GCS School Safety Update

Goshen Community Schools and other area school corporations are reviewing their safety and security plans, and are making those plans available to the public. GCS values our students and staff, and we have detailed plans in place to ensure the safety of everyone in our school buildings. Below is a review of GCS safety initiatives, with links to a video and websites with further information.

Philosophy: The GCS philosophy of crisis management and safety planning aligns with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Department of Homeland Security.

To view the Student Safety Protocol on the GCS website, click on the following link:  https://www.goshenschools.org/students/student-safety-protocol 

Click on this link to read a Season 1 Good of Goshen story about safety and security in Goshen schools: https://goodofgoshen.com/project/school-connectedness-increases-indiana-student-achievement/

Crisis Response: In the fall of 2014 we implemented the Standard Response Protocol and Reunification Method from the iloveuguys Foundation. All GCS classrooms have posters in English and Spanish explaining the Standard Response system and what the teacher and students should do in each type of crisis.

Standard Response Protocol:  http://iloveuguys.org/srp.html

Standard Reunification Method: http://iloveuguys.org/srm_v2.html

Safety Specialist: We have a trained Safety Specialist in all buildings in Goshen Community Schools. We meet 4-5 times a year to uniformly implement corporation-wide safety measures. Shawn Turner from the Goshen Police Department and our three School Resource Officers (SROs) participate in these meetings as well.  Several GCS representatives attend the Elkhart County School Safety Commission twice a year to share ideas and updates with area schools. All Safety Specialists participate in two days of state-sponsored training each year.

Tornado Shelter: Tornado Shelters have been designated in all of our buildings. Students no longer file into the hallways for Tornado drills, but instead they file into areas that are designated to be the safest areas during a tornado.

Entrances: All schools have a foyer where a secure entrance is located. The school secretary releases the lock to allow visitors to enter. Goshen High School and Goshen Middle School were the most recent schools to have the secure entrance system put in place.  Everyone enters all GCS buildings at the designated Welcome Center or Main Office.

Tip Line: Our Bullying and Safety Tip Line is a completely anonymous, toll-free tip line that anyone can access any time he/she has information about bullying or a possible crisis. Do your part to protect others, call (574)538-3200 and help stop potential problems!

District Reunification Plan: In January 2017, representatives of the Safety Specialists Committee met with the Goshen Police Department to begin the district reunification plan.  A large facility in Goshen was identified as the place that could be used if there is ever a need for district-wide reunification. Smaller facilities, closer to each individual school, were also identified in case there is a need for reunification at just one GCS school building. Roles and responsibilities were assigned, and an equipment list was made, including emergency kits for administrators to carry in their vehicles.  These items, along with more cameras, radios, vests, etc. were purchased with the 2017 Safety Grant.

Safety Grants:

2014 School Safety Grant is fully implemented with the purchase of cameras and technology to upgrade our system. Our matching funds contributed to Aphone updates and safety film at all of our entrances.

2015 School Safety Grant is fully implemented with the purchase of radios and tower repeaters that allow for clear communication and increase the distance covered. Our matching funds are being used to install fob readers to limit and automate our key system. This key system is in place at GHS and GMS.

2016 School Safety Grant has allowed us to purchase the Raptor Visitor Management System which automates the sign-in system. Visitors that come to our offices or classrooms will show their ID (Driver’s license or State ID), which will be scanned and will print out a picture ID/visitor pass. The Raptor system records all visitors, so we know who is in the building at all times.  This system is in place at all GCS school buildings.

2017 School Safety Grant GCS was awarded another matching grant of $50,000 from the State of Indiana and $50,000 from Goshen Community Schools. The purchases and distribution of funds are in progress for this school year.

In addition to the safety initiatives GCS already has in place, school leaders will meet with the Goshen Police Department and Goshen Fire Department next week, to review procedures and determine updates that need to happen based on this most recent school shooting. We continue to refine procedures to make safety and security the absolute best it can be for GCS students and staff.

If you have questions or concerns about safety at Goshen Community Schools, you may email Susan Stiffney at sstiffney@goshenschools.org or Steve Hope, Assistant Superintendent, at shope@goshenschools.org

Kindergarten Registration/Inscripciones de jardín de niños

Kindergarten Registration

Who: Students living in the GCS district who are 5 years of age on or before August 1 (Entrance requirements policy)
Location Central Registration/Administration Center, 613 E. Purl Street (Directly west of Goshen High School) map
Phone (574) 971-4149
Dates: March 6 – 30, 2018
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Late hours registration: Open until 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Forms Needed:

  • Proof of Residency is required. (For example; driver’s license, rental agreement, tax statement, utility bill)
  • Student’s Birth Certificate
  • Copy of custody or guardianship documents (if applicable)
  • Student’s Immunization Records
  • Student’s Medical Alerts or Conditions

If you wish to fill out forms at home, you may find all of the forms at this link: https://www.goshenschools.org/registration/kindergarten-registration

Each year Goshen Community Schools advertises special registration days in the spring for parents of upcoming Kindergarten students. This early registration helps prepare you and your child for the coming school year, as well as helping us to better prepare a warm and inviting start to your child’s educational experience here at GCS. Although GCS staff are very flexible, knowing how many Kindergarten students are coming in the fall helps us make sure we have enough staff, materials, rooms, and transportation available.

If you know of other families with upcoming Kindergarten age children, please share this information with them, especially if they are new to the community. Of course, we always welcome families new to the community to register throughout the year.

Inscripciones de jardín de niños:

Del 6 al 29 de marzo

Lunes a viernes, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Horario extendido:

Martes, 6 de marzo

Jueves, 15 de marzo

Martes, 20 de marzo

8:00 a.m..-7:00 a.m.

