Freshmen Preview Night-Feb. 5 (UPDATED, in English/Spanish)

Freshmen Preview Night will be held at Goshen High School on Monday, February 5th  from 6:00–8:00 p.m.

*Come find out what the high school is like*


6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.             Parent meeting in the auditorium; led by Principals and Guidance giving quality information about class schedules, graduation requirements, etc….

7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.            Tours of the building, led by current GHS students

7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.             Q&A Tables: New Tech Table, IB Table, and a General Questions Table

High School Scheduling Timeline

Jan. 26th – GHS counselors introduce the scheduling process to 8th grade @ GMS

Feb. 5th – GHS Freshman Preview Night @ GHS from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Feb. 23rd – GHS counselors complete high school scheduling @ GMS

May 17th – Freshman Parent Information Meeting @ GHS Cafeteria 6:30 p.m.

May 19th – Freshman Parent Information Meeting @ GHS Auditorium 10:00 a.m.

June 11th – Freshman Parent Information Meeting @ GHS Auditorium 6:30 p.m.

August 7th – Freshman Orientation @ GHS 9:00 -12:00

GHS Guidance Department


Noche de presentación preliminar para estudiantes de 9o grado (Freshman)

Lunes, 5 de febrero

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

*Ven a ver cómo es la preparatoria*


6 p.m. – 7 p.m.       Junta de padres de familia en el auditorio

  • Dirigida por los directores y orientadores escolares quienes informarán sobre los horarios de las clases, los requisitos de graduación, etc.

7 p.m. – 8 p.m.       Recorridos por el plantel escolar guiados por estudiantes actuales de la preparatoria GHS

7 p.m. – 8 p.m.       Mesas de preguntas y respuestas:

  • Mesa del programa Nueva Tecnología (New Tech)
  • Mesa del programa de Bachillerato Internacional (IB)
  • Mesa de preguntas generales


Programa de horarios de la preparatoria

26 de enero             Los orientadores escolares de GHS explicarán el proceso de programación de clases a los estudiantes de 8th grado en GMS.

5 de febrero             Noche de presentación preliminar para estudiantes de 9º grado (Freshman) en GHS de 6:00-8:00 p.m.

23 de febrero          Los orientadores de GHS terminarán de programar los horarios de los estudiantes de preparatoria en GMS.

17 de mayo              Junta informativa de padres de familia de estudiantes de 9º grado en la cafetería de GHS – 6:30 p.m.

19 de mayo              Junta informativa de padres de familia de estudiantes de 9º grado en el auditorio de GHS – 10:00 a.m.

11 de junio               Junta informativa de padres de familia de estudiantes de 9º grado en el auditorio de la preparatoria GHS – 6:30 p.m.

7 de agosto              Orientación a estudiantes de 9º grado en GHS; de 9:00 a.m. a 12:00 p.m.

Departamento de orientación escolar de GHS

GCS Music Faculty Recital

The annual GCS Music Faculty Recital will be held on Sunday, January 28th at 2:00 p.m. in the GHS auditorium. 

Ticket prices have changed this year, from the set price of $6 for adults and $4 for students to a suggested donation of $6 for adults and $4 for students. We want everyone to be able to attend!

As always, the money raised at the recital will be given in scholarships to GHS seniors who will go on to pursue music in college as either their major or minor. So, your attendance and generous donation will benefit at least several GHS students in their future music endeavors!

Please join us on Sunday, January 28th as our fantastic music educators illustrate that they can not only teach, but they can perform as well!

