Mark Hobbs, director of the Heartland Caree Center, discusses several grants the facility has received in recent weeks. Photo by Joseph Slacian
By Joseph Slacian
The Heartland Career Center (HCC) has received grants worth more than $250,000 to help upgrade its industrial technology programs.
Officials from HCC, Ivy Tech, the county’s three public school corporations and a variety of supporters gathered Wednesday, Feb. 18 to learn about the grants and how educators envision using them.
“We’re truly blessed to work with a large, collaborative group of people for support of your efforts to continuously improve the education and training for our students from Wabash, Miami, Grant and Huntington counties,” HCC Director Mark Hobbs said, discussing the grants.
Southwood’s Robbie Cole (34) drives for two of his 19 points on Friday night against Northfield. Photo by Gary Andrews
By Gary Andrews
The Southwood boys’ basketball team was one win away from a piece of the Three Rivers Conference title and needed a win over county rival Northfield to get that share Friday. Jumping out to a quick 7-0 start the Knights defended home court by defeating Northfield 64-46 to share the TRC title with Tippecanoe Valley and Manchester.
The quick start was just that as Carson Blair took the Alex Harmon tip off and drained a three just four seconds into the game. Robbie Cole and Brandin Frazier then hit back to back buckets for the 7-0 lead. Tanner Wilcox stopped the run with a bucket with Alex Harmon answering. Jared Short made it 9-3 with a bucket when Noah Kirk hit from long range for a 12-3 Knight lead. The Norse would respond with buckets from Heath Miller and Noah Shear to cut the lead to 12-7 when Mathew Norse drained a three to give the Knights a 15-7 lead. Austin Burns finished the scoring in the quarter as Southwood led 15-9 after one.
The Wabash Lady Apaches basketball team poses for a team shot after winning the regional title on Saturday in Lapel. Photo by Gary Andrews
By Gary Andrews
After winning their seventh straight sectional title the Wabash Lady Apaches made the trip to Lapel on Saturday for the second straight year in search of that elusive regional crown.
It was no easy task as Wabash took on No.9 Shenandoah in game one, holding off a late Raider charge for a 50-47 win and another shot at a regional title. No. 10 Fountain Central defeated Sheridan on a buzzer beater in game two, setting up the championship game. The Lady Apaches trailed most of the game before wearing down the taller Mustangs in the fourth for an exciting 60-52 win to earn the schools first ever girls regional crown.
Southwood’s Abby Houlihan is joined by her parents, Vicki Houlihan (front row, from left) and Scott Houlihan as she signs a letter of intent to play golf at Indiana University Kokomo. She is joined by (back row, from left) Southwood Athletic Director Tom Finicle, IUK Athletic Director Brandon Podgorski, Southwood Golf Coach Rod Cole, and Southwood Assistant Coach JoDee Dale. Photo by Gary Andrews
By Gary Andrews
Southwood senior Abby Houlihan became the first recruit for the new golf program at Indiana University Kokomo. Houlihan signed her letter of intent Wednesday, Feb. 11, at Southwood.
While holding or being a part of 15 golf school records while at Southwood, Houlihan will be looked upon by the Cougars as a leader with the opportunity at playing number one right away.
by Eric Stearley
The Metropolitan School District of Wabash County kicked off its three-part eLearning program Wednesday, Nov. 6. Students got their first taste of at-home, technology-based learning, while district faculty and staff had a full day of professional development.
In August 2012, MSD schools began a one-to-one technology initiative, through which each student was given their own high-tech learning device to put the district on a fast track into the digital age. Kindergarten through second grade students each received an iPad, while 3rd through 12th grade students each got their own Macbook Air. This technology has allowed students unparalleled learning opportunities that were never before possible.
During eLearning Day #1, students at the elementary level created technology based projects designed to enhance their overall learning. Second grade students used their iPads to create a multimedia slide show presentation about non-fiction text features, such as the index of a reference book. The presentation had to include five slides, a picture, a picture caption, and voice-over, where students recorded themselves explaining the selected feature. Third grade students used the Garage Band program on their MacBooks to record a "fractured fairy tale," in which the students rewrote a fairy tale to make it their own.
High school students had projects of their own. Northfield Industrial Technology teacher Jon Higgins' 7th grade class used their Macbooks to conduct three video interviews, each with a person from a different generation. Students asked their subjects "what is the biggest technological advancement you've seen in your lifetime and why." Students then posted their work on the Internet for classmates to view and comment on.
The mass distribution of computing devices has also allowed local schools to overcome an obstacle in further educating their employees. As of 2010, state regulations do not allow schools to count half days toward their 180 instructional day requirement. In years past, the state allowed six partial days, allowing teachers to attend professional development seminars, workshops, and conferences for the remainder of the day. The availability of one-to-one technology has allowed the district to engage students in technology-based learning at home, giving teachers and other employees their own full day of learning. Every MSD employee, from teachers, to bus drivers, to cooks, custodians, and administrators had some kind of professional development planned for the day.
Teachers from the elementary schools spent part of their day discussing ISTEP data and determining what they needed to add to their curriculum to better educate and prepare students. The other half of their day was spent with Kristen Ziemke, a teacher at Chicago Public Schools. She showed the teachers ways that she has used technology in her classroom to enhance reading comprehension and student collaboration, while encouraging creativity. She also introduced the teachers to a series of websites that can aid students in creating technology-based projects.
Ziemke stressed the importance of peer and mentor feedback. She shared her students' testimonies regarding blog posts. The students explained how their use of blogs has changed the way they think about school work. One Chicago student shared how writing a blog post that her friends and family can get online and read has made writing for school more exciting and enjoyable.
Teachers at the high school level were involved in training tailored toward their own students and areas of teaching. Part of the day was spent meeting with departmental colleagues to decide upon common assessments. Jon Higgins met with Southwood's Industrial Technology teacher Gary Dale to determine common assessments and the technology available to facilitate that process. Part of the industrial technology program is what many think of as "shop class." Students use drills, saws, sanders, planers, welders, routers and lathes to create everything from dustpans to furniture. Because the equipment can be dangerous in untrained hands, students are required to complete an extensive series of safety tests before using the equipment. Safety demonstrations are now recorded and uploaded to a private Youtube channel, allowing students to review past safety lessons. It also allows students who miss class to catch up without taking time away from the teacher and the rest of the class. This technology has is now being used to synchronize the programs on both sides of the county, fostering consistency across the district.
"The technology available to us truly makes the classroom so much bigger," said Higgins.
Heather Rathbun, mother two Southwood Elementary students, weighed in on the at-home learning opportunity. She said that she very much enjoyed the break from the normal routine, which allowed her to work with her children in the learning process.
"ELearning is helping them to accept change and innovation," said Rathbun. "These are instrumental tools that are indisputable and undoubtedly vital in our students' education.
"From my point of view, it helps our students prepare for college," said Superintendent Sandra Weaver. "They have to learn to submit assignments online for college. That's the way of the world now."
Weaver has a student advisory board that she meets with on a monthly basis at each of the high schools. She met with the students last week after the eLearning day to get their perspective.
"The students said there was a lot of learning that occurred for them, that it went right along with what they were already learning, and that they had to do some additional research to prepare for the following day of school, and that's exactly what I wanted to hear," said Weaver.
Wednesday was the first of three eLearning days. The final two days will be held Thursday, Jan. 23 and Thursday, March 27.