¿Preguntas sobre inscripciones? 971-4149

Feb. 12 Board Recognition

GHS freshman Samantha Stoltzfus was honored by the board upon being named the winner of the middle school division of the 2017 Indiana Music Education Association (IMEA) Composition Competition for her string quartet composition “Sea of Thought“. She was awarded a plaque and was recognized at the state IMEA convention on January 13th, 2018. IMEA is currently working to arrange for a public performance of her work in May, by the Indianapolis Philharmonic.

GCS parent Maria Hurtado was recognized by the board for her willingness to help families in the Chandler community get their children safely to school. Mrs. Hurtado serves as a “walking school bus” for 13 Chandler students! A Chandler staff member also spoke highly of Mrs. Hurtado, saying, “She is one of the kindest and most dependable parents I have worked with” at Chandler. Thank you, Mrs. Hurtado, for being a great Chandler neighbor!

Senior Cade Fisher and junior Anton Pham were recognized for being named as alternates for the 2018 All-State Orchestra; Cade for Double Bass and Anton for Viola. Also recognized in absentia were Caroline Greaser (violin) and Kathryn Herschberger (violin) who were named to the 2018 All-State Orchestra.

GHS Senior Fernando Flores is Headed to the State Wrestling Tournament

According to Indiana Mat, Goshen High School senior Fernando “Nando” Flores is ranked 9th in the state. He earned the Semi-State championship in the 106 lb. weight class in Ft. Wayne on Saturday, and he is headed to the state wrestling tournament in Indianapolis on Friday and Saturday, February 16 & 17.

Nando’s year by year wrestling record is: 9th 26-10, 10th 37-9, 11th 43-4, Career, 106-23.

Congratulations, Nando, and best of luck to you in the state tournament! The community of Goshen is behind you all the way!!


Below are details/information about the state wrestling tournament from the IHSAA website:

Dates: Feb. 16-17, 2018

Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis | Website

Security: All people as well as their bags, purses, and coolers (athletes only) entering Bankers Life Fieldhouse will be subject to a security inspection. A full list of prohibited items can be found in the Fieldhouse Fan Guide at the following link: http://www.bankerslifefieldhouse.com/arena-information/fan-guide/
Additionally, misconduct, mistreatment of Fieldhouse staff, or other prohibited behavior will be addressed promptly and violators are subject to ejection from the premises or arrest. The code of conduct is found in the Fan Guide again at the following link: http://www.bankerslifefieldhouse.com/arena-information/fan-guide/ 

Admission: $8 per session or $20 both days. Children 24 months old and younger admitted free of charge. Order Tickets

Television: Saturday’s state championship bouts in each weight class will air live on Fox Sports Indiana. Hosted by Mark Jaynes (play-by-play), Mike Goebel (analyst), Blake Maurer (analyst) and Greg Rakestraw (mat interviews).

Webstream: Friday’s first round and Saturday’s quarterfinals, semifinals and consolation matches may be viewed via live stream for a subscription fee at TrackWrestling.com. For Saturday night’s championship round, viewers outside of the Fox Sports Indiana coverage area, a live stream will be available at IHSAAtv.org. For those within the FSI coverage area, the stream will be available only on delayed basis following the conclusion of the telecast.

State Finals Pairings Show
The brackets in each weight class will be announced exclusively via IHSAAtv.org beginning at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT on Sunday, February 11, 2018. Greg Rakestraw and Hall of Fame coach Mike Goebel will serve as hosts.

Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
First Round | 6 pm ET (Gates open at 4:30 pm ET)

Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018
Quarterfinals | 9:30 am ET with semifinals to follow (Gates open at 8 am ET)
Consolations | 5 pm ET (Gates open at 4 pm ET)
Finals | 7:30 pm ET

Goshen Softball Camp/Campamento de softbol de Goshen, Feb. 17 & 24, 2018

Goshen Softball Camp, Feb. 17th & Feb. 24th, 2018-Grades 5th-8th   

What You Will Learn

The philosophy of this skills camp is to teach each individual the basic fundamentals of softball. The camp will focus on fundamentals in each of the following areas:

  • Proper Technique of Hitting
  • Basic Fundamentals of Fielding
  • Bunting & Drills…Drills….Drills
  • Correct Technique of Throwing

Our goal is that each player will develop an excitement for the game of softball and a desire to play softball at the high school level.


  • Any girl currently in the 5th through 8th grade

Time & Date

  • Saturday, Feb.17 & Saturday, Feb.24, 2018
  • 10:30-12:30


  • Warehouse on GHS campus, just north of GCS Administration building.

Equipment Needed

  • Gym Shoes
  • Ball glove
  • Comfortable clothes (shorts or sweatpants)
  • Water bottle


  • $25.00 per player (T-Shirt included)
  • Discount price $15.00 per player 2 or more same family


  • If you have any questions, please contact:

   Head Softball Coach: Brent Kulp


      Cell 849-9527

Goshen Softball Camp Registration Form


Current Grade___________ School_______________


Phone No._____________ Emergency No.__________

T Shirt: YM__YL__ AS__ AM___AL___AXL___AXXL___


I hereby give ______________________ permission to take part in the Softball Camp held at Goshen. I will not hold the sponsor of the camp or Goshen Community Schools liable for any injuries that might occur and I have adequate hospitalization insurance to cover such injuries.


Signature of parent or guardian          Date

Please bring registration and payment of $25.00 to the camp on the first session: 

Make check payable to: Goshen High School



Campamento de softbol de Goshen 5o a 8o grado, 17 de febrero y 24 de febrero de 2018

Lo que aprenderá

El objetivo de este campamento es enseñarle a cada individuo los fundamentos del softbol. El campamento se centrará en los fundamentos de cada una de las siguientes áreas:

  • Técnica apropiada de impacto de bola
  • Fundamentos básicos del campo de juego
  • Golpe de bola y .. entrenamiento… entrenamiento …
  • Técnica correcta de lanzamiento

Nuestro objetivo es que cada jugador desarrolle su entusiasmo por el juego de softbol y su deseo de jugar softbol a nivel preparatoria.


