In my time traveling around my district, I have the opportunity to observe, interact, and admire many of the wonderful aspects of Northwest Indiana. Chief among them is our educational system. Every day we have students, instructors and administrators working their hardest to ensure a quality education is provided to students across the region.
Earlier in August, I had a very informative meeting with Dr. Annette Zupin, Superintendent of the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation. Her school system is dealing with issues that are common among rural school districts including changing demographics and shrinking enrollment. I also met with AJ Gappa, Superintendent, Knox Community School Corporation. Topics discussed included special challenges facing rural schools, pre-K education, vocational education, testing and certainly funding.
Another outstanding example of a group of educators who are continually adapting to teach and train the workforce of the future are the vocational programs offered by schools like the Porter County Career and Technical Center. I am in awe of some of the opportunities afforded to students in the area, where they combine their traditional high school education along with an immersive one or two year vocational program in a multitude of disciplines from nursing, computer-aided design, network engineering and video production.
(And while I’m sharing this on ValpoLife.com, a special congratulations goes out to Bob Phelps, an instructor at the Porter County Career and Technical Center, who was recently rewarded for his positive impact on the region with a Good Life Awards. A deserving award for a talented teacher.)
Schools across our district continue to grow. Upgrades are going on in Valparaiso to modernize many of their schools to meet today’s best teaching environments and renovation or education enhancement projects recently have been made or are in process in Portage, Morgan Township, Washington Township, Kouts, and many of our other district facilities.
We have some of the best educators in the state, and there is room for growth in the education system in our area. Let us recognize our educators and give them the tools to improve and give every student access to a quality education.