Back to School 2017-2018

What will the 2017-18 school year bring?

The Southside Times would like to take this time to again thank all of the educators in our communities who work so diligently to help provide students with the intellectual tools that’s necessary for them to be successful in life – whether public or private schools the community is blessed to have dedicated educators – and to those parents who realize that education really begins in their homes. Beech Grove, Center Grove, Greenwood, Franklin Township, Perry Meridian, Southport, Roncalli, Lutheran and all of our other private schools shared so much wonderful news of their academic and extracurricular successes from the previous school year, and we are excited to see what’s next. Here’s to a productive 2017-2018 school year for all school personnel and, of course, students as well.


Beech Grove City Schools

Welcome back to the 2017-2018 school year!  The first day of school is fast approaching – classes begin on Thursday, July 27.  It has continued to be a busy time all summer as we prepared our buildings and equipment for your return to school.  Be sure to refer to your Back to School newsletter that was mailed to all families in early June for important event dates scheduled for this school year.  In addition, be sure to access the “Hornet Blast” – our district’s weekly e-newsletter – for news and photos of our students and staff that will be highlighted throughout the year.  Our district Facebook page is also another excellent communication tool for all of the latest and greatest news from our district.  We missed you while you were on Summer Break and look forward to seeing you on July 27!

It’s going to be a great year!  And, remember, “It’s a Great Day to Be a Hornet!”

Paul A. Kaiser, Ph.D.



Center Grove Community School Corporation

On behalf of the Center Grove Board of School Trustees, administration, faculty, and support staff, we would like to welcome everyone back to school on August 2, 2017!

The vision of our school corporation is to provide all students with an “exceptional educational experience”. We approach every day with that vision in mind. The commitment of our faculty and staff to our students helped the Class of 2017 earn around $6 million in scholarships. In 2017, Center Grove High School (CGHS) was one of only 73 schools recognized by the Indiana Department of Education for having more than 25 percent of students score a three or higher on the Advanced Placement Exams. While these accomplishments are exceptional, we will soon begin a new school year with new goals to exceed.

The new school year will bring a new principal for CGHS. Mr. Jeffry Henderson is an experienced educator and instructional leader with nearly 30 years in education, including 15 years as a high school principal. We hope you will welcome him, his wife, and their two daughters into our community.

This year, we will open the new CGHS Student Activity Center and start construction on our newest school, Walnut Grove Elementary. The Activity Center will provide much needed space for our student-athletes and many extra-curricular clubs and groups. It will also host hours for community members who would like to use the elevated walking track. An open house is being planned for later this fall. The new elementary school is scheduled to open in August of 2019.

Both of these projects are being funded without impacting the tax rate. Our School Board and administrative team work diligently to make fiscally responsible decisions while providing the resources we need to provide a high quality education for our students.

We welcome community members to our school events and to visit our website at to learn more about the exceptional education experiences in Center


Rich Arkanoff, EdD


From left, FCHS Student Council reps, Emma Coney, Emerson Reuille, Lydia Laker, Micah Eisman, Michelle Gassert, Alexis Skrabak and Tara Kalia.

Franklin Central High School

Along with Principal Kevin Koers, the Franklin Central High School Student Council would like to give a big FLASHES’ WELCOME to the incoming Class of 2021 and our new Franklin Township Community School Corporation superintendent , Dr. Bruce Hibbard!  After being honored and recognized as one of “America’s Most Challenging Schools” by the Washington Post thanks to our dedicated staff and administration, our Student Council would like to challenge each student to do their best academically and give back to the community! We encourage our study body to join a club, choir, sport, or volunteer organization in an effort to make a positive impact on our Flashes’ Family! Let’s go, Flashes!

Submitted by the FCHS Student Council


Greenwood Christian Academy 

On behalf of the Greenwood Christian Academy (GCA) faculty, staff, and board, I would like to welcome everyone back to the 2017-2018 school year. We are excited about helping you and your child in their educational endeavors this school year. The purpose of Greenwood Christian Academy has always been to provide young people with an opportunity to receive a high quality Christian education within a Christ-centered environment.

This year we have added new technology programs to our already outstanding academics that will open up a world of opportunities to our students. We are fully accredited by the state of Indiana and offer both the Core 40 and Academic Honors Diploma.

We are an interdenominational Christian school with a student body of more than 600 students in Grades K through 12 representing more than 80 local churches. We know it is our mission to provide a college preparatory education with a Christian worldview and prepare our students to succeed academically and spiritually.

At the elementary level we emphasize the core subjects such as reading and mathematics, as well as provide special classes that help to ensure our students are well rounded. Our students have a 100 percent IREAD pass rate every year. And consistently score well above state averages on ISTEP.

At the middle and high school levels we utilize curriculum intended to prepare students for college and life, to encourage them to become lifelong learners, and lovers of God, His work, and this world. We provide an academically rigorous curriculum, and students with a strong desire to go on to college, or advanced degrees. We offer multiple dual credit courses through Vincennes University and Grace College, and our graduates have consistently maintained a 100 percent high school graduation rate and college acceptance rate.

In addition, GCA has thriving extracurricular programs, as well. We are members of the IHSAA and Johnson County Tournament and offer an extensive variety of athletic teams and activities for our students. Our Fine arts department is phenomenal. Both middle school and the high school put on amazing productions each year as do our choral and band departments.

At the core of all our activities is Christ. We are motivated and led by God’s Word. Our staff starts each morning with prayer, and our teachers lead daily devotions with their students. Our faculty challenges the students to meet their highest academic potential while modeling Christ’s love, discipline, and servant leadership.

The first day for students is Aug. 9th and we would be delighted to serve you and your family. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us for a tour.