  • Cualquier chica que actualmente curse del 5o al 8º grado

Hora y fecha

  • Sábados, 17 y 24de febrero de 2018
  • 10:30 a.m. a 12:30 p.m.


  • Campus de GHS, justo al norte del edificio de la administración de la Corporación Escolar de Goshen.

Equipo Necesario

  • Zapatos deportivos
  • Guante
  • Ropa cómoda (pantalones cortos o pants)
  • Botella de agua


  • $25.00 por jugador (camiseta incluida)


  • Precio de descuento $15.00 por jugador (2 o más miembros de la misma familia)


  • Si tiene alguna pregunta, por favor póngase en contacto con:

Brent Kulp, jefe del softball


Celular 849-9527

Forma de inscripción Campamento de softbol de Goshen


Grado escolar actual _____       




Teléfono de emergencia                         

Camiseta: YM    YL     AS    AM       AL       AXL       AXXL      


Por medio de la presente, autorizo a que                                       participe en el campamento de softbol, que se llevará a cabo en Goshen. No haré responsable ni al patrocinador del campamento ni a la Corporación Escolar de Goshen por las lesiones que pudieran ocurrir. Además, tengo seguro de asistencia médica adecuado para cubrir este tipo de lesiones.


Firma del padre de familia o tutor                       Fecha

Por favor traiga esta forma de inscripción y el pago de $25.00 a la primera session del campamento (se acepta el pago por cheque o en efectivo):

Haga  el  cheque  a  nombre  de: Goshen High School


Preschool Education at Prairie View

GCS will highlight Preschool Education this week, in conjunction with Indiana Urban Schools Association (IUSA).

Goshen Community Schools Preschool Philosophy Statement:

Goshen Community Schools Title I Preschool is dedicated to providing a caring, nurturing environment for our youngest learners to prepare for a successful start to kindergarten and their educational journey.  Our highly qualified staff create a child-centered environment that is built around the needs of our children and provides rich learning opportunities through play.

Mrs. Natalie Potter     Mrs. Cindy Shreiner

We embrace and respect diversity, culture, individual talents and developmental levels and believe that each child is an important and valued member of our classroom and community.  We recognize that families are the most important guides for young children and that we are partners in that effort and reach out to parents in a cooperative effort to support learning and growth for whole families.


We know that children learn best through play and exploration and provide many and varied opportunities, materials, and choices each day to allow for their optimal growth in all childhood domains.  This is accompanied by rich interactions with classmates and teachers who are providing individualized scaffolding to assist each child in being challenged and continually reaching their next steps.


We use a hybrid of curricula which we have fine-tuned to specifically meet the needs of Goshen’s children.  Tools of the Mind helps children develop self-regulation and positive learning attitudes while providing daily opportunities to choose, develop and act on plans for imaginative interactive play.  We scaffold this by using GrapeSeed to give all of our learners, English language learners and native speakers, a strong foundation in English language, understanding that helping children in poverty overcome language deficits helps to overcome learning gaps.  In addition our staff use the Indiana Early Learning Foundations as a guide to carefully plan and implement a variety of experiences in science, art, mathematics, English language arts, blocks, and dramatic play that incorporate small and large motor activities and music and sensory experiences in individual, small and large group settings. Our print rich environment further encourages literacy and competence in these foundational skills.


We provide nutritional meals and snacks, and daily outdoor play as well as utilizing our Minds in Motion room and gymnasium for additional large motor play and teach healthy attitudes about food and fitness. 


We believe that childhood should be an adventurous, stimulating time of play and learning and we provide that opportunity for each child and family to feel safe, valued and supported as they start their educational journey with Goshen Community Schools.


Look for more pictures/posts this week from our amazing Preschool classes at Prairie View!

One GHS Student’s ISSMA Experience

(This story is posted with the assistance of Hannah’s parents, as told by her father, Matthew Lind.)

Hannah is a GHS students who has Down Syndrome, and a limited vocabulary that is sometimes hard for people to understand. Hannah has been in the regular choirs since middle school. We have always found the directors open and supportive of having her participate. She really loves being in choir, and usually identifies it as her favorite class.

Hannah started participating in ISSMA last year, largely because of her paraprofessional, Ledia Olivera. Ledia saw no reason why Hannah should not participate in ensemble contest, and got a group of girls who agreed to sing with her. This year, she had Hannah write down names of girls she would like to sing with. Ledia helped to gather these girls together, and they all agreed to sing with her and Katya for ISSMA. Ledia said that the group got a little bigger because several girls who heard about it wanted to join. In fact, she said there are several other girls who said they wanted to be included in the group next year.

Mr. Snyder (GHS choir teacher) helped the group pick out a piece that he felt was a good match. Kathy and I have found him to be one of the most welcoming directors in terms of Hannah’s participation in choir.

For Hannah, choir is the one activity where she can feel truly integrated with the “normal” students at the High School. People who watch her in concerts often comment on how well she handles herself, and how attentive she is in formal situations. For me, one of the most heart-warming aspects of this is watching how other girls in the choir interact with Hannah. Several of them “take her under their wings,” making sure that she is in place and helping her with entrances and exits. I noticed this last Saturday at ISSMA, where the girls were checking in with her, and helping her through the transitions. One of them came up very excitedly to tell her, “Hannah, we got a gold!,” and give her a high-five.

We are very pleased with the way that Goshen Community Schools has handled inclusiveness, from the administrators to the support staff. Thanks to her teachers, and the special education department, which has not taken a “cookie cutter” approach to Hannah’s curriculum, over the years we have been able to experiment with a mix of regular and special education classes. We feel that approach is a positive situation for other students, who have a chance to come in contact with peers who are different from themselves. And for the students who are able to show kindness and acceptance, they become models for their friends and other students of how to interact who those who have differences.

