Elkhart County Sponsors $50,000 in Cash Prizes for Inaugural Leaf Collection Competition

GCS teams, clubs, classes, families or friends: If you are looking for a way to raise money, check out this innovative fundraiser that will also help clean up our county!

From the County:

Citizens of Elkhart County have the opportunity to clean the county during this coming fall season while also competing to win $50,000 in cash prizes. The Elkhart County Commissioners and Solid Waste Management District are sponsoring a leaf-collecting competition, where the group collecting the most leaves from unincorporated areas will win the largest portion of the $50,000 cash prize. All groups that bring in three tons of leaves are guaranteed $1,000 in cash prizes, with the rest of the prizes being allotted based on groups’ final collection total. Registration begins today and ends on August 31; the competition occurs between September 10 and November 21.

Since November 2017, plans have been forming on ways to combat the prevalence of leaf burning that occurs in unincorporated areas of Elkhart County. Smoke from burning leaves has negative impacts on public health and quality of place, especially in densely populated subdivisions. The competition is one of five pilot programs designed to address leaf burning in unincorporated areas of the county.

Bob Kronemyer, an Elkhart resident and environmental activist, said of the competition, “There is concrete momentum toward addressing outdoor burning in Elkhart County, and I applaud county government in following through on this creative effort. The more community involvement, the better outcomes for improved air quality.”

Groups of any kind may register for the competition, as long as the primary contact person resides in Elkhart County and the group is not affiliated with a for-profit business. Admittance into the competition is on a first-come-first-serve basis, with a maximum of 25 participating groups. There is no entry fee to register. Only leaves collected in unincorporated parts of Elkhart County will be accepted. A consent form for each property where leaves are collected needs to be shown at time of drop-off to ensure that leaves were collected in unincorporated locations and that the property owner gave consent. Groups will receive their prizes by February 1, 2019. All rules are included in the registration packet and can be found at https://www.elkhartcountyswmd.com/leaf-collection-competition.

For more information or to sign up, visit https://www.elkhartcountyswmd.com/leafcollection-competition. Questions can be directed to a.turner@sbenfocus.org.

1. Sign up

○ There are two eligibility criteria for groups participating in the Elkhart County Leaf Collection Competition: (1) the group must not be affiliated with a for-profit business, and (2) the primary contact person must reside in Elkhart County. ■ Helpful tip! Are you unsure if your group is eligible to participate? Email a.turner@sbenfocus.org to discuss. ■ Helpful tip! There is no limit to the size of your group. If your group is small, consider collaborating with other groups so you can collect a larger quantity of leaves. ○ All members of the group must be participating in a volunteer capacity; they CAN NOT receive compensation for their participation in the competition. ○ There is no entry fee to sign up or to participate in the competition. ○ The sign up sheet must be completed and return emailed to a.turner@sbenfocus.org on or before August 31, 2018. The competition is limited to 25 groups, first-come-first-serve, so groups are encouraged to sign up early. ■ Helpful tip! Make sure your designated “contact person” is over 18 years old. ■ Helpful tip! The sign up form asks if you’d like us to include your email on the Elkhart County SWMD Web site. This might help you identify homeowners who want their leaves collected as part of the competition. If you aren’t comfortable with having your personal email on the site, consider making a new email address specifically for the competition.

2. Collect leaves

○ Groups can collect leaves from any resident located in unincorporated Elkhart County. Groups should NOT collect leaves from incorporated areas of Elkhart County where leaf collection is already provided (including the City of Elkhart, City of Goshen, City of Nappanee, Town of Bristol, Town of Middlebury, Town of Millersburg, and Town of Wakarusa). Any groups found collecting leaves from incorporate d areas will be disqualified from the competition and will not receive any prize.■ Helpful tip! Are you unsure if a property is incorporated or not? Look at our printable or online competition map (page 9 of this document) to be sure! Also, before you collect leaves from a property, ask the property owner if their municipality provides leaf collection services. ■ Helpful tip! Use your network of family and friends to identify residents that might welcome help collecting leaves. ○ Groups may NOT charge property owners or accept payment for their work. Additionally, groups may NOT pay property owners for leaves. Any groups found charging property owners , accepting payment for their work, or paying for leaves will be disqualified from the competition and will not receive any prize.○ Before collecting leaves, groups are required to get approval from the property owner and complete the other fields on the “Property Information Form.” Any group s that DO NOT receive approval from property owners before collecting leaves are trespassing, will be disqualified from the competition, and will not receive any prize. ■ Helpful tip! Groups could have property owners fill out the “Property Information Form” in advance, saving time during the leaf collection visit. ○ Groups can collect leaves using whatever method they see fit (raking, blowing, curbside pickup, etc).

