What will the 2018-19 school year bring?

The Southside Times thanks the educators in our school system to provide the tools necessary for students to be successful in life. The community is blessed to have such diligent and dedicated educators from our local private and public schools. Thank you also to the parents who believe that education begins in the homes. Beech Grove, Center Grove, Franklin Township, Greenwood Community, Greenwood Christian Academy, Lutheran, Perry Meridian and Southport and Roncalli proudly shared their success stories from the previous school year. We look forward to hearing what they have planned for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. We’re confident that the schools will be having yet another successful and productive year.

Photos from Stock Unlimited.

Beech Grove City Schools

For the upcoming school year, we are excited to share that the instruction your child will receive is going to look a bit different than it has in the past. In grades 1-6, students will receive instruction from all three teachers on their instructional team. Students will have a math teacher, a reading teacher and a science and social studies teacher. Kindergarten students will have only one teacher who will teach all of the basic subjects. Every student will benefit from this model, where our teachers become “experts” in their content area. Our teachers will be working closely together to make certain all Indiana Academic Standards are being addressed.

As well, the teachers will collaborate to create and implement engaging and motivating lessons for their textbooks, provided by Curriculum Associates. In addition, all K-8 students will receive science instruction from new curriculum and materials. This new instructional model and curricular materials will allow for greater consistency and alignment, not only between classes in the same grade, but also between grade levels and schools. Our administrators and teachers are committed to providing all students with the highest quality instruction and this model provides that opportunity. Our ultimate goal is to improve the classroom experience of our students, leading to a deeper understanding and higher levels of achievement. If you have questions regarding this new model, please contact your child’s principal: Erin Probus, Hornet Park Elementary (grades K-1), Craig Buckler, Central Elementary (grades 2-3), and Tonya Reid (grades 4-6), South Grove Intermediate.

We are also continuing many of our excellent educational programs that provide our students with the opportunity to explore, engage and excel. Beginning with our littlest Hornets at Hornet Park Elementary, the “Passport on Main Street” program introduces our students to Beech Grove businesses and the jobs people perform in those businesses. Our intermediate, middle school and high school students participate in robotics teams and competitions. Our South Grove students recently participated in a World Robotics Championship in Louisville. Our middle and high school students have active FFA chapters, with Beech Grove City Schools having the second largest volunteer FFA chapter in Indiana! Beech Grove High School students have the opportunity to be involved in our Business and Science Academies, both offering exciting and rigorous courses, including advanced interactive media, entrepreneurship and new ventures, marketing, including sports and entertainment, hospitality and tourism, merchandising, video production and television broadcasting.

Our Science Academy provides many AP (Advanced Placement) courses including biology, chemistry and physics. In addition, a science research/independent study course provides students with the opportunity to attend summer biology camp and work with a Purdue University professor. And two Project Lead the Way (PLTW) programs: Bio-medical and engineering add to providing an engaging, hands-on classroom environment that empowers our students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the future. We are proud that Beech Grove City Schools continues to provide a strong foundation for our students because of our great teachers and staff, our board of education, and the involvement of our parents.

Once again, this year, registration will take place entirely online for returning families beginning July 1 through July 13. The exception is the in-person registration of our kindergarten and new first grade students who will register on July 10 from noon – 7 p.m. For students who live outside of our district and are not currently enrolled in Beech Grove City Schools, please access the application on our website: bgcs.k12.in.us or call (317) 788-4481. We would love to see you as a Beech Grove Hornet! We look forward to welcoming you on our first day of school, Thursday, July 26. Until then, have a safe and fun summer break!

Paul A. Kaiser, Ph.D.

