from Theater IV in Virginia, and students were amazed at the many
different roles each actor portrayed. Creative scene changes added to the storyline. The play’s finale
was the actor portraying King delivering the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, causing the audience
to erupt in applause at the end. Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, said, “Martin gave his life in
search of a more excellent way, a more effective way, a creative rather than a destructive way. We
intend to go on in search of that way, and I hope you who loved and admired him will join us in fulfilling
his dream.” We hope the students who saw this play will play a part in making that happen.
Fourth grade students also
watched a video of and
discussed the famous “I
Have a Dream” speech
and brainstormed dreams for the world, the community, and self. They shared their ideas in cloud mobiles that
are on display in our hallways.
Nancy Ellis
Page 8
Wilbur Wright Middle School
Wilbur Wright Middle School News………….
Wilbur Wright Middle School has the pleasure of being able to showcase a bevy of talented students in each of its
music programs. The success of these departments comes from the dedication of the students, the commitment of
the families, and the development of the classes and program by the teachers past and present. The band, choir,
and orchestra programs continue to thrive this year, with an impressive 451 students (approximately 48% of Wilbur
Wright Middle School students) taking part in one of these classes.
Now that we are into the second semester of the classes, these programs become even busier than they were during
the first semester with added contests and competitions, including ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association)
and Circle the State with Song, as well as the upcoming concerts each group performs at the Munster High School
The Wilbur Wright Middle School band program, directed by Victor Ribadeneyra and Bret Winternheimer, will have a
concert on March 7, then host and participate in the ISSMA Junior High, Middle School, and Elementary Organizational Festival on March 13-14. Schools from around the area will attend the event to showcase the music they have
been working on and have their performances rated by judges. This will be Wilbur Wright’s second consecutive year
hosting the popular event. After that, the band will play in a combined concert with Munster High School on May 7 to
close out their performance year.
The choir, directed by Tracy Summers and (during Mrs. Summers’ maternity leave) Tim O’Rourke, will also stay busy
with a concert on February 25, students participating the Circle the State with Song in early March, and their final
“Pops” concert on May 19.
The WWMS Orchestra, directed by Bridget Parker, will have a combined concert with Munster High School on April 8,
with a final concert combined with the elementary and high school orchestras on May 11. The seventh and eighth
grade orchestra will also be competing at Great America’s “Music in the Parks” festival on May 16.
These talented and dedicated students continue to make our community proud and represent Wilbur Wright well at
each event they attend. If you have not had the chance to see these groups perform, I highly recommend watching
them show off their talents at one of their concerts in the spring. It is always amazing to see how far these students
come from 6th to 8th grade, as many go on to continue performing in the outstanding music programs at Munster High
School. Thank you to the students, parents, and teachers of these programs for representing Munster in such a positive way through your musical talents.
Page 9
Munster High School News
Munster High School continues to excel in and out of
the classroom. Recently, We the People finished 2nd
in the state and qualified for Nationals in Washington
D.C. They will be making the trek to our nation’s capital at the end of April. We wish all of our students and
coaches the best of luck!
On January 23rd, 2015, Robert Shinkan was inducted
into the Indiana Coaches Baseball Hall of Fame. Over
Coach Shinkan’s 40 year teaching and 30 year coaching career, hundreds of young men have reaped the
benefits of his mentoring and leadership. Congratulations Coach Shinkan!
Recently, Munster High School was recognized by the Washington Post as one of America’s
most challenging high schools. Our index score was based on the amount of college-level
tests given during the 2013-2014 school year as well as the percentage of students who are
from families that qualify for lunch subsidies. We were the #3 ranked school in the northern
half of the state according to this publication.
Page 10
Munster High School News, cont’d from page 9
Munster High School continues to recognize outstanding service to our students and school. Below
are recent winners of our Teachers and Employees of the Month:
ployee (Ally
October: Teachers (Val
Pflum and
(Kristen Szafasz and Joe Sokol) Em-
Jen Dettlo) Employee (Sharon Bobeck)
November: Teachers (Mike Gordon and Leigh Ann Westland) Employee (Jan Riccio)
January: Teachers (Leroy Marsh and Bob Shinkan) Employee (James Dancy and Betsy Tanzillo)
Pictures unavailable at this time.