3. Bring collected leaves to the Elkhart County Landfill to be weighed

○ The official competition dates will be from September 10, 2018 to November 21, 2018. Leaves dropped off at the landfill on one of the official dates, during posted business hours, will contribute toward your group’s collection total (“Collection Total”); leaves dropped off at the landfill at any other time will not contribute toward your group’s Collection Total. ■ Helpful tip: The Elkhart County Landfill is located at 59530 County Road 7, in Elkhart. The Landfill is open Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 4:45pm, and on Saturdays from 9:00am to 11:45am. ○ When arriving at the landfill window, be sure to state that you are participating in the leaf collection competition and the name of your group. Also, give the landfill staff member your completed Property Information Forms. ○ Place loose leaves in the public leaf pile as directed by landfill staff. Landfill staff will weigh your vehicle when entering and leaving the landfill, and will record the weight of the leaves in a spreadsheet. ■ Helpful tip: Be sure to follow all instructions from landfill staff. They are here to help! ○ Only leaves shall be dropped off at the landfill’s leaf pile. Any group s found leaving bags at the landfill, or dropping off significant quantities of other waste, will be disqualified from the competition, and will not receive any prize.

4. At the end of the competition, fill out a feedback form

Feedback forms will be emailed to the contact person designated on your signup form before the competition begins ○ Please fill out feedback forms honestly and thoroughly. It will help us to make the competition better in the future! ■ Helpful tip: Don’t procrastinate. Consider filling out the feedback form as you go. ○ The feedback form must be completed and return emailed to a.turner@sbenfocus.org on or before November 30, 2018. Groups who do not complete and return feedback forms by this date will be disqualified from the competition, and will not receive any prize .

5. Receive your prize

○ All participating groups that comply with competition rules and drop off at least 3 tons of leaves (“Threshold Amount”) will receive a “threshold prize” of $1,000. ○ Groups whose Collection Totals exceed the Threshold Amount, will have their excess leaves counted toward the “grand prize.” Groups exceeding the Threshold Amount will receive a pro rated share of the “grand prize” ($50,000 minus funds distributed as threshold prizes) based on their percentage of leaves, collected during the competition, that exceed the Threshold Amount.○ Any prize money a group earns will be paid to the contact person listed on the sign up form, and sent to the address listed on the sign up form, before February 1, 2019.

GHS Graduate Josie Strader to Perform with Youth Brass Band of Battle Creek

From Battle Creek, MI: The Brass Band of Battle Creek (BBBC) is proud to introduce the 2018 Youth Brass Band Camp Participants.

The Camp will take place July 16-20 at Marshall High School. The Camp will feature some of the world’s top brass musicians as faculty, and will conclude with a FREE public concert at Marshall High School at 7:00 p..m. on Friday, July 20th.

“We are extremely excited this year to host this outstanding educational experience for high school bandsmen from across the Midwest!” Jeremy Root, BBBC Camp organizer and BBBC Director of Education and Outreach said. Root is also the band director at Marshall High School. “Those who attend will get a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an opportunity to learn from, and play with, the very best musicians today,” he added.

The mission of the Brass Band of Battle Creek is “To bring joy, understanding and inspiration through the power of music.” This year will mark the fifth year of the Youth Brass Band Program and the second as a day camp. Presently, 40 students (including recent GHS graduate Josie Strader) are enrolled from throughout Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, including many from Calhoun County and the program seems to be working well, Root said. A few of the former students, now in college, are returning to help out, “It’s exciting to see these students succeed in college after coming through our program,” Root added.