Below are a few photos from ISSMA at Fairfield last Saturday. Girls besides Hannah: Jacquelyn, Megan, Becca, Amelia, Emily, and Katya, and Mr. Snyder.

—Matthew Lind, Hannah’s father

Our GCS thanks go out to Hannah’s family, for sharing their GHS experiences with us. We love to hear stories about our caring, flexible teachers and our wonderful students who value each other and treat each other with kindness.

February-Understanding and Celebrating Black History Month

History is often reduced to a handful of memorable moments and events.  In Black history, those events often include courageous stories like those of The Underground Railroad and historic moments like the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But these are only a few of the significant and important events to know and remember.

In an effort to honor this expansive and growing history, Black History Month was established by way of a weekly celebration in February known as “Negro History Week” by historian Carter G. Woodson. But just as Black history is more than a month, so too are the numerous events and figures that are often overlooked during it. What follows is a list of ten “lesser known” moments and facts in Black history.

Before there was Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin.

Most people think of Rosa Parks as the first person to refuse to give up their seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. There were actually several women who came before her; one of whom was Claudette Colvin.

It was March 2, 1955, when the fifteen-year-old schoolgirl refused to move to the back of the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks’ stand that launched the Montgomery bus boycott. Claudette had been studying Black leaders like Harriet Tubman in her segregated school, those conversations had led to discussions around the current day Jim Crow laws they were all experiencing. When the bus driver ordered Claudette to get up, she refused, “It felt like Sojourner Truth was on one side pushing me down, and Harriet Tubman was on the other side of me pushing me down. I couldn’t get up.”

Claudette Colvin’s stand didn’t stop there. Arrested and thrown in jail, she was one of four women who challenged the segregation law in court. If Browder v. Gayle became the court case that successfully overturned bus segregation laws in both Montgomery and Alabama, why has Claudette’s story been largely forgotten? At the time, the NAACP and other Black organizations felt Rosa Parks made a better icon for the movement than a teenager. As an adult with the right look, Rosa Parks was also the secretary of the NAACP, and was both well-known and respected – people would associate her with the middle class and that would attract support for the cause. But the struggle to end segregation was often fought by young people, more than half of which were women.

Martin Luther King Jr. improvised the most iconic part of his “I Have a Dream Speech.”

On Wednesday, August 28, 1963, 250,000 Americans united at the Lincoln Memorial for the final speech of the March on Washington. As Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the podium, he eventually pushed his notes aside.

The night before the march, Dr. King began working on his speech with a small group of advisers in the lobby of the Willard Hotel. The original speech was more political and less historic, according to Clarence B. Jones, and it did not include any reference to dreams. After delivering the now famous line, “we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream,” Dr. King transformed his speech into a sermon.

Onstage near Dr. King, singer Mahalia Jackson reportedly kept saying, “Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin,” and while no one will know if he heard her, it could likely have been the inspiration he needed. Dr. King then continued, “Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream….” And then the famous Baptist preacher preached on, adding repetition and outlining the specifics of his dream. And while this improvised speech given on that hot August day in 1963 was not considered a universal success immediately, it is now recognized as one of the greatest speeches in American history. For more information on the 1963 March on Washington, visit pbs.org/marchonwashington.

Inoculation was introduced to America by a slave.

Few details are known about the birth of Onesimus, but it is assumed he was born in Africa in the late seventeenth century before eventually landing in Boston. One of a thousand people of African descent living in the Massachusetts colony, Onesimus was a gift to the Puritan church minister Cotton Mather from his congregation in 1706.

Onesimus told Mather about the centuries old tradition of inoculation practiced in Africa. By extracting the material from an infected person and scratching it into the skin of an uninfected person, you could deliberately introduce smallpox to the healthy individual making them immune. Considered extremely dangerous at the time, Cotton Mather convinced Dr. Zabdiel Boylston to experiment with the procedure when a smallpox epidemic hit Boston in 1721 and over 240 people were inoculated. Opposed politically, religiously and medically in the United States and abroad, public reaction to the experiment put Mather and Boylston’s lives in danger despite records indicating that only 2% of patients requesting inoculation died compared to the 15% of people not inoculated who contracted smallpox.

Onesimus’ traditional African practice was used to inoculate American soldiers during the Revolutionary War and introduced the concept of inoculation to the United States.

The earliest recorded protest against slavery was by the Quakers in 1688.

Quakers, also known as “The Society of Friends,” have a long history of abolition. But it was four Pennsylvania Friends from Germantown who wrote the initial protest in the 17th century. They saw the slave trade as a grave injustice against their fellow man and used the Golden Rule to argue against such inhumane treatment; regardless of skin color, “we should do unto others as we would have done onto ourselves.” In their protest they stated, “Pray, what thing in the world can be done worse towards us, then if men should robb or steal us away, & sell us for slaves to strange Countries, separating housband from their wife and children….”

Their protest against slavery and human trafficking was presented at a “Monthly Meeting at Dublin” in Philadelphia. The Dublin Monthly Meeting reviewed the protest but sent it to the Quarterly Meeting, feeling it to be too serious an issue for their own meeting to decide. The four Friends continued their efforts and presented at the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, but it wasn’t until 88 years later that the Society of Friends officially denounced slavery.

Over the centuries, this rare document has been considered lost twice. Most recently it was rediscovered in 2005 and is now at Haverford College Special Collections.

Of the 12.5 million Africans shipped to the New World during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, fewer than 388,000 arrived in the United States.

In the late 15th century, the advancement of seafaring technologies created a new Atlantic that would change the world forever. As ships began connecting West Africa with Europe and the Americas, new fortunes were sought and native populations were decimated. With the native labor force dwindling and demand for plantation and mining labor growing, the transatlantic slave trade began.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade was underway from 1500-1866, shipping more than 12 million African slaves across the world. Of those slaves, only 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage. Over 400 years, the majority of slaves (4.9 million) found their way to Brazil where they suffered incredibly high mortality rates due to terrible working conditions. Brazil was also the last country to ban slavery in 1888.

