Tippecanoe Valley names 2017 Distinguished Alumni

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The Tippecanoe Valley Distinguished Alumni Class of 2017 has been named. The eight members of this year’s class join a noble group of Tippecanoe Valley graduates who have led successful lives while making substantial contributions to their chosen field of work or have provided outstanding service to their community, state, or country.  The Class of 2017 stands as a vivid example for all current and future students of what is possible for Tippecanoe Valley graduates.

  The Class of 2017 includes:

  • Six graduates from Tippecanoe Valley High School: Mike Biddle (’96), Craig Brouyette (’93), Jose Jurado (’09), Ashley Lindenmier (“04), Dan Tucker (“91), and Teresa (Petrosky) Wallace (’78).
  • One graduate from Beaver Dam High School: Wayne Cumberland (’58)
  • One graduate from Mentone High School: Rodney Williams (’72)

A formal dinner – to which the public is invited – will be held in honor of these individuals on Thursday, September 7, at 6:30 p.m., in the Tippecanoe Valley Middle School Commons.  In addition to the meal, local radio personality, Rita Price, will interview those being honored.  Each honoree will also recognize an educator that made a significant impact in his/her life.

The Tippecanoe Valley Distinguished Alumni Class of 2017 will participate in Induction Day activities at Tippecanoe Valley High School on Friday, September 8.  Induction Day will begin with a Welcome Breakfast, introductions, group pictures, and an orientation to the day ahead.  The honorees will spend the morning meeting with students to share information about their lives and chosen careers.  They will eat lunch with the students, providing opportunities for individual interactions.  In the afternoon, RTCtv will record individual interviews with the inductees.  Induction Day will conclude with the introduction of the inductees at halftime of the football game.  At that time, a commemorative plaque will be presented to each member of the Tippecanoe Valley Distinguished Alumni Class of 2017.

Teachers Credit Union is the corporate sponsor of this year’s Tippecanoe Valley Distinguished Alumni Dinner and the Induction Day activities.


1996 Tippecanoe Valley High School graduate Mike Biddle is a Viking through and through. He coached football for years at Tippecanoe Valley and has since remained active in the Kosciusko County community.

Biddle is a Shriner, a Freemason with Pierceton Lodge #377 and even started his own business Biddle Auction Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bethel College and spent 10 years as a registered nurse before becoming a licensed auctioneer.

He credits much of his success to working hard and never giving up. Biddle says it wasn’t easy growing up poor and becoming a father while still a teenager, but says his story is proof anyone can make their own destiny in life and be successful. He’s thrilled to see his daughter follow in his footsteps by becoming an auctioneer and helping grow the family business.



Craig Brouyette is a familiar name in the Akron community. The 1993 Tippecanoe Valley graduate went on to Manchester University to earn a degree in business administration. He has since led a successful career with Pike Lumber Company as the current Executive Vice President. He also serves on the board of directors for Pike Lumber Company and the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association.

One nominator described Brouyette as a person who displays class, character, and compassion for the community. He helps to maintain the Akron Community Center and is a current member / past president of the Akron Lions Club.

He is married to his wife Michelle, a 1994 Tippecanoe Valley graduate, and has a son and three daughters.  Brouyette enjoys spending time with his family, biking and working outside.



Jose Jurado became a role model for his two younger siblings by being the first person in his family to go to college. The 2009 Tippecanoe Valley graduate holds a computer engineering degree from Purdue University. His professional life has taken him from the Midwest all the way to Connecticut after landing a job with the sports network ESPN as an internal application developer.

Jurado started school without knowing a single word of the English language. He says as a young student, it was hard for him to fit in. He overcame this obstacle by never giving up on learning the necessary communication skills.

He volunteers his time at the Purdue Alumni Association of Connecticut to recruit prospective students to Purdue University. He also holds an advisory position through his fraternity Delta Pi Rho to help answer any questions young Latino students have, and is actively involved at ESPN helping develop a supportive work environment for Hispanics and Latinos.



One nominator described Ashley Lindenmier as an excellent role model for any young woman, and said her ambition and determination demonstrates that you can do anything you put your mind to.

Lindenmier graduated from Tippecanoe Valley in 2004 and went on to achieve great success at both Valparaiso University, where she studied Spanish and political science, and at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she graduated with honors and won various awards – all while working full time at a law firm.

As a practicing attorney, she obtained notable jury verdicts, received state and national recognition, and had successful arguments before state and federal courts. Lindenmier has since taken on a role as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation working to dismantle violent gangs and child predators.



Life beyond Tippecanoe Valley has taken 1978 graduate Teresa Petrosky Wallace all across the country. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Purdue and a master’s degree in family and child development at Kansas State. She then worked in suburban Chicago youth services before moving to Wyoming.

Wallace recently retired after 32 years as a helping professional; 26 of those at Casper College where she initially coordinated a special populations grant.  She then moved into a counselor position and was later promoted to director of counseling. Her expertise regarding mental health/wellness-related issues has led to several accolades in her community. She has earned state recognition through the Wyoming Counseling Association, while her writing endeavors have gained national attention.