Angelique Randall


Greenwood Community School Corporation

On behalf of the Greenwood Community School Corporation Board of Education, I would like to welcome students, parents, staff and community stakeholders back for the 2017-18 school year.  As always, we look forward to seeing our students!

I begin my fifth year as the superintendent here in Greenwood. I continue to be so appreciative of the opportunity to serve the Greenwood Community School Corporation and the Community of Greenwood.

The key word in the Greenwood Community School Corporation is “community.” It takes a community to help educate students. Everyone — whether you are a parent, staff member, business leader or a resident with no children in our school system — has a responsibility to our young people.

We are excited about the number of items occurring in the district this coming year. Namely, we have a new middle school that will open its doors to over 900 students.  We can’t thank the community enough for its support in making this happen.  Over the summer, we have also been able to complete a number of building upgrades that will serve as one more vital ingredient to a successful educational experience. 

Last school year, we were honored to be designated as an “A” district by the Indiana Department of Education. There were only a total of 23 school districts in the state that achieved this designation.  We are proud of this designation and our pledge to you is to continue doing everything we can to make our district even better.

Thank you for being a part of the Greenwood Community School Corporation.  Please know that we don’t take you for granted. We are a service organization, and we take our service responsibility to our students, parents and community seriously.

Please help us to carry out this mission by volunteering your time and talents to better serve our students.
Kent DeKoninck, Ph.D.



Lutheran High School

The Saints are taking another step toward excellence.  We have set an impressive benchmark with recent successes of multiple athletic teams competing in Indiana final four tournament action, academic teams qualifying and competing at the state level,  LHS / Indiana University dual credit courses outperforming others in the state, and the 57 out of 57 graduates from the class of 2017 making final preparations for college.  Like years past, this new year brings changes that will allow the Saints to push those benchmarks of success to even higher levels.  Coming in the 2017-2018 year, the Saints of Lutheran High School will dedicate a new synthetic turf athletic field, a new all weather running track, and a memorial to remember the passion and dedication of our teaching staff as witnessed through an English teacher Monica Wagner, who recently passed from cancer.  The Saints will also experience new intentional programming that will place all students from freshmen through senior in opportunities to effectively plan for careers and college.  Students will experience workshops, guest speakers, college visit field trips, practice testing for the college aptitude, and units of study from each curricular academic department that will highlight career and college opportunities.  Also the students, faculty, and staff of LHS will again march through each week taking care of community with five effective focal points that will guide us to act W.I.S.E.R.  With an entire academic year ahead of all the Saints, our mission to show Jesus Christ in all that we do, and our mission to provide for students an opportunity to be excellent, will move us to new heights and new benchmarks of success.  Welcome everyone to the 2017-2018 academic year.  We are the Saints of Lutheran High School.

Michael Brandt

Head of School


Perry Township Schools



أهلا بك.



Each of these words means welcome in Spanish, Arabic, Chin and Burmese, respectively – a few of the languages of our students.

As we get ready for the first day of school on Thursday, July 27, we would like to extend the warmest of greetings to all of our students and staff!

The Perry community has so much to celebrate this year. Construction crews are literally putting the finishing touches on four new kindergarten academies. Renovations are complete in 26 classrooms in nearly every elementary school. Falcon Stadium is just weeks away from hosting its first home game for Perry Meridian High’s football team, while Southport High’s fans will join us in renaming Perry Stadium to Cardinal Stadium. It is the beginning of an exciting new era.

The start of the school year marks a fresh start for students as well. With the promise of a new day comes the chance to start over and try new things – join a new club, raise your hand more in class, sit with a new group at lunch, seek some extra help in the difficult subjects. It’s never too late to switch things up! And rest assured, your peers are grappling with the same uncertainties and insecurities as you. We are all just humans on a journey to be the best version of ourselves!

As the second fastest-growing school districts in Indiana, we are excited to have one of the most diverse student bodies. As our student enrollment approaches 16,000 students, last year we welcomed 4,763 English learners who represented 67 countries and 73 languages. We anticipate our student population will steadily increase in the years to come, and we will continue to make diversity and inclusion efforts a priority to meet the needs of our newest Perry residents.

We look forward to seeing all of our students and staff back in class. We are rooting for your success! You are the Pride of Perry!

Patrick W. Mapes



Roncalli High School

At the beginning of the new school year, exciting new changes await our students and faculty upon their return. After years of planning, fundraising, design and construction, our school plant continues to emerge as one of the finest private school facilities in the state of Indiana. Plans for a new gymnasium are being finalized as of this writing.

Our school community is still celebrating an IHSAA 4A State Championship in football along with individual state championships by Alec Viduya in wrestling and Paige Saylor in the women’s long jump this past spring. It was a wonderful way to finish an extraordinary school year.

The academic accomplishments of our staff and students continue to reach new heights as well. Roncalli senior Heather Lezon claimed Roncalli’s 11th National Championship in the National Women in Construction architectural design competition and Senior Luke Murphy claimed Roncalli’s first-ever State Championship in Speech. Roncalli Physics teacher Ben Grimes was selected as the Indiana Physics Teacher of the Year. Our recently graduated Class of 2017 earned more than $28 million in merit-based college scholarships! The professionalism and dedication of our instructors translates into exceptional performance by our students, highlighted by our recent notification by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation that Roncalli will have 16 students recognized by the National Merit program as commended students and semifinalists, which is an all-time high for the school as well.

Our mission has long centered on working to develop life-long learners in service to others. Inspiring students to truly become life-long learners requires gifted teachers with a passion for their subject matter and an enthusiasm for teaching their students. Inspired teaching leads to inspired students and inspired students become their own best teachers.

We are looking forward to a fantastic year!

Dr. Joseph D. Hollowell