Center Grove Community Schools 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 Aug. 2, 2018! Our school corporation’s vision is to provide all students with an “exceptional educational experience”. We are incredibly fortunate to have knowledgeable teachers and dedicated staff members who are devoted to helping our students succeed. While education is our mission, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Our Center Grove Police Department (CGPD) is a critical part of keeping Center Grove safe. They patrol our buildings, inside and out, and help monitor the more than 500 security cameras installed throughout the district. We have a background check policy in place for volunteers and use LobbyGuard to check in and screen visitors. In addition, we’ve added a fourth CGPD officer in January and a second canine this summer to the department to help keep our students safe. Our officers are in every school every day.  However, it is important for every student, staff member, parent and visitor to follow the security procedures for our buildings.  We are proud of the continued investments in safety by our School Board. You can read more about Center Grove’s ongoing commitment to safety at ​centergrove.k12.in.us/safety. The new school year will bring new principals for Center Grove Middle School North, North Grove Elementary and Sugar Grove Elementary. Dr. Davin Harpe will move from Sugar Grove to Center Grove Middle School North. Dr. Harpe has served as principal of Sugar Grove Elementary since July 2013. Before coming to Center Grove, he spent 14 years as a principal, assistant principal and teacher in various schools in Brownsburg, Franklin Township, Hamilton Southeastern and Western Boone school corporations. Dr. Harpe has received the Indiana Association of School Principals Elementary Principal of the Year and was named a National Distinguished Principal. The new Sugar Grove principal will be Mrs. Jessica Hyde. Mrs. Hyde ​served as the assistant principal for Pleasant Grove Elementary for five years. She spent six years as a teacher in Center Grove before moving into administration. North Grove’s new principal will be Mr. Ron Siner. Mr. Siner has been an assistant principal at North Grove, Maple Grove, Center Grove and most recently Sugar Grove Elementary. He started his career as a teacher at Sugar Grove in 2001.  All three are excited to start working with the staff, students and families in their new schools. Work is progressing on time and on budget for the August 2019 opening of our newest elementary school, Walnut Grove Elementary. Later this fall, we will bring together staff and parents to work through how we will redraw our boundary lines to shift students to this new school. You can see photos and get updates on the school at ​centergrove.k12.in.us/WGES​. We are proud that construction of this school was funded without impacting the tax rate for White River Township taxpayers. We are fortunate to have a school board and administrative team that work diligently and cooperatively to provide the resources we need to provide a high-quality education for our students, all while being fiscally responsible. We are excited to continue our Silver Card program for White River Township residents who are age 62 and older in appreciation for their support of our school corporation. You can apply for the card or renew your card on our website to receive free admission to many athletic and arts events in Center Grove. We welcome all community members to attend our school events and school board meetings and to visit our website at ​centergrove.k12.in.us​ to learn more about Center Grove’s exceptional educational experiences!


Richard A. Arkanoff, EdD

Franklin Central High School

On behalf of the Franklin Township Community School Corporation School Board, administration, faculty and support staff, we would like to welcome everyone back to school for the 2018-2019 school year!

Franklin Township Community School Corporation focuses on learning, collaboration and results. In 2017, besides leading Marion County Public Schools in ISTEP scores, FTCSC had five four-star schools and six schools rated “A” by the Indiana Department of Education; both are the most for any Marion County public school district. Franklin Central High School (FCHS) earned Silver Status and was ranked as a Top School in Indiana and America by U.S. News and World Report for the sixth straight year. In addition, FCHS was once again recognized by the Indiana Department of Education as an Indiana top high school for our Advanced Placement exams’ passing percentage. Franklin Central High School is excited about our change of athletic conferences this year to the Hoosier Crossroads Conference. The Hoosier Crossroads Conference members are Avon, Brownsburg, Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern, Noblesville, Westfield and Zionsville. This school year we will open the Annex Learning Center. The Annex Learning Center will help students experience success in an alternative classroom setting. Also, construction is underway for the re-purpose of Wanamaker Elementary School to the Wanamaker Early Childhood Center. The Wanamaker Early Childhood Center will open for the 2019-2020 school year. You may follow the renovation and learn more about the Wanamaker Early Childhood Center on twitter @WanamakerECC

We know that student success increases when parents and the community are actively involved in our schools. We encourage you to contact your child’s school to find ways to volunteer in the school. In addition, please visit and bookmark our website at ftcsc.org for resources and information to help your child experience success this school year. Finally, you can also stay current by following our central office, schools and many staff members on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instragram and YouTube. Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year!  #WeAreFlashes

Kent Pettet, Ph.D.