Mike Wells
MHS Principal
Page 11
Student Nutrition & Food Services
“Feeding the Future
One Bite At A Time”
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” gives us a good lesson
on making healthy choices every day!
The beloved children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle has many teaching opportunities. The elementary Food Service Departments utilized this book for a fun promotion in January. The students that participated
in lunch were offered each fruit that the caterpillar ate corresponding to the day that he ate them. On Monday he ate
through 1 Apple, on Tuesday he ate through 2 Pears, on Wednesday he ate through 3 Plums, on Thursday he ate
through 4 Strawberries and on Friday he ate through 5 oranges. The Very Hungry Caterpillar on Saturday eats
through an overabundance of foods and doesn’t feel well after. On Sunday he ate through 1 Leaf and feels better.
Eating healthy fruits and vegetables is a good lesson for all us. Our bodies and minds grow and feel better when we
choose to put good foods in them!
Our students were invited to bring in pictures of good foods that the hungry caterpillar would need to eat to become a
beautiful butterfly. The students did a great job filling in the hungry caterpillar growth chart!
The Munster High School students are offered every Thursday a “Build Your Own Salad” and homemade soup bar.
We also offer freshly homemade baked rolls with the salad bar. The offerings are numerous!
before school lets out!
Munster Education Foundation can make your gift giving easier!
Give that special educator an apple!
Make a contribution to the Munster Education Foundation, and an individual of your choice, affiliated with the Munster schools, will be honored.
He/she will receive a specially designed card, with your name,
your special greetings, and a gold apple pin.
Complete the form below and send your check payable to:
Munster Education Foundation, P.O. Box 3046, Munster, IN 46321
All donors will receive an acknowledgement with receipt for a tax-deductible gift.
Please submit one form per honoree
NAME of Person Being Honored
School/Building/Bus # ____________________________________________________
Donor Name ______________________________________
Phone ___________________
(Name, as you want it to appear on gift card)
Address _______________________________________________________________________
Email Address ____________________________ Donation Amount Enclosed _______________
Include your special message on a separate piece of paper! It will be enclosed with the gift card & apple pin.
Suggested donation: $15.00 or more
All School Town of Munster students have the skills necessary to participate successfully in a global society.
The School Town of Munster, in partnership with all stakeholders, implements equitable and challenging learning experiences that provide the foundation for independent and innovative thinking.
The success of our school system depends on the collaboration and commitment of all students,
parents, and staff to high quality standards, expectations and performances.
Addressing unique learning styles and needs enables all students to learn.
A safe and supportive learning environment enables continuous learning opportunities for all students and staff.
Students will solve real world problems through the development of creativity, critical thinking, and
communication skills.
The curriculum is aligned both horizontally and vertically with national, state and local standards
and includes a variety of assessment strategies that provide feedback about learning to students,
parents and staff.
Data is used to drive instructional practices and monitor program effectiveness.
Professional development is an integral part of our ongoing plan for continuous improvement in the
use of research based instructional practices.
Diversity enriches our school system through the recognition of various ideas, values and cultures.
Access to and utilization of current technology is necessary for success in an ever-changing world.
All stakeholders have a voice and the opportunity to participate in the educational process.
School Contact Information
Administration Offices:
8616 Columbia Avenue, Munster, IN 46321
Munster High School Office:
8808 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321
Wilbur Wright Middle School Office:
8650 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321
James B. Eads Elementary School Office:
8000 Jackson St., Munster, IN 46321
Ernest R. Elliott Elementary School Office:
8718 White Oak Ave, Munster, IN 46321
Frank H. Hammond Elementary School Office:
1301 Fran Lin Pky, Munster, IN 46321