GHS Scholastic Art Awards

Congratulations to the following Goshen High School students who won Scholastic Art Awards:

(Listings are by student name, name of art piece, type of art piece, type of award)

Yadira Diaz, Estresada, Painting, Gold Key

Madelyn Martinez, Toxic Love, Ceramics & Glass, Gold Key

Madelyn Martinez, Majestic Mountains, Ceramics & Glass, Honorable Mention

Iyla Stoy, Sound of the Frogs, Comic Art, Gold Key

Anthony Beatriz, Home, Ceramics & Glass, Silver Key

Cheyenne Mullins, Her, Photography, Silver Key

Elkah DeVoe, Verletzt, Drawing and Illustration, Honorable Mention

Joel Lara, Moving Waves, Art Portfolio, Silver Key

Joel Lara, Melted Flesh, Sculpture, Honorable Mention

Joel Lara, Fishing Coast, Ceramics & Glass, Honorable Mention

Joel Lara, Crashing Tides, Ceramics & Glass, Honorable Mention

Amelia Marrufo, Blue folds, Painting, Honorable Mention

Amelia Marrufo, Colour, Painting, Honorable Mention

Brandi Smith, Lost and Found, Ceramics & Glass, Honorable Mention

Diana Flores Valtierra, A Colorful Wonderland, Drawing and Illustration, Silver Key

Caitlin Bell, Spinning A Thread, Painting, Honorable Mention

Syreeta Moore, Poem Illustration, Digital Art, Silver Key

Lauren Barton, Labyrinth, Painting, Silver Key

Lauren Barton, Cacophony, Painting, Silver Key

Yenifer Escobedo, Momento: “Artificial Hope”, Painting, Honorable Mention

Yenifer Escobedo, Momento: “Silence”, Painting, Honorable Mention

The student works will be on display at the South Bend Museum of Art from February 3- March 3, 2018.

Congratulations, GHS art students and teachers. Well done!!


Former GHS Coach John Dechant to be Inducted to the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame

Former GHS Wrestling Coach John Dechant will be inducted to the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame on February 18, 2018.   

John is married to Darlene Dechant; they have two sons, Shawn and Colin Dechant.  Dechant worked at GHS as a U.S. History teacher for 23 years, as Dean of Students for 6 years, and as Athletic Director for 2 years.  He retired in 2001 and received the Northern Lakes Conference Service Award in 2002.

Prior to his coaching and teaching career, John graduated from Franklin High School (Ohio) in 1963 where he played football and basketball and ran track.  After high school, Dechant went on to play football and compete in wrestling at Ball State University, and eventually graduated in 1968.  He went on to coach freshman football at BSU for 1 year, and later taught and coached at Richmond High School for 2 years before coming to Goshen High School.

He coached wrestling at Goshen for 19 years (1971-1990). He was also an assistant track coach for 10 years and an assistant football coach for 4 years.  During his 19 seasons as the head wrestling coach, Coach Dechant went 204-63-4 in dual meets, had 27 invitational tournament championships, 6 NLC championships, 12 IHSAA Sectional championships, and 5 IHSAA Regional championships.  John has also coached many champion wrestlers during his time at GHS including:  41 NLC champions, 121 Sectional champions, 40 Regional champions, 3 semi state champions, 17 state finalists, 7 state place winners, and 1 state champion.

John was inducted to the Elkhart County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, as well as the Ball State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013-14.  He has been the Director of the GHS Wrestling Invitational for 48 years, as well as Director of the Northern Lakes Tournament for 25 years, and Director of the IHSAA Goshen Regional for 27 years.

Congratulations, John, and thank you for your service and commitment to the student athletes at Goshen High School!

PV Teacher Awarded Little Big Ideas Grant

Prairie View 5th grade teacher, Kelsey Ambrosen, got a big surprise today when she was awarded a $1,000 Little Big Ideas Grant!

The following information is from her grant application, and explains her idea for the grant:

The librarian at our school began a Young Hoosier Book Challenge for 4th and 5th graders. This challenge asks students and teachers to read all 20 of the chapter books from the Young Hoosier book list and answer a short response question to check for comprehension. One of the books on the list that many, myself included, have really enjoyed is called “The Book Scavenger” written by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. In this story, 10 year-old Emily enjoys playing a game called “Book Scavenger” where books are hidden around the country by other players. To find the books you must log on to the website, decide the book you would like to find, solve a puzzle of some-sort (riddles, ciphers, etc.) that help you locate the book. You then log, read, and re-hide books for other players to find. After doing some research I found that this game actually exists ( There are already books hidden in all 50 states and some other countries world-wide. My idea is to bring this game to Goshen, as the closest hidden books are in Fort Wayne. I would like to use the grant to purchase books to hide. My goal is to
get my own class involved in the hiding of the books and get them excited for finding and reading new literature. I would also like to advertise this game so others in the community can get involved as well.