The free concert, which is open to the public, will take place on Friday, July 20th at 7:00 p.m. at the Marshall High School Auditorium for Performing Arts and will showcase what these outstanding young musicians have learned.

Congratulations, Josie!!

Recognition for 2017-18 GMS Music Program

2017-18 was a banner year for Goshen Middle School music ensembles, featuring many wonderful performances and opportunities for performances to be recognized at the local, state, and great lakes regional levels.

In February, hundreds of middle school students performed as soloists and in ensembles at Elkhart Central.  A few students playing at the highest difficulty of music were eligible to perform at the state event later that month.

A few weeks later the middle school jazz strings and jazz band performed at the district jazz festival.  Jazz ensembles at the middle school level are uncommon and yet both ensembles received Gold ratings.

All Goshen Middle School bands, orchestras, and choirs were adjudicated at the ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) large group event with most ensembles receiving Gold ratings and the Wind Ensemble and 6th Grade Band receiving Gold Ratings with Distinction.

In May, the orchestra and choir traveled with students to Sandusky, Ohio to perform for adjudication and in competition with other ensembles from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.  All ensembles received great ratings from the adjudicators and GMS earned the top overall orchestra award for the festival.

Finally, the well-rounded musical education enjoyed by our students earned Goshen Middle School the ISSMA All-Music Award for Band and Orchestra; one of just a handful of middle school programs in the state to do so. Nice job, directors and students!!

Goshen is a wonderful place for students to get their musical start and to make music in small and large ensembles!

GMS Student Packet Pick-Up

Incoming Goshen Middle School students may pick up their 2018-19 Student Information packets in the GMS main office beginning July 16, 2018.

Packets may be picked up Monday-Thursday between the hours of 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. from July 16-August 2.

If you have questions, you may call GMS at 574-533-0391.

GCS Orchestra Teacher Advocates for Music Education

On June 28th GMS/GHS orchestra teacher Sean Patrick was one of four Indiana music educators sent to Washington D.C. to represent the Indiana Music Education Association in the national assembly. The educators were sent to D.C. to advocate for music education in our schools, by meeting with Indiana congressional representatives and senators.

The picture attached is with Indiana 2nd district congresswoman, Jackie Walorski.


The City of Goshen and the Goshen Municipal Airport will again host the annual Air Supremacy over Goshen remote control aircraft event, which will bring a weekend full of fun activities for everyone in the family.

From Thursday, July 12, to Saturday, July 14, the municipal airport, 17229 Co Rd 42, will be host to more than 250 model aircraft of all sizes. More than 100 radio control craftsmen from all over the Midwest will be in attendance.

Mayor Jeremy Stutsman and Airport Manager Randy Sharkey again encourage the community to this year’s event.

Event coordinator RJ Monroe said he sees this event growing each year and attracting larger crowds.

“With our move to Goshen Airport we have opened the door to become the premier event of its kind in the Midwest and the potential to become national in scope,” he said.

This will be the sixth year that the Air Supremacy event has been held, though it’s the second year it’s been held in Goshen. The show features aircraft from WWI, The Golden Era, WWII, and the classics like the Piper Clubs and military-style turbine jets.

Flying will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is open to everyone, for just $5 a person. Children under 12, veterans and military enter free of charge. There will be food and hobby vendors. Attendants are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs or blankets.

For more information and an extensive photo gallery, please visit the Air Supremacy over Goshen website at www.flygoshen.com.

School Board Election Information Session

Goshen Community Schools administrators and board members will hold an information session for community members who may be considering running for the GCS Board of School Trustees, or for anyone who is simply interested in learning more about the election process.

The election information session will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at the GCS Administration Center, located at 613 E. Purl St. Goshen.

To learn more about running for public office, visit http://www.elkhartcountyclerk.com/ and click on Elections. Under the Candidate Info tab, you will find information about Qualifications needed, Deadlines, Campaign Finance, who to contact in the Clerk’s Office and more. Community members may also contact GCS Superintendent Dr. Diane Woodworth with any questions they may have at 574-533-8631 or dwoodworth@goshenschools.org.