Chief People Officer

Greenwood Christian Academy

On behalf of the Greenwood Christian Academy (GCA) faculty, staff and board, it is our pleasure to welcome everyone back for the 2018-2019 academic year. We are excited about all the great changes taking place at GCA this upcoming year.

When you first enter our doors, the look of GCA will be vastly improved. Our main school office will be front and center. Security measures have been enhanced even more with a new security check-in system that will be monitored beginning at 7 a.m.

Next, GCA has a new administration team to better serve our families’ needs. This team includes Jason Klingerman as our K-12 pastoral principal, Angelique Randall as our K-12 academic principal, Kevin Jackson as the middle school and high school academic dean and Christine Cross as the elementary academic dean. In addition, we know that part of any great school includes great communication. So, we have also improved resources in this area. We now have dedicated new staff assigned to internal and external communications, community relationships, volunteer coordination, financial aid and admissions.

We are an interdenominational Christian school with a student body of more than 500 students in grades PK through 12 representing more than 80 local churches. We know it is our mission to provide an excellent education with a Christian worldview and to prepare our students to succeed both academically and spiritually.

At the elementary level, we will continue to emphasize the core subjects such as reading, writing and mathematics, as well as provide special classes, including art, Spanish, PE, technology and music, to ensure our students are well rounded. This year, we have also expanded our preschool program to include a new full-day program, as well as resources for the RtI program, including a full-time teacher for student interventions and meeting individualized learning needs.

At the intermediate and middle school levels we utilize specialized curriculum intended to prepare students for the rigor of high school, enhance their STEM knowledge and help them to develop cognitively, socially and spiritually. We have added some new elective choices at the 7th and 8th-grade level and improved on the band program in all grades. Additionally, with the help of our families, we are able to offer one to one Chromebooks in grades 5-12.

At the high school level, we will intentionally focus on courses and internship opportunities to effectively prepare our students for the upcoming demands of college and careers, 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 including dual credit courses through both Vincennes University and Grace College.

Finally, GCA has thriving extracurricular programs as well. We are members of the IHSAA, Johnson County Tournament, and the regional PACC conference. Our fine arts department is phenomenal. Both the middle and high schools deliver incredible productions each year, as do our choral and band departments.

However, at the core of all our activities will continue to be Christ. We are motivated and led by God’s Word. Our theme this year is THE STORY: We Learn the STORY, Live the STORY and Love the STORY. Psalm 107:2 tells us “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story!” Our faculty challenges the students to meet their highest academic potential while modeling Christ’s love, discipline and servant leadership.

Thank you for being a part of the GCA family. We are looking forward to an amazing year. Our first day for students is August 8.

Angelique Randall

K-12 Academic Principal

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 2018-19 school year.  As always, we look forward to seeing our students!

I want to first mention the members of our board of education. Our success as a school district starts with this governing body. Members of our board of education are Steve Moan, president; Jack Napier, vice president; Mike Metzger, secretary; Nick Schwab, member; and LaDawn Weston, member.

I begin my sixth 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.

Our school district enrollment has grown steadily over the last five years to where we are projected to begin this year with over 4,000 students. We always appreciate the feedback we get from parents new to our district regarding the positive culture and climate that exist for our students.

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.

Here’s to a great 2018-19 school year!


Kent DeKoninck, Ph.D.