My hope is to receive the whole $1,000 available through the grant to purchase as many books as possible, however, any amount would help.

I would begin forming a school committee to help decide the books that should be purchased and come up with some clues beginning mid-January and purchase the books after funding is received. The full launch would be in the spring when the weather begins to warm up.

THE BIG “W”’s.:
Who: Myself and the student volunteers at Prairie View will help launch this project. It will be for anyone with a love of reading and puzzles. Where: Around Goshen where books are able to be hidden, advertised on social media, and run through the website Why: The book has really gotten my students excited and when I told them it was a real game I saw the spark in their eyes. I really think anyone in the community who has a true love of reading and puzzles will enjoy this game, it may even convince those who aren’t passionate about reading, that it can be fun.

Similar to the Goshen Rocks Initiative, this is a game that never ends. It is already in 50 states and bringing it to Goshen will only put more books out there to be found.

Congratulations, Kelsey. Thank you for passing along your love of books!!

Volunteers Needed for Reading Camp

Goshen Community Schools will offer United Way Reading Camps to 20 children at each the following elementary schools: Chandler, Parkside, Model, Waterford, and West Goshen. Our Reading Camps connect 2nd grade students with an attentive, adult volunteer to practice their reading skills.

Reading Camps are held every Tuesday and Thursday for eight weeks (January 30 -March 22, 2018) after school from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Volunteer candidates may be people of all ages, who simply have a passion for helping children and a love of reading. Volunteers may commit to once a week, twice a week, or substitute on predetermined dates.

All volunteers will be given a limited background check and will participate in a training session to be held the last week of January. For more information, or if you are interested in being a volunteer, please contact Michelle Kercher (Coordinator of Volunteers) at or (574)-535-3086.


Thank you for considering becoming a GCS volunteer!

GHS Year of Goodness

Below you will find a list of the things GHS has done for the Year of Goodness thus far. The photos are from their recent trip to Goshen Hospital.

  1. Painted donated barrels and converted them to recycling containers (with a donation of lids from Coca-Cola) to be used in the GHS cafeteria and near the gyms for athletic events.
  2. Purchased 30 stockings and filled 12 of them with baby toys, candy, puzzle books, pencils, a pencil sharpener and a small gift card to Toys R Us. The other 18 stockings had the same items as the baby stockings, just no baby toys and their gift card was to a local restaurant. On Sunday, December 17th we delivered the stockings to Goshen Hospital.
  3. This week, we donated around $300 toward a NIPSCO bill for a local family in need.
  4. We also donated $200 to the GHS Child Care Center for new toys.



And, they still have at least more one thing planned for this spring! Great job, GHS!!

Vibrant Communities Initiative

By Arvis Dawson & Suzie Weirick

2017 has been an outstanding year for the Vibrant Communities initiative.

As the co-chairs of this movement, we’re invigorated by how Elkhart County’s cities and towns are working together to create better places to live, work and play.

By placing quality-of-place priorities at the center of our conversations, we are encouraging decision-makers across the county to consider this central question: Does this make Elkhart County more vibrant?

The Little BIG Idea Grant, in only a few months after its launch in August, funded 11 fun, creative, quirky events and programs in every community. We’ve seen pumpkins race downhill in Middlebury and painted rocks hidden all over Goshen. In the next year, we’ll be enjoying a Lunar Lunch in Bristol, a countywide treasure hunt, and thought-provoking student works of art.

The videos depicting the events and projects that have already happened are inspiring beyond words. Perhaps you’ll want to apply for a grant in 2018?