School Board Election Information Session

Goshen Community Schools administrators and board members will hold an information session for community members who may be considering running for the GCS Board of School Trustees, or for anyone who is simply interested in learning more about the election process.

The election information session will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at the GCS Administration Center, located at 613 E. Purl St. Goshen.

To learn more about running for public office, visit http://www.elkhartcountyclerk.com/ and click on Elections. Under the Candidate Info tab, you will find information about Qualifications needed, Deadlines, Campaign Finance, who to contact in the Clerk’s Office and more. Community members may also contact GCS Superintendent Dr. Diane Woodworth with any questions they may have at 574-533-8631 or dwoodworth@goshenschools.org.

Incoming Freshman Parent Meeting Information

Parents of all incoming Freshman can view a slideshow with important contact information below.

Goshen Salvation Army Open As Cooling Center

GOSHEN, Ind. (June 18, 2018) – The City of Goshen and the Goshen Salvation Army as a joint effort have designated the Salvation Army building as a cooling center today Monday, June 18, for anyone in need of shelter from the high temperatures.

The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for Elkhart County in effect until 8 p.m. Monday. Temperatures today are expected to rise to between 90 and 95 degrees this afternoon, with heat indices around 100 degrees for several hours. People exposed to full sunshine could experience heat indices several degrees higher.

Anyone in need of an air-conditioned room during the day may go to the Salvation Army, 1013 N. Main St., entering through the south entrance. The building will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. For any additional questions, the Salvation Army may be reached at 533-9584.

Mayor Jeremy Stutsman thanked Majors Sally and Tim Sell for opening the doors of the Salvation Army to the public in this time of need.

“I hope those in need use this great community resource,” he said. “I would also like to encourage the public look after each other. Please check on your neighbors and loved ones, especially the elderly, and take them to the shelter if they need it.”

Major Tim Sell too said he is hopeful word spreads in the community about the cooling center as a resource.

“We always want to meet needs whenever they present themselves in the community,” he said. “Being called upon by the City helps to get the word out to as many people in need as possible.”

The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which illnesses are possible. The public is advised to drink plenty of water, stay in an air-conditioned room and stay out of the sun. Check your local media channel or the National Weather Service for the latest updates on the weather.

Sharon Hernandez
Communications Coordinator

W: 574-537-3883




GCS Support Staff Job Fair-June 28

The GCS Support Staff Job Fair will be held on Thursday, June 28 from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The event will be held in the board room of the GCS Administration Center located at 613 E. Purl Street.

Support staff positions available at this time: Bus drivers, paraprofessionals, custodians/maintenance, secretarial, lifeguards, food/nutrition services, coaches, technology, parent liaison, college prep coach, and substitutes for custodial and nutrition services.

Opportunity: This is a great opportunity to meet with hiring managers and building principals who have openings in their buildings.

Bring: Copies of your updated resume and a list of professional references.

Technology: Will be available during the Job Fair for anyone interested in beginning their application for employment.

Entrance: Use the Registration entrance located on the west side of the Administration Center.

Applications will only be accepted online (but there will be computers available at the Job Fair to complete the online applications, and staff will be available to assist those who need help).

If you want to apply now, you may visit the website at www.goshenschools.org. Click on JOBS, and follow the directions.

For anyone interested in applying to be a substitute teacher, please apply online at www.pcmiservices.com

If you have questions, please call 574-533-8631 ext. 2017.

We look forward to seeing you at the Job Fair!

6-11-18 Board Recognition

GCS board member Jane DeVoe was honored for her years of service to Goshen Community Schools, following her resignation from the board, effective June 4, 2018.

The GHS custodial staff (several of whom are pictured below) was recognized for the tireless, behind-the-scenes work they do for graduation, and many other big events throughout the school year. Their work and efforts are noticed and appreciated by many!

GCS Accounting Specialist Jessica Wileman was thanked and honored for her outstanding work on the GCS referendum activities. According to Dr. Woodworth, “Jessica was at every planned activity and even occasionally went door to door on her own; talking to people and advocating for our schools”.