By the time the United States became involved in the slave trade, it had been underway for two hundred years. The majority of its 388,000 slaves arrived between 1700 and 1866, representing a much smaller percentage than most Americans realize.

The diverse history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

While Jewish and African American communities have a tumultuous shared history when it comes to the pursuit of civil rights, there is a chapter that is often overlooked. In the 1930s when Jewish academics from Germany and Austria were dismissed from their teaching positions, many came to the United States looking for jobs. Due to the Depression, xenophobia and rising anti-Semitism, many found it difficult to find work, but more than 50 found positions at HBCUs in the segregated South.

Originally established to educate freed slaves to read and write, the first of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities was Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, established in 1837. By the time Jewish professors arrived, the number of HBCUs had grown to 78. At a time when both Jews and African Americans were persecuted, Jewish professors in the Black colleges found the environment comfortable and accepting, often creating special programs to provide opportunities to engage Blacks and whites in meaningful conversation, often for the first time.

In the years that followed, the interests of Jewish and African American communities increasingly diverged, but this once-shared experience of discrimination and interracial cooperation remains a key part of the Civil Rights Movement.

One in four cowboys was Black, despite the stories told in popular books and movies.

In fact, it’s believed that the real “Lone Ranger” was inspired by an African American man named Bass Reeves. Reeves had been born a slave but escaped West during the Civil War where he lived in what was then known as Indian Territory. He eventually became a Deputy U.S. Marshal, was a master of disguise, an expert marksman, had a Native American companion, and rode a silver horse. His story was not unique however.

In the 19th century, the Wild West drew enslaved Blacks with the hope of freedom and wages. When the Civil War ended, freedmen came West with the hope of a better life where the demand for skilled labor was high. These African Americans made up at least a quarter of the legendary cowboys who lived dangerous lives facing weather, rattlesnakes, and outlaws while they slept under the stars driving cattle herds to market.

While there was little formal segregation in frontier towns and a great deal of personal freedom, Black cowboys were often expected to do more of the work and the roughest jobs compared to their white counterparts. Loyalty did develop between the cowboys on a drive, but the Black cowboys were typically responsible for breaking the horses and being the first ones to cross flooded streams during cattle drives. In fact, it is believed that the term “cowboy” originated as a derogatory term used to describe Black “cowhands.”

Esther Jones was the real Betty Boop!

The iconic cartoon character Betty Boop was inspired by a Black jazz singer in Harlem. Introduced by cartoonist Max Fleischer in 1930, the caricature of the jazz age flapper was the first and most famous sex symbol in animation. Betty Boop is best known for her revealing dress, curvaceous figure, and signature vocals “Boop Oop A Doop!” While there has been controversy over the years, the inspiration has been traced back to Esther Jones who was known as “Baby Esther” and performed regularly in the Cotton Club during the 1920s.

Baby Esther’s trademark vocal style of using “boops” and other childlike scat sounds attracted the attention of actress Helen Kane during a performance in the late 1920s. After seeing Baby Esther, Helen Kane adopted her style and began using “boops” in her songs as well. Finding fame early on, Helen Kane often included this “baby style” into her music. When Betty Boop was introduced, Kane promptly sued Fleischer and Paramount Publix Corporation stating they were using her image and style. However video evidence came to light of Baby Esther performing in a nightclub and the courts ruled against Helen Kane stating she did not have exclusive rights to the “booping” style or image, and that the style, in fact, pre-dated her.

Baby Esther’s “baby style” did little to bring her mainstream fame and she died in relative obscurity but a piece of her lives on in the iconic character Betty Boop.

The first licensed African American Female pilot was named Bessie Coleman.

Born in Atlanta, Texas in 1892, Bessie Coleman grew up in a world of harsh poverty, discrimination and segregation. She moved to Chicago at 23 to seek her fortune, but found little opportunity there as well. Wild tales of flying exploits from returning WWI soldiers first inspired her to explore aviation, but she faced a double stigma in that dream being both African American and a woman.

She set her sights on France in order to reach her dreams and began studying French. In 1920, Coleman crossed the ocean with all of her savings and the financial support of Robert Abbott, one of the first African American millionaires. Over the next seven months, she learned to fly and in June of 1921, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale awarded her an international pilot’s license. Wildly celebrated upon her return to the United States, reporters turned out in droves to greet her.

Coleman performed at numerous airshows over the next five years, performing heart thrilling stunts, encouraging other African Americans to pursue flying, and refusing to perform where Blacks were not admitted. When she tragically died in a plane accident in 1926, famous writer and equal rights advocate Ida B. Wells presided over her funeral. An editorial in the “Dallas Express” stated, “There is reason to believe that the general public did not completely sense the size of her contribution to the achievements of the race as such.”

Interracial marriage in the United Sates was banned in 1664 and not overturned until 1967.

During the seventeenth and early eighteenth century, the growing number of interracial marriages (also known as miscegenation) between Blacks and whites led to the passage of this new law. The first anti-miscegenation law enacted was in the colony of Maryland in 1664 and additional colonies quickly followed suit. These marriages were prohibited and penalties included the enslavement, exile or imprisonment of the white perpetrators. These laws grew and evolved over the years and attempts were even made to modify the Constitution to ban interracial marriage in all states.

It would take three hundred years for this law to be overturned. In 1967, Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a Black woman, were married in the District of Columbia. When they returned home to Virginia, they were arrested and convicted of violating the state’s anti-miscegenation law. They each faced a year in jail and their case went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found in favor of the Lovings in the famous trial Loving v. Virginia. They ruled that prohibiting interracial marriage on state and local levels was unconstitutional; this meant that marriages between the races were legal in the country for the first time since 1664.