Christmas at the Powerhouse was one of 11 projects or events to receive a Little BIG Idea Grant in 2017.

In downtown Elkhart, we’re excited to see the Elkhart Health, Fitness, Aquatics and Community Center rising on the banks of the St. Joseph and Elkhart rivers, the Stonewater at The Riverwalk apartment development along Elkhart Avenue, and the restoration of the historic Hotel Elkhart building into a hotel again.

Goshen is going strong, even amidst road construction projects that have challenged the people who live and work there. Downtown businesses are thriving, helped along by a burgeoning arts scene that is supported by the new Mayor’s Arts Council. Indeed, the arts are rising in prominence in all our cities and towns with the Elkhart County Arts Alliance.

The Nappanee and Wakarusa communities have come together in a collaboration that leaders say is unprecedented on a massive project to build a premier soccer complex and pave the way for improvements to the Boys & Girls Club, Family Christian Development Center and Elder Haus.

Did you know Middlebury loves its trails, parks and downtown? A new biking/walking trail opened over the summer, and parks from Krider World’s Fair Garden to Riverbend Park are alive every weekend with people enjoying fresh air, the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail and festivals. It’s hard to find a time when Middlebury isn’t bustling with activity.

We’re not just patting ourselves on the back. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce recognized the city of Goshen as its 2017 Community of the Year. In reality, the honor was a culmination of years of work that city leaders, business owners and residents of all walks of life have put into building a collaborative community that works together, resolves differences amicably, and enjoys the fruits of a great downtown, verdant parks and an engaging arts and cultural scene.

Goshen has plenty to speak for it, but we think the rest of Elkhart County’s cities and towns are pretty close to that standard too. There’s always 2018 for another Community of the Year Award here, right?

And that brings us to next year. The Vibrant Communities initiative will keep on working to position Elkhart County for long-term success and growth. Our steering committee brings together a diverse, brilliant and energetic team of leaders from all corners of this area.

We know how passionate our neighbors are about the place that they live. We know that fantastic ideas are waiting to come forward to join the ones that have already been launched.

Whether you’ve been part of this movement — attending our workshops on placemaking, place identity and branding, and arts and aesthetics, attending a Community Conversation, or giving us feedback — or you’re just awakening to the energy building around Elkhart County, we invite you to join us in 2018.

We want to know what your priorities are. You can help us by taking our survey.

With this knowledge, we’ll be able to put our heads together and work with all of you to supply the tools and resources that are needed to take our great county to even greater heights.

Arvis Dawson and Suzie Weirick are co-chairs of the Vibrant Communities Steering Committee. Mr. Dawson is a longtime civic leader in Elkhart and Ms. Weirick is an Elkhart County Commissioner.

Parkside-Year of Goodness

Prior to the break, Parkside students worked on “generosity baskets” to give to Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network (GIHN). The the packages in the baskets are filled with things for children to do if they are temporarily residing at GIHN, including: Word searches, cross word puzzles, coloring books, and other toys and games.

Thank you, Parkside students, for sharing what you have learned through C.L.A.S.S. Lifelines!

C.L.A.S.S. Lifelines include: Caring, Commitment, Common Sense, Cooperation, Courage, Creativity, Curiosity, Effort, Empathy, Enthusiasm, Fairness, Flexibility, Forgiveness, Friendship, Generosity, Gratitude, Honesty, Humility, Initiative, Integrity, Joy, Kindness, Loyalty, Manners, Optimism, Organization, Patience, Perseverance, Pride, Problem Solving, Resilience, Respect, Responsibility, Self Control, Sense of Humor, Trust, and Wellness.



50th Annual Wrestling Invitational

The GHS Athletic Department would like to invite the Goshen community to the 50th Annual Wrestling Invitational, to be held on Saturday, January 13th, starting at 9:00 a.m. Admission is $7 for all ages Kindergarten through Adult.

To celebrate the 50th annual running of this event, Goshen High School would like to invite all former wrestlers and coaches back to GHS.  All former GHS wrestlers and coaches who are present that day will be introduced prior to finals, around 1:00 p.m. 