May 29th Board Recognition

May 29th Student and Staff Recognition:

GHS Varsity Winter Guard, 2018 IHSCGA Class A State Finalist.

Winter Guard Members include: Makayla Clawson, Sandra Contreras, Karen Esquivel, Maria Flores Mora, Alexandra Garcia, Sophia Gulewicz, Diana Hernandez Gutierrez, Rozalina Kuznetsov, Jala Nolen, Alexa Shull, Hailee Shull, Marie Stanley, Lindsey Taubert, Anna VanderWey, Vanessa Villegas, Abby Weber, and Martha Zamore Munoz.

The guard was represented (below) by Winter Guard Director Takesha Stoll, Alexandria Garcia and Rozalina Kuznetsov.

Susan Stiffney, Assistant HR Director & Health Services Coordinator and Sarah Roth, Prairie View Nurse-For being selected as members of the 2018 School Nurse Leadership Academy.

  Dr. Woodworth, Sarah Roth, Susan Stiffney, and Bradd Weddell.

Jen Yoder-For her work with the GHS “Daisy Project”. Mrs. Yoder explained that she got a call from a local veterinarian asking if GHS would work with a miniature calf (later named Daisy RedHawk by the GHS student body) to engineer something to help with the calf’s mobility. Mrs. Cathy DeMeyer’s Biology classes also studied the genetics of the calf. Mrs. Yoder said that the calf’s farm family has been very supportive of the project, and chose keep the calf and let the students work with her, so that they could learn from the calf. Mrs. Yoder reported that the GHS kids loved “Daisy RedHawk”, and came by the window in the Engineering Tech hallway to see her and take pictures of her every day.


The students started the project with research into the calf’s issues, which were explained to them by Dr. Emilie Blough through x-rays, demonstrations, and lectures.

Then the students started brainstorming; one class took on splints, one prosthetics, and one a wheelchair-type apparatus for Daisy’s back legs which were bowed, and of different lengths. Mrs. Yoder said that the students have tried at least 20 different prototypes over the course of the project. GHS junior Carter Self devised a splint for Daisy’s front legs that is similar to what her final splints (which will be made by an orthopedist) will be, and with those splints, Daisy has been able to run, jump, and play with the Yoder family dog.

Daisy went with Mrs. Yoder to Chandler, Model, and GMS to talk to the New Tech students about the project, and again, the students loved her!

Mrs. Yoder indicated that the most exciting thing about the project happened just that day. She, Dr. Blough, and Carter Self took Daisy to Paws in Motion in Valparaiso, where an orthopedist who works with humans and pets provided a  free 2-hour evaluation. The orthopedist looked at all of the GHS prototypes, and was very impressed with the work that the students had done.

According to Mrs. Yoder, this student response to the project is “what it’s all about”: From a student, “I think that the most interesting part of this assignment is the fact that we’re helping with a real world situation. Most times in class we wonder what’s the point of doing all of our assignments? With this project we are applying our knowledge and skills to a real life situation. A situation we have right in front of our faces. We can see how the things we’ve learned matter.”

Thank you to Jen Yoder for taking on this unique project, for revising lessons plans for the last part of the school year, and for allowing GHS students to have this incredible learning experience!


  Dr. Woodworth, Jen Yoder, and Bradd Weddell.


Samantha Stoltzfus-The Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis closed its classical season with special guests Sonya Hayes, violin, and GHS student Samantha Stoltzfus, winner of the 2017 Indiana Music Association Composition Competition. The concert was held on Sunday, May 20th at 3:00 p.m. at the Pike Performing Arts Center.

Samantha (Sam) Link Stoltzfus just finished her freshman year at Goshen High School. She is the daughter of Dan and Angela Stoltzfus and has one sister, Josephine Stoltzfus. Her grandparents are Gary and Lorene Link from Morgantown, Indiana & Eldon and Rachel Stoltzfus from Goshen, Indiana.