In 2000, Alabama became the last state to officially legalize interracial marriage by removing the unenforceable ban that was still contained in their state constitution. Read more famous cases about interracial relationships that changed history.

GHS ISSMA Solo & Ensemble Recital

At Saturday’s District Solo & Ensemble event, Goshen High School was represented by 33 soloists and 20 ensembles from all of the GHS choirs, and 3 pianists. 26 solos received Gold ratings and 19 qualified for State; 15 ensembles received Gold and 11 qualified for State.

You are invited to a free recital at GHS on Tuesday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m. for ensembles and senior soloists going on to State ISSMA contest.

State Solo & Ensemble contest will be held on Saturday, February 17th at Perry Meridian High School.

GHS Art Department Alumni Art Show in 2019

Cynthia A. Cooper is retiring in 2019, so an art show is in order at GHS!

This is an open invitation to all former GHS Art students of Cynthia A. Cooper (Joldersma) and Art Faculty to exhibit their artwork in the GHS Media Center, February-March 2019.  Please email ccooper@goshenschools.org by November 30 to verify your participation.  

Exhibition Dates: February 1-28, 2019

Artists Reception: Friday, February 1, 2019, 6:30-8:00

Delivery of Artwork:  On or before Friday, January, 18, 2019

Pick up of Artwork:  March 1-8, 2019 during school hours

Please make arrangements to pick up works at GHS ahead of time by emailing ccooper@goshenschools.org .


  • There are no size or media restrictions.  Each artist may submit 1 artwork. The media center is large enough to show many works.  Every artist will have your piece represented.  We will try and make every effort to accommodate as much work as will work visually within the space.  All work must stay up for the duration of the exhibition.
  • GHS is a high school institution where students of all levels frequent the media center as a part of their education.  GHS media center exhibits are curated to reflect a high standard of craftsmanship, the position of art in historic and contemporary culture, and the development of ideas in visual thinking.  All submitted artwork must be in-line with these principles of the institution.  Craftsmanship and content must be appropriate for the gallery setting and for viewing by all students.  GHS reserves the right to not display any work seen as inappropriate to the school environment or in conflict with the gallery standards.
  • All work must be gallery-ready and prepared for installation.  We desire all work to be presented as professional level work which would include framing if applicable.  Large scale drawings or prints may be pinned to the wall.  Wet work cannot be accepted.  Special installation works can be accommodated depending on the level of difficulty for the install.
  • GHS does not sell artwork nor take a commission on any sales.  Anyone interested in purchasing an artist’s artwork will be directed to contact the artist personally.  Send cards with piece.

To submit art work, please complete the following form: Artist Information Form

Flu Season Information in English/Spanish

Dear Parent or Guardian:

As you have heard in the news, the flu season is upon us. We take the health of our students, staff and community seriously and work very hard to limit the spread of these viruses.    We clean frequently touched areas such as door knobs, stair rails, etc. and monitor attendance as required.

We ask that you follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to fight the flu:

Get the flu vaccine every year

Take every day preventative actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available,
  • Cover coughs with a disposable tissue or cough into sleeves,
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth,
  • Avoid  close contact with sick individuals,
  • Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils, and
  • Stay home when sick.

You can help us maintain a healthy school environment in a variety of ways:

  • Make sure your student receives all recommended immunizations, including an annual flu vaccine,
  • Reinforce all of the above preventive behaviors
  • Make sure students get plenty of exercise, sleep, and healthy food
  • Keep sick students home, especially if they have a fever above 100o F, diarrhea, vomiting, or a severe cough. Students must be fever, diarrhea and vomiting free for 24 hours before returning.

Seek further medical attention if:

  • Your child develops symptoms of the flu
  • Do Not Delay Medical Attention if your child develops a high fever, difficulty breathing/wheezing,

Important information about preventing the flu can be found at these websites:

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Stiffney or the school nurse at your school.


Diane Woodworth                               Susan Stiffney, RN

Superintendent                                     Health Services Coordinator

574 533-8631 ext 2010


5 de febrero de 2018

Estimado padre de familia o tutor:

Como ha escuchado en las noticias, la temporada de la gripe está sobre nosotros. Nosotros tomamos muy en serio la salud de nuestros estudiantes, de nuestro personal y de nuestra comunidad, y trabajamos arduamente para limitar la propagación de estos virus. Limpiamos las áreas que se tocan con frecuencia, como las perillas de las puertas, los barandales de las escaleras, etc., y supervisaremos la asistencia según sea necesario.

Le pedimos que siga las recomendaciones de los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés) para luchar contra la gripe:

Pónganse la vacuna contra la gripe todos los años.

Tome acciones preventivas todos los días para detener la propagación de gérmenes:

  • Lávese las manos a menudo con agua y jabón o use desinfectantes para manos a base de alcohol cuando no disponga de agua y jabón,
  • Cuando tosa, cúbrase la boca con un pañuelo desechable o tosa dentro de sus mangas.
  • Evite tocarse los ojos, la nariz y la boca.
  • Evite el contacto cercano con personas enfermas.
  • Evite compartir tazas y cubiertos.
  • Quédese en casa cuando esté enfermo.

Usted puede ayudarnos a mantener un ambiente escolar saludable en una variedad de maneras:

  • Asegúrese de que su hijo reciba todas las vacunas recomendadas, incluida una vacuna anual contra la gripe.
  • Refuerce todos los comportamientos preventivos anteriores.
  • Asegúrese de que los estudiantes hagan mucho ejercicio, duerman y consuman alimentos saludables.
  • Si su hijo está enfermo manténgalo en casa, especialmente si tienen fiebre de más de 100º F, diarrea, vómito o tos fuerte. La fiebre, diarrea o vómito deberá haber cedido por 24 horas, antes de enviarlo a la escuela.

Busque mayor atención médica en caso de que su hijo desarrolle síntomas de gripe.