All former wrestlers who plan to attend are asked to contact Kim Magnuson at kmagnuson@goshenschools.orgYou and your families will receive free admission. (Contacting Ms. Magnuson prior to January 12th will ensure that you are on the list at the admission gate.)

Come help Coach Pickard and current team members celebrate the wrestling program’s tradition of excellence. Go, RedHawks!!

Chandler 3rd Graders Present Play to Preschool

Several Chandler 3rd grade students presented a play for students at 8th Street Preschool today, as part of their New Tech curriculum.The students, from Mrs. Savage’s class, included Oluwatobi, Stephanie, and Tyzgane.


Prior to their presentation, the students explained that they had been learning about fables and folklore, and that their play was based on the story of The Little Red Hen. However, for their play, they changed the characters to winter animals including a bunny, a penguin, and a husky dog.

When their play started, the bunny found some apples and asked the penguin and the husky dog to help wash them. But the penguin and the husky dog were not interested in helping. Next, the bunny asked for help to cut the apples, but still the others did not want to participate. Finally, the bunny asked for help juicing the apples, but the penguin and the husky dog only offered excuses for why they could not help.

However, when the bunny was ready to drink the juice, the penguin and the husky dog wanted some too! “Can we have some?” they asked. To which the bunny replied “No, that was a lot of work!”.

And that was the end of Scene 1.

Before they went on to Scene 2, Chandler teacher Andrew Kauffman asked the preschool students what they had noticed about the play. One student said “They (the penguin and the husky dog) were not being kind!” Mr. Kauffman asked the students to watch Scene 2 and notice the differences when everyone worked together.

The students noticed that the penguin and the husky dog learned from the problems they had when they refused to help the bunny, and that things went much better when they all worked together.

Following the play, the Chandler students shared popcorn with the preschool students.

Nice job, Chandler students!


Experiential Spanish Classes

The Goshen High School Spanish classes were learning class content in new ways today. Some of those ways included learning new dances, and hearing live music, thanks to their talented, innovative instructors (Joel Gonzalez, Myron Bontreger, Rafael Chavez y Moreno, and Adam Carter).

Joel Gonzalez, pictured below, taught them several dances, including the dance in the “Line Dancing” link below.

Line dancing

Following the dancing, they had a concert which featured the music of Lalo Cura, a “Spanish Rock” band based in Goshen, Indiana. Lalo Cura features GHS Spanish teacher, Rafael Chavez y Moreno, who plays guitar and sings in the band. (Incidentally, Mr. Chavez y Moreno is also a GHS alum.)

Lalo Cura band members

A huge shout out to the GHS Spanish teachers, for making learning extra fun!

To learn more about Lalo Cura, to watch videos of their music, or find a place to see them live, you may click on the link below.


GCS Statement re: Social Media

GCS is currently investigating a concern that has been raised and has been re-posted on social media. We are following up in order to ensure that all of our communication between adults and students while involved in GCS transportation and other activities reflect the values of our community. GCS continues to strive for excellence in everything we do, and the safety and welfare of all of our students is of utmost importance to us.

PV Employee Rescues Family from House Fire

How amazing and selfless are GCS employees? They stop and rescue people from burning houses on their way to work!

Prairie View staff member Angie Schmucker was on her way to work on Tuesday when she was flagged down on CR 40. Angie joined several other Goshen residents who stopped to help when they saw a house on fire. Angie actually helped pull the people out of the fire, after breaking windows and breaking down a door.  As it turned out, one of the occupants who was rescued was the grandfather of another Prairie View staff member!  Even though she and the other rescuers could barely see because of all of the smoke, they made sure that everyone made it out of the house safely.  And then, Angie kept them (and their dog) warm in her car until the firefighters arrived.

Photos courtesy of the Goshen News.

For the full Goshen News article, click on this link:

Thank you, Angie, for your concern and your heroic act of kindness for fellow Goshen residents!