Samantha has been connected to music her entire life. Her first exposure to reading music began with piano lessons under Angela (Gingerich) Zepeda. She participated in several years of choir through Goshen College’s Community School of the Arts. Her formal orchestra training began in 5th grade with the viola. She’s currently participating in three groups: Goshen Crimson Orchestra, 2021 String Quartet, and Goshen High School’s Jazz Strings. She began private viola instruction two years ago under Benita Barber. Her composition interests began in 7th grade where she was also a category winner.

Dr. Woodworth, Samantha Stoltzfus, and Bradd Weddell.

School Board Vacancy

Goshen Community Schools has an at-large school board vacancy, created by the resignation of Jane DeVoe as she and her husband are moving out of the district. The board of school trustees has 30 days in which to fill this seat. Any interested patrons should send or drop off a letter of interest and a resume to board president, Felipe Merino, at 613 E. Purl Street, Goshen, IN, 46526 by June 11, 2018.

GHS Teacher Aaron Willis Featured in Vibrant Communities Article

Love Where You Live: Aaron Willis invests his energy on supporting kids

Aaron Willis fell in love with Elkhart County for a simple reason.

“I love the support and the fact that the community is behind the kids,” said the 26-year-old integrated chemistry and physics teacher at Goshen High School.

Willis grew up in South Bend and taught there for three years before the Younghans family he’d met through Valparaiso University convinced him to come work with them in Goshen Community Schools.

In Goshen, the community is in the schools. “People in the community are actually donating and investing in the education of the children,” he said.

The parents want a good education for their children, but Willis also sees businesses and local leaders get involved too. “There’s more of a community feel in Goshen than any city I’ve really been in,” said Willis.

Young people are wrestling with adult issues and Willis joins in supporting them as they learn not just academically, but about life. He’s a big brother, a teacher, and sometimes a comedian as he helps them.

Willis was a track athlete in high school and college. He trained to get better and tells his students that whether they go to the factory or to college, they need to keep working and learning. “Make yourself profitable,” he said, explaining that he tells students they need to seek out certificates and ways to further learning and earning.

As that happens, the community keeps getting better too. “Here in Goshen and in Elkhart, a problem happens and someone says, ‘What can we do as a community to fix the problem?’ And really heal it, not just put a bandage over it,” he said.

This good community is getting better and keeps helping its young people

“We have a good foundation for our kids. We have a good foundation in the city of Goshen especially and in Elkhart County,” he said.

Marshall V. King is a Goshen-based free-lance writer. He wrote this on behalf of Vibrant Communities.


GHS Elects New City Council Youth Advisor


GOSHEN, Ind. (May 23, 2018) – Goshen High School student Felix Perez Diener will be Mayor Jeremy Stutsman’s appointee to the City Council as the new Youth Adviser for the 2018-2019 school year.

Felix, who is now finishing his junior year, was elected by the student body in an election held Tuesday, May 22. He won by receiving 47 percent of the total votes cast in Tuesday’s election, over his fellow candidates, Jonathon Snyder, Cade Richardson and Ben Bontrager-Singer.

Current youth adviser Jason Barahona will continue to serve with the City Council until June 5, at which time Felix will be sworn in as the newest member of the council.

State law allows mayors to appoint a person younger than 18 years of age to serve as a non-voting member to the council and as an adviser on matters concerning the youth. Mayor Jeremy Stutsman has instead encouraged Goshen High School to elect a student to represent them and all the younger constituents in the City.

This is the third year in a row that the Elkhart County Voter Registration Office, Goshen Community Schools and the City of Goshen have collaborated to hold elections at the high school.

Below: Mayor Jeremy Stutsman and current youth adviser Jason Barahona pose with the four youth adviser candidates at Goshen High School. Pictured, from left, are Felix Perez Diener, Ben Bontrager-Singer, Mayor Jeremy Stutsman, Youth Adviser Jason Barahona, Cade Richardson and Jonathon Snyder.

Below: Newly elected youth adviser Felix Perez Diener poses with Mayor Jeremy Stutsman Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at Goshen High School.

