As Parkside was the featured school at this board meeting, Parkside Principal Betts McFarren introduced two teachers to report on a new club at Parkside. The teachers, Mary Short and Suzanne Miller, started a Science Club after school because they wanted to do “a little bit more” with science. To date, twenty-eight students are participating in hands-on activities that are based upon state standards and aimed at cultivating a love of science. Four science club members were in attendance to share about some of their experiments, why they like science, and what their favorite activity has been so far.
Dr. Royer then introduced Chandler counselor Leon Bauman who recognized staff member Jan Johnson. Mrs. Johnson, who is also a member of 8th Street Mennonite Church, organized her church members to assemble food bags for students in need. Once per month, volunteers go to the food bank in South Bend and fill food bags with mostly ready-to-eat, kid-friendly foods. Then, every Friday, approximately 50 bags are put into student lockers for students to take home over the weekend. Chandler school assists with gathering plastic bags to bag the food, but the yearly $6,000 cost of the food to support the food bank is covered by the church. Mr. Bauman shared that in the U.S., 1 in 4 children suffer from food insecurity, so this program which was built on Mrs. Johnson’s initiative, has been necessary and well-received.
Continuing to recognize community members, GHS science teacher Mr. Carl Weaver next introduced Drs. Max and Lydia Mertz. The doctors have generously served as medical staff for many years on the Marine Biology trip, as well as making monetary contributions to provide student scholarships for the program.