No se demore en conseguir atención médica si su niño tiene fiebre alta o dificultad para respirar.


Puede encontrar información importante sobre la prevención de la gripe en los siguientes sitios Web:

Si tiene alguna pregunta, comuníquese con Susan Stiffney o con la enfermera de la escuela.




Diane Woodworth                                                               Susan Stiffney, enfermera titulada

Inspectora escolar                                                               Coordinadora de servicios de salud

574 533-8631 Ext 2010



February is Little BIG Idea Month

Little BIG Idea Month in February, welcoming more great ideas to join the list of 15 creative projects!

From painted rocks and positive messages to racing pumpkins and Christmas cheer, the first few months of the Little BIG Idea Grant have helped to deliver amazing, cool ideas throughout Elkhart County.

To celebrate, the Elkhart County Commissioners have declared February to be Little BIG Idea Month.

Throughout the month, we’ll be combing the county for even more great ideas. We’ll be talking to school clubs, young professionals, retirement communities and everywhere in between. Perhaps you’ve seen the billboards at high-traffic areas, or the fliers sent home with all students in Elkhart County schools, or the YouTube videos of the projects that have already become reality.

But you don’t have to wait for someone to ask before you submit an idea. Have you dreamed of staging a community water gun fight? Thought it would be cool if someone covered the downtown sidewalks with chalk murals? Imagined that robots racing down Main Street would make everyone smile?

Submit your application at www.LittleBigIdeaGrant.com and you could get up to $1,000 to make your dream become a reality.

So far, Little BIG Idea Grants have been awarded to a pair of moms who dreamed of a dynamic holiday marketplace, a musician who brought together artists of all genres to a Latino cultural festival, teachers who brought student inspirations to life through art, books and gardens, and a DJ who joined art with Kool-Aid into an unforgettable afternoon.

For Little BIG Idea Month, we salute these completed and upcoming projects, the creative forces behind them, and the many more to come:

  • Goshen Rocks, Josh Cooper (video)
  • Middlebury Pumpkin Races, Kim Clarke (video)
  • Waky Gardens, Tom Bennett
  • Faces of Goshen, Leah Schroeder
  • Christmas at the Powerhouse, Macey Judd and Sarah Beiler (video)
  • Encuentro in the Alley, Nayo Ulloa (video)
  • The Elkhart County Seek, Rocki Stillson
  • Stages of Change, Beth Sokolowski
  • Lunar Lunch, Susie Meeks-Wade
  • Little Library Boxes, Betsy Poling
  • Heroes of Hope, Laury Allen, Riley Kronk, Sydni Moore, Caitlyn Payne, Cameron Kincaid, Macayla Pernokis (news coverage on WSBT)
  • Pots of Grace, Benita Joldersma
  • Canvas & Kool-Aid, Robert Taylor
  • Faces of Middlebury, Kim Clarke
  • Scavenger Book Hunt, Kelsey Ambrosen

The Little BIG Idea Grant program was launched in summer 2017 as an initiative of Vibrant Communities, which champions quality-of-place programs such as arts and culture, parks and green spaces, and community engagement. The first recipients were announced in August, and each month more recipients are awarded following an application review process.

The grants are intended to inspire creativity and community pride through projects and initiatives that celebrate life in Elkhart County. The more people who can get involved or be affected positively by a project, the better!

Grant applications for up to $1,000 awards are still being accepted at www.LittleBigIdeaGrant.com. It doesn’t matter if you’re 8 years old or 88 years old. The Little BIG Idea Grant and the Vibrant Communities initiatives believe in the power of creative people being inspired to shine their light across the community.

For more information about the Little BIG Idea Grant, contact Steve Gruber at 574-206-6142 or artsonmain@frontier.com or Terry T. Mark at 574-262-8161 or terry@eccvb.org.

Miss Indiana & Organ Donation Awareness at the 2/1/18 GHS Basketball Game

Darrian Arch, Miss Indiana 2018, will speak tonight during the home JV and Varsity boys basketball contest vs. Plymouth.

Tonight is also the annual “Organ Donation Awareness” night. There will be displays, a chance to make a monetary donation, and an invitation to sign up with the Indiana Donor Network to give the gift of life.

Learn more about Darrian Arch and her personal connection with the Indiana Donor Network by clicking on the link below:


See you at the basketball game! GO BIG RED!!!

Crimson Jazz Band Honored at Purdue Jazz Fest

Congratulations to the Crimson Jazz Ensemble, who received honors at the Purdue Jazz Festival.

From their director, Josh Kaufman: There are 120 groups that performed at the 2018 Purdue Jazz Festival.  They have 7-8 different performance locations with 15-18 groups performing in each location.  In each performance room, there are 3 judges who score each group on a rubric and also provide recorded comments. The Crimson Jazz Ensemble meets during school (3rd period) 3 times a week. It is the second jazz band at GHS, the younger and less experienced group. In the room that we performed in at the Purdue Jazz Fest, there were 15 groups that performed, mostly 2nd bands and also a couple first bands from smaller schools.In each performance location, they give awards to the top three placing bands.  The Crimson Jazz Ensemble received the highest score in their performance location, and therefore received the “Honor Band” distinction, or first place trophy. This is a first for Goshen.  It is the first time a Goshen groups has won the “Honor Band” distinction.

(At GHS, during their class period.)

Nice job, Crimson Jazz Ensemble!



Samantha Stoltzfus Named IMEA Composition Winner

Samantha Stoltzfus (currently a freshmen at Goshen High School) was the middle school division winner of the 2017 Indiana Music Education Association (IMEA) Composition Competition for her string quartet composition “Sea of Thought“. She was awarded a plaque and was recognized at the state IMEA convention on January 13th, 2018. IMEA is currently working to arrange for a public performance of her work in May, by the Indianapolis Philharmonic.