Thank you,

Sharon Hernandez
Communications Coordinator


Boys & Girls Club Summer Programs

Great summers start at the Boys and Girls Club! Check out all of the great summer programs at: https://www.bgcelkhartcounty.org/summer/ 

Summer flyer: https://www.bgcelkhartcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/summer-goshe.pdf

Summer teen flyer: https://www.bgcelkhartcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Teen-Goshen.pdf

Summer Registration form: https://www.bgcelkhartcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Registration-Form-Goshen.pdf

GMS New Tech “Ripple Effect” Peer Mentors

Recently, 39 GMS New Tech students attended a training at Goshen College in preparation for serving next school year as Ripple Effect peer mentors and ambassadors. The kids were simply amazing! The students learned about being a mentor, leadership, confidentiality, boundaries, “Lollipop Moments” and how they impact others without even knowing it. They also learned how they can have a ripple effect of kindness and community within our school.

Through consensus-building, students created a hashtag for our program (#startyourrippleeffect) to add to our Ripple Effect logo designed by our own GMS art teacher John Nafziger. See the logo and a list of mentor students below.

Mentors: Faye Amazona, Nayely Arellano, Jonathan Beas, Quinn Bechtel, Ingrid Brito, Emoni Brooks, Kylee Brown, Marcus Castaneda, Nolan Casteneda, Edgar Contreras, Jaime Cruz Evangelista, Elizabeth Dilworth, David Dominguez, Daniel Edmonds, Luis Esparza Diaz, Byrant Faustino, Delaney Ford, Kelly Garcia, Rayna Gonzalez, Jesus Guijosa-Torres, Payton Hall, Andrea Hernandez Amaro, Janiece Herrera, Deecon Hill, Andrea Lozano, Ulises Martinez, Clarissa Mata, Marta Mayevsky, Logan Miller, Sara Olayo Evangelista, Steven Peel, Erik Rios-Mendoza, Isaac Rodriguez, Flavia Romero, Briza Tayagua-Delgado, Kareena Ulfig, Lacey Utley, Meggy Vanhooser, and Jordy Velasco.

A photo of the NT Ripple Effect mentors and ambassadors is below.

Thanks go to Goshen College Dean of Students, Gilberto Perez, for his help in making the day possible. Our thanks also to GMS NT staff Jan Desmarais-Morse, Krista Troyer, Nate Swihart, Katherine Christoffersen, and Angie Schwartz, along with Ana Schue, former GMS/GHS student and 5 Star coach-extraordinaire, for being great mentors themselves as we trained our kids.

Some of the student mentors were also ambassadors while in elementary school, so they are very excited to continue the good work begun through our invaluable elementary school counselors.

GMS is so excited to bring New Tech Ripple Effect to our school next year to welcome our sixth graders, calm their fears, and continue to build community and relationships.


GHS Students Earn EACC Honors

The following Goshen High School students were honored at the Elkhart Area Career Center recently for various accomplishments.  Please help GCS congratulate them when you see them.

Nicholas Brandenberger

  • Early College Graduate – Ivy Tech, Diesel Service Technology

Cora Campanello

  • Early College Graduate – Ivy Tech, Early Childhood Education

Noah Caouette

  • Early College Graduate – Ivy Tech, Diesel Service Technology

Nathan Galloway

  • Early College Graduate – Ivy Tech, Diesel Service Technology

Sarai Hernandez-Martinez

  • Perfect Attendance Award
  • Teacher’s Choice Award, Medical Assisting
  • Basil S. (Ethel L.) Turner Scholarship ($1000 scholarship)

Morgan McKenna

  • Perfect Attendance Award
  • Skills USA – Gold Award, Graphic Design

Electra Reiff

  • Skills USA – Gold Award, Crime Scene Investigation

Jesse Rhodes

  • Teacher’s Choice Award, Diesel Service Technology
  • Early College Graduate – Ivy Tech, Diesel Service Technology
  • Gateway Mile Toolbox/Tool Scholarship Award (presented with a professional toolbox full of tools)

Juan Saldivar

  • Early College Graduate – Ivy Tech, Automotive Service Technology

Jeremiah Sherrill

  • Teacher’s Choice Award, Audio/Video Production

Paul Wiess

  • Perfect Attendance
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