March Recognitions

At the March 13, 2024 Regular Meeting of the Board of Education the following individuals were recognized for helping to make Washington Township a Superior School District.

Congratulations to NCHS Sophomore Simon Lybolt-Wagner who recently achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer in the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps.  This is the highest rank in this program, and can only be achieved after a minimum of three years of service in the program. Simon is currently the training officer for the Cruiser Indianapolis (CA-35) Division.  Simon participates in drill weekends monthly, and has served on the leadership team of his unit for the past year, planning and leading the drill weekends.  Simon has completed advanced trainings out-of-state every summer and winter break for the past several years, including two trainings as a staff cadet where he trained and mentored newer cadets. He has also performed countless community service hours and color guards in his time in the Corps.  Simon’s leadership, commitment, and service are commendable. Congratulations again Simon, we are extremely proud of you and wish you much success!

Congratulations to NCHS Junior Salsabil Qaddoura who has been named the Indiana High School Journalist of the Year! Ryan Gunterman, Executive Director of the Indiana High School Press Association, was in town last Thursday to present the award. This is Washington Township Schools’ fifth recipient of this award, starting with our first in 2000. We’ve had more journalism students of the year than any other Indiana high school. The Indiana High School Journalist of the Year is selected from digital portfolios submitted to IHSPA that best meets the requirements set forth by the Journalism Education Association. The Indiana winner earns a $1,000 stipend and is eligible for scholarship funds of up to $3,000 in the national competition, which concludes at the JEA/NSPA Spring National HS Journalism Convention. We are honored to share in this outstanding achievement and wish Salsabil the best in her future endeavors.

Congratulations to NCHS for being selected as a 2024 First Amendment Press Freedom Award recipient. With us this evening is Tom Gayda along with some NC students to celebrate this amazing recognition. A committee with representatives of the Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association and the Quill and Scroll Society studied each application carefully and selected NCHS as one of the schools to honor. This is the fourth time NC will receive a First Amendment Press Freedom Award – two more times than the other two Indiana Schools who have received this award. NC is the only school in Indiana this year to earn this recognition, in fact, NC is the only school in Indiana to earn this honor in the past 20 years! Awards will be presented at the opening ceremony Thursday, April 4, at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. We cannot express enough how proud we are of these students and honor you as we recognize this group for this national honor!  Congratulations!

Congratulations to NCHS for being a finalist for the Innovation Pacemaker! The Pacemaker award, given by the National Scholastic Press Association, is the highest honor student media can earn. And what we always appreciate — the only Indiana school to ever be a finalist or winner! Again, with us this evening is Tom Gayda along with some NC students to celebrate in this recognition. The Innovation Pacemaker is designed to encourage out-of-the-box thinking and reward student media for the courage to take chances to improve service to their customers, readers and communities. There are six national finalists for the award this year. The winners will be announced during spring break. We wish you the best of luck and congratulations again on this huge accomplishment!

Congratulations to Performing Arts and Band Director, Granlund, Associate Director, Mr. Brinkman and the North Central High School Wind Ensemble as we are proud to announce their upcoming performance at one of the most prestigious concert venues in the world, Carnegie Hall. This remarkable event is scheduled to take place on March 25, showcasing the extraordinary talent and dedication of these young musicians. The North Central High School Wind Ensemble has consistently demonstrated excellence in musical performance, earning numerous accolades and awards at both regional and national competitions. Now, they are set to captivate audiences on the renowned stage of Carnegie Hall, a dream come true for many aspiring musicians. This performance at Carnegie Hall marks a significant milestone for the North Central High School Wind Ensemble, representing the culmination of years of dedication, practice, and musical growth. It is a testament to the unwavering commitment of the students, teachers, and supporters who have helped shape the band into the exceptional ensemble it is today. Join the NCHS Wind Ensemble for a special send-off concert as they prepare to embark on the once-in-a-lifetime journey to Carnegie Hall.  The concert will be held on March 18, 2024, at 7:00 pm in the NCHS Birge Auditorium. Congratulations and we wish you all the best!!!

Congratulations to Bunton, a behaviorist at Allisonville Elementary School. In February, Mr. Bunton was awarded WISH TV’s Golden Apple Award.  The Golden Apple Award honors Central Indiana Teachers who make a crucial difference in our children’s lives.  The prize comes with a check for $500, a trophy and a big surprise. One teacher stated, “He will sing a tune for you.” A student added, “He really likes singing.”  Principal Mrs. Reffett said, “He supports all of our students K-5. So he might go into classrooms – he supports more of the social and emotional learning and conflict resolution, and helping students stay regulated in their classroom and make great choices. Mr. Bunton has the ability to sense what a student needs and they thrive off of his positive energy. He has the most contagious energy. He is positive all of the time.  He believes in all kids, which is his very best quality. He believes in them. He never gives up on them, and they feel that, and they know that they are loved and cared for by him.” Congratulations again Mr. Bunton, we are so proud to have you as part of the Washington Township Schools’ family.

Congratulations and a HUGE thank you to John Jones and Mr. David Day from the Transportation Department. The Indiana State Police, Indianapolis School Bus Inspection Team inspected Washington Township Schools’ bus fleet February 5-7, 2024. During that time, The Indianapolis School Bus Inspection Team inspected over 140 buses and buses from other schools that needed to be inspected. The inspection process includes checking the exterior, interior, and undercarriage of each bus. For them to be able to inspect each bus, school corporations typically call in bus drivers to operate the buses for them while they inspect them. However, when they inspect buses at MSD Washington Township, they have been very fortunate over the last few years to have two of our employees helping them and they wanted to acknowledge them for their efforts. John Jones and David Day have been operating each MSD Washington Township bus for the Indianapolis School Bus Inspection Team during annual and semi-annual inspections. Their experience, knowledge, commitment to the safety of the buses, and inspection program have made our buses safer for students to ride in and the inspection process smoother. The Indianapolis School Bus Inspection Team often says to themselves that they wish they could have John and David travel with them during the year to help as they inspect over 4,000 buses in the Indianapolis area. On behalf of the inspection team and Washington Township Schools, we’d like to commend and thank John and David! Thank you for all you do to go above and beyond for our students, staff and community!

Congratulations to Nataki Pettigrew, Chief Academic and DEI Officer, as she is honored this month by WTLC during Women’s History Month for enriching the fabric of the Indianapolis society. Inspire HER honorees is a testament to the unwavering strength, grace and dedication exemplified by Indianapolis women.  Dr. Pettigrew is a transformative educator with extensive, diverse experiences in teaching, system-level leadership, curriculum and instruction, and student services.  Dr. Pettigrew specifically designed academic programs and services to meet the varied needs of her students through her experiences as a Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Principal, ELA Teacher, and Academic Team Lead.  Dr. Pettigrew has received commendations for her work in the community and has a proven record of initiating and sustaining systemic change, mitigating educational inequities, and launching inclusive and equitable initiatives to support students and their families.  Again, congratulations, we are extremely honored to have you as part of our Washington Township Schools team!

During the “School Spotlight” segment of the Board Meeting, members of the Spring Mill Elementary community, were recognized.

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