About the Composer: Sam Stoltzfus has been involved in music almost her whole academic career. From choir to orchestra, she has always been fascinated with notes on a page. In sixth grade, she started meddling with composition, and it has now become one of her favorite activities, and even landed her a winning spot in the Chamber unit in the 2016 IMEA Composition Competition. She has played Viola for four years, and has studied under Benita Barber for two. She is also part of a chamber ensemble.

Program Notes: Sea of Thought is a sporadic piece meant to represent the scattered trains of thought flying through someone’s head. Whether it be calm, unpredictable, or uncontrolled, our minds seem to never stop. Sea of Thought has three main phrases, which eventually get layered on top of each other to show how overwhelming life can be. Sometimes the loudest thing is your mind, and Sea of Thought is merely a musical adaptation of the quiet storm within.

To hear Sea of Thought, click on this link:

Samantha Stoltzus
Freshman at GHS


GHS Winter Guard Invitational

The GHS winter guard (pictured below, from the marching band season) will be the main focus on Saturday, January 27th, as they host a Winter Guard Invitational.

The Invitational begins at 11:00 a.m. There are various breaks throughout the day, and spectators are only allowed to enter during a break or between performances, so if you want to see a certain group, you should get to the gym in plenty of time.

Goshen groups will perform at the following times:

The Goshen JV winter guard performs at 12:08 p.m.

The Goshen Cadets will perform in exhibition at 1:32 p.m.

Goshen’s varsity winter guard will perform at 3:36 p.m.

Awards will be at 4:22 p.m.

The full schedule may be viewed at: http://www.ihscga.org/events/01272018/2018-Week-2-Goshen-Contest.html



1-22-18 Board Recognition

 January 22, 2018 Board Recognition:

Angie Schmucker, an employee at Prairie View Elementary, was recognized for her selfless act on her way to work one morning. According to Prairie View, “Angie was flagged down on CR 40 on her drive in to work, to help at a house that was on fire. She actually helped to pull the people out of the fire after breaking windows and helping to break down a door. It turned out that it was the grandfather of one of our staff members that Angie rescued! Even though she couldn’t see because of all of the smoke, Angie made sure that everyone made it out safely. And she helped keep them warm in her car (including their dog) until the fire fighters arrived, and then was with them at the hospital.” Angie was given a standing ovation, and thanked by the whole board for her selfless act, and for demonstrating just how caring GCS employees are throughout the Goshen community.

Also recognized (in absentia) from Prairie View, Angie Bontrager. Angie “saw how disappointed one of our students was after he accidentally threw away a ring that was on his lunch tray. He was very upset. She didn’t have to, but Angie dug through three bags of lunch trash until she found the ring to return to the student.”

GHS choir teachers Katie O’Leary and Monica Stutzman and GMS accompanist Deanna Chupp were recognized for going “above and beyond” to support the choral program at GMS this past fall. They provided assistance, lesson plans, time, and strong support during the absence of a regular class teacher, and during the transition of a new teacher.

Also recognized by the board were three teachers who have been honored as the Boys and Girls Club Teachers of the Month. The teachers were nominated by GCS students who attend the Boys and Girls Club after school. Carrie Markham from West Goshen was honored in September, Jan Johnson from Chandler was honored in October, and Amber Gensinger from Chamberlain was honored in November.

Below, some of Jodi Miller’s 5th grade students from Model elementary presented an invitation to the school board and administrators, asking them to attend their New Tech Gala. The Gala will be held on Tuesday, January 30th, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Model cafeteria, where they will showcase their recent project on reducing Goshen’s carbon footprint.

niche.com 2018 Best School Districts in Indiana

From niche.com 2018 Best School Districts in Indiana

According to Niche.com, the Goshen Community School district is ranked 30th in the state of Indiana! GCS is the top-ranked school district in Elkhart County, and the GCS district looks quite a bit different demographically than many of the schools ranked higher. This acknowledgement is something for GCS and all of the greater Goshen community to celebrate, as the schools, families, coaches, mentors, and community volunteers all work together to make Goshen schools great places to learn and grow.

Niche has a pretty good statistical way of ranking schools, which includes looking at academics, teacher expertise, activities and clubs, diversity, college preparation, and safety. In looking at the results, John Glenn and Penn are geographically the closest school districts ranked above GCS, and Warsaw is the only NLC school district that ranked higher than GCS.

The GCS administration would like to publicly express thanks to the teachers and staff members who work so hard to ensure that all of our schools provide a top-notch education, to students of all abilities. The staff’s commitment to excellence provides opportunities for students to explore many educational options and to move successfully toward their future plans.

To the students in Goshen schools, we thank you too. We thank you for investing your time and efforts in our schools; in athletic competitions, in music venues, in theater performances, and in the Goshen community. You are the reason we are here. We believe in you, and you make it all worthwhile!


2018 Best School Districts Methodology

The 2018 Best School Districts ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings, and more. 

The 2018 Best School Districts ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Academics Grade Based on state assessment proficiency, SAT/ACT scores, and survey responses on academics from students and parents. Niche 50.0%
Teachers Grade Based on teacher salary, teacher absenteeism, state test results, and survey responses on teachers from students and parents. Niche 15.0%
Culture & Diversity Grade Based on racial and economic diversity and survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents. Niche 10.0%
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the overall experience of students and parents in the district. Self-reported by Niche users 10.0%
Health & Safety Grade Based on chronic student absenteeism, suspensions/expulsions, and survey responses on the school environment from students and parents. Niche 5.0%
Resources & Facilities Grade Based on expenses per student, staffing, and survey responses on facilities from students and parents. Niche 5.0%
Clubs & Activities Grade Based on expenses per student and survey responses on clubs and activities from students and parents. Niche 2.5%
Sports Grade Based on the number of sports, participation, and survey responses on athletics and athletic facilities from students and parents. Niche 2.5%