Written by Michael Stephens, Assistant Superintendent
Congratulations to the school corporations of Porter County; we share a strong showing in the new state Department of Education's A-F grading system.
We in Union Township are certainly proud of our “A” grade as a corporation and thank all of those who have worked so hard to make this possible. The challenge of doing the work necessary to continue to be successful is one we welcome.
In the Bearcat nation, we strive to challenge our students to ever-increasing levels of academic engagement and accomplishment. The arts greatly enhance our student’s learning.
The arts continue to be a driving force behind our belief statement, “every student learns best when instructional practice is varied and accommodates individual learning styles.” The drive and determination shown in the hours of practice and performance are reflected in every exemplary score in math or English.
Success breeds success, and because we believe this to be true, we celebrate in many arenas. Our school corporation states that it values “extra-curricular and co-curricular programs that enhance the educational experience of every student.” We are living out our values through these vibrant programs.
Examples tell the story.
Union Center drum circle participants are learning how various rhythms complement each other; we know the skills learned in the arts complement other areas of study.
This year our Wheeler High School marching band performed at the prestigious Penn Kingsman Carnival of Bands; this was our first invitation to the festival. The marching band also won Gold at the State ISSMA Festival.
Our Wheeler High School choir will be performing at the St. Mary’s Women’s Choir Festival this week, and our Madrigal performers are preparing for our 15th year of ringing in the holiday season. Many of our fine performers matriculated through the ranks of our elementary choirs at both John Simatovich and Union Center Elementary Schools.
The first week of December will be a week of celebration for the elementary students as they hit the big time with performances on the stage at our Wheeler High School Auditorium. In the spring, our JSE Singers have had the opportunity to perform with the Porter County Sheriff’s Police Honor Guard during the sheriff’s department day of remembrance.
While our students learn teamwork, focus and balance through music, they also enhance their skills of expression and interpretation through drawing, sculpture and pottery. Our Union Township Middle School artists will be joined by students from both of our elementary schools in displaying their best works at the “Arts-A-Budding” show at Valparaiso University, and a first-ever combined talent/art show is in the planning stages for the spring.
Our drama troupe recently closed a very successful run of “Little Shop of Horrors.” This was just the first of four productions for our thespians. Our drama students will become teachers this summer when they host the Bearcat Theater Camp.
We invite you to share in the excitement and accomplishment of our students and staff; come join us for these fine opportunities for our children to learn and grow. Encourage our students with your presence. Your backing is needed in many ways. Share your expertise, share your time, share your well wishes, and share your support of our school corporation and its programing with your family, neighbors and legislators.
Union Township Schools champion the mission of enhancing the life of “Every Student, Every Day.” Supporting kids as they learn through the arts is an amazing endeavor.