Dec. 11 Student & Staff Recognition

December 12, 2017 School Board recognition.

Indiana Soccer Coaches Association Recognition and Team Accomplishments:     

  • The boys soccer team won a Regional Championship this year and was NLC champs!
  • Lucas Bontreger set a single season goal scoring record and became the career leader in goals scored and assists. Lucas was named first team all-district, first team all-state and academic all-state.  He played in the state all-star game.
  • Manny Castillo was named Top Team Player!
  • Flavio Cruz was named 1st team all-district and played in the state all-star games.

Lucas and Flavio

  • Jillian Kissinger was named 1st team all-district, played in the state all-star game, was named 3rd team all-state, and 1st team academic all-state.
  • Aniya Hartzler was named 2nd team all-district.

Aniya and Jill

  • All 5 players (Lucas Bontreger, Manny Castillo, Flavio Cruz, Jill Kissinger, and Aniya Hartzler) were also 1st team all NLC

IHSAA Exemplary Sportsmanship Award: Tyler Brinson

“Tyler Brinson of Goshen High School needs to be commended for his constant words of encouragement to his teammates and opponents when he played on defense. Our crew was very impressed with his actions and others can learn from his humble exemplary sportsmanship.” (IHSAA quote from the officiating crew)


Jan Desmarais-Morse, GMS School Counselor-ISCA School Counselor of the Year


Congratulations to all of these worthy recipients!

GMS E3 Boys Create Furniture from Pallets

Last week Cheryl Mast from Amigo Centre, along with volunteers, led our Engaging, Empowering, and Equipping (E3) 8th grade participants in the annual pallet wood furniture project. The boys built the furniture pictured below in two, 2 hour sessions. They did an awesome job! They received some guidance and instruction with the power tools, but the guys did all of the work by themselves.

The final products:


We think everything turned out pretty cool. Great work, guys!

If you want to learn more about the E3 program, just click on this link:—survival-skills-for-life.html

GHS Art Teacher Wins Little BIG Ideas Grant

Congratulations to GHS Art Teacher Betsy Poling, who was recently awarded a Little BIG Ideas Grant through Vibrant Communities of Elkhart County. The grant, worth $1,000, will allow Betsy to build and install four Little Free Libraries somewhere in the city of Goshen.

Betsy had been thinking about the idea of the Little Free Libraries, and after she heard about the grant opportunity, she decided to fill out the application. Her creative way to reach others in her town caught the eye of the grant committee, and Betsy will soon be making the Little Libraries a reality!

You can also apply for a Little BIG Ideas Grant, just by clicking on this link:

What Little BIG Ideas is looking for:

  • Arts, Culture, Place Making, Community, and Vibrancy
  • Fun, Creative, Inspiring, Viral, and Visible Projects
  • People connecting to People
  • People connecting to Places in Elkhart County

What great idea do you have to share?!!

GHS Wrestlers Give Back Through Elementary Camps

The GHS wrestlers and staff hold wrestling mini-camps for elementary students on Monday nights during the season. They hold their regular practice after school, and then eat together before the camp. According to head coach Jim Pickard, either he buys the kids something for supper, they get sack lunches from the cafeteria, or his wife makes sloppy joes or something similar for the team and coaching staff. (Wow, thank you, Lori Pickard; that is a lot of hungry boys!)

Team members in competition vs. Elkhart Memorial

Pictures from the December 11 camp:


Coach Pickard

The camp routinely has attendance numbers between 100-125 students in grades K-5. The high school students work with the youngsters, and help teach the future wrestlers the basics of wrestling.


According to Jim, the high school students can learn a lot just by working with the younger students, and he feels that it is important for them to give back to the others in the community. He laughed and said that his players sometimes say “but the kids aren’t listening to me!”. To which he answers them, “Yes, just like sometimes you don’t listen to me!”

Senior Fernando Flores

Senior Steven Worlds

It is a great camp atmosphere in the big, somewhat sweaty wrestling room, and the students and staff are all working and learning together as one big wrestling family.