Lutheran High School of Indianapolis

The Saints are marching into a new year with great anticipation of a healthy dose of challenge, growth and success. The mission of Lutheran High School presents its challenge to all students and teachers in preparing for life as Christians and therefore has adopted a school year Bible verse from 1 Peter 3:15. Our journey as Christians needs to connect to the real hope revealed to us in God’s word.  The Saints will also accept the second challenge in the mission of LHS in pursuing academic excellence. Students are eagerly awaiting the growth that will be gained through each student’s planned college readiness curricular path and the partnership with The College Board. The faculty of LHS, comprised of more than 60 percent with an educational master’s degree, will also continue its partnership with the Advanced College Project at Indiana University to provide more opportunities to students through the rigors of dual credit. Academic, robotics and sports teams have begun their work to draw students together in achieving commons goals through problem solving, preparation and performance. A new start is always a fresh start.  The community of students, teachers, parents and sponsors of Lutheran High School are ready to continue its 40-plus years of excellence. Getting new starts, continuing good traditions and aspiring to new levels of excellence will continue to be the character of Lutheran High School. God bless the Saints and all schools preparing for another year.

Michael Brandt

Head of School

Perry Meridian and Southport High schools

Dear students,

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, a new journey begins. We will welcome our Falcons and Cardinals, students and staff, back into our classrooms for the first day of school at Perry Meridian and Southport High schools.

A new year marks a new opportunity to do better. Those who were happy with their academic, athletic and extracurricular performances can look for new opportunities to grow and stretch themselves even more, if they are so inclined. Students who regret last year’s choices, academically or socially, can start with a clean slate. The choices of our past do not have to follow us into our future. Our mistakes are not what define us. This year can be different from last year. Ask for extra help when classes get hard. Introduce yourself to a new classmate even if you already have a solid circle of friends. Talk to counselors about the stressors of home or school when things get tough. Do not hesitate to ask questions in class. Guaranteed, many of your classmates have the same questions and they are nervous to ask them, too.

Do not be afraid to fail. History is filled with innovators and icons who didn’t get it right the first time. And in many cases, they didn’t get it right the second, third and fourth time either. It excites your teachers to watch you challenge yourself and you will discover confidence you never knew you had.

The cliché says, “it’s a small world,” but it is actually quite large. There is so much for you to see and experience within our community and abroad. Join a new club or activity you have always wondered about. Enroll in a Central Nine Career Center class and learn a new skill that might help you make decisions about your future. Do not limit yourself. The entire Perry Township Schools community is rooting for your success.

You have all of the skills you need to succeed. Take flight, Cardinals and Falcons. May you soar beyond your wildest dreams.

All the best,

Perry Township Schools Administration

Roncalli High School

At the beginning of a new school year, it is appropriate to consider the many opportunities offered to students who get a great education during their high school years. The competition that is emerging as a result of the globalization of our economy makes these opportunities even more important for the future of our youth.

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. Recent fundraising efforts have been successful and this year Roncalli is preparing to embark upon the construction of a new gymnasium for the school community. Current plans are for the construction to be completed in the 2019-20 school year.

However, it is the exceptional quality of the education that our students receive while here that is most unique about our school. That quality has always been the result of the extraordinary commitment of our teachers and staff working alongside students from families who put a high priority on the education of their children. As a result of this combined effort, Roncalli graduates are making an impact on the greater good of societies all across the world.

The academic accomplishments of our staff and students continue to reach new heights. For the sixth year in a row, Roncalli has been designated a Four-Star School by the Indiana Department of Education. As an indication of the excellent foundation our students receive for college, our recently graduated class of 2018 earned an all-time high of $29.3 million in merit-based college scholarships!

The professionalism and dedication of our teachers translate into exceptional performance by our students, highlighted by our recent notification by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation that Roncalli will have 15 students recognized by the National Merit program as commended students and semifinalists, which matches an all-time high for the school as well.

Our enrollment will be nearly 1,200 students at the start of the year. We are excited to welcome the gifts and talents of so many young people. Our efforts to ensure that every student is engaged in the life of the school have been enhanced in recent years. We feel it is imperative that our students take full advantage of the many extracurricular programs and clubs that are offered at Roncalli. Research has consistently shown that students engaged in the extracurricular life of their school are much more likely to succeed in all areas of school life — especially the classroom.

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. It is a successful formula for optimizing student achievement upon which we continue to rely. We are so thankful for the abundance of inspiring teachers who are plying their craft at Roncalli. We look forward to a fantastic year!

Dr. Joseph D. Hollowell