She is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and theatre and also volunteers with local branches of the American Cancer Society and the National MS Society. She has been described as an unsung hero for merely doing her daily job of caring for, listening to, and assisting individuals who are struggling mentally or emotionally.



Dan Tucker is known by many as a man who puts others before himself.  The 1991 graduate went on to pursue a career as a physical therapist assistant after earning his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Ball State University and an associate degree in physical therapy from the University of Indianapolis.

Tucker has spent almost 20 years working for two separate contract companies who provide Lutheran Health Network Kosciusko Community Hospital with inpatient and outpatient, physical, occupational and speech therapy services. One nominator described him as a true credit to his profession. He has also spent the past eight years as a director for Kosciusko REMC and continues to serve as vice chairman of the board.

Tucker has also had to overcome many obstacles in the past that have given him the opportunity to help others struggling with the grief of losing a loved one or having serious injuries. He is currently married to his wife Caren of 10 years. They have two children, Kaytlin and Konner.



In the years since graduating Mentone High School in 1972, Rodney Williams has advanced as a scientist and entrepreneur.  He continued his education graduating Huntington College with a B.S. in the Sciences and pursued graduate studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Rod has been granted more than 15 patents for his work in synthetic organic chemistry, composites, and processes. His work is found in products we use today, such as electronic circuits, composite windows and decking, and lead free weights for fishing, ballistics, and transportation. In 1988, he and two colleagues founded Aspen Research Corporation to provide analytical, process, and product development services that became instrumental in the launch of novel medical, computer, food, and building material products. He has worked across the globe with many companies both large and small, and currently holds the position of Chief Scientist for Tundra Companies.

Rod is an active private pilot donating right seat time to Wings of Mercy.  He and his wife Lisa, of 39 years, are also involved in their church and local fundraising events. They have three children and two grandchildren.



Wayne Cumberland is a familiar face to many people in the Tippecanoe Valley community. The 1958 Beaver Dam High School graduate went on to study mathematics and physics at Manchester College before studying mathematics at the University of Notre Dame. He then taught for 42 years, 40 of those years in the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation, before retiring in 2004.

Aside from teaching, Cumberland volunteered for decades to keep the high school basketball scorebook, football statistics and being the swimming pool director. He even organized, started, and chaperoned the annual senior trips to Washington, D.C. up until his retirement.

During his time as a teacher, he became known for demanding and encouraging students to give their best effort. He truly wanted them to be successful in and out of the classroom.

Cumberland volunteers for several hours a week at the local United Methodist Church in various capacities. He also volunteers at the Wabash County jail each week tutoring inmates who are preparing for their GED.

VALLEY INSIGHT: A Valley Parent Says “Thank You”

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Written by Pam Mort, parent of a TVHS graduate

I am the mother of a 2017 graduate of Tippecanoe Valley High School.  I would like to say THANK YOU to all the teachers for doing such a great job with our children and to share my feelings about a couple of the activities and teachers that touched my child’s life in a significant way.

Let’s begin with the Viking Guard. Band is not just a class…it is a way of teaching discipline, guidance, acceptance and being a secondary family. With that thought in mind Miss Janell Riner is the second mother to all of these kids. I want to say thank you to her for making each and every single one of them feel like they belonged and like they should take pride in their work, in their community and in their accomplishments. She will be a part of our lives for many years to come and she should know that she touched each of the kids in the band both in mind and in heart!

The dedication that Mr. Mark Williamson and Mrs. Katie Williamson show and the personal time they take for the students is amazing! From allowing them to be creative and use their imagination to the encouragement and teaching of life skills these two teach our children some of the most wonderful skills needed to make their lives successful and to help change the world for the better. They teach them that all things are possible if you try and that the world is only limited by what limits you place upon yourself. They teach them to be accepting of others and of their own faults. They teach them to laugh at mistakes and yet learn from them at the same time. They encourage the students to use their imagination to see things in ways that maybe others don’t see and to think outside the box. These are important life skills and ones that will allow them to do great things with their lives.

Mr. Jeff Shriver’s total support of the students is awesome! His work with the Archery Club outstanding! He takes these kids and his time before school and teaches them to work as a team! He shows them that people from all walks of life can bond together with encouragement and commitment to succeed. He takes pride in their accomplishments and encourages them to know that no one is perfect and that they don’t need to be as long as they do their best. He supports them, praises them and guides them when they need it while still allowing them to make their mistakes. There is no judgement in his interactions. He shows the kids respect and treats them as young adults, not in a negative way but in a positive way. That respect is mutual and evident in everything they do.

It is the dreamers of the world that will make the changes and growth we need to succeed as a people and it is people like the above mentioned teachers that create those dreamers! THANK YOU!

Valley Insight is a recurring monthly article written by administrators on a variety of topics related to education and the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation. Articles will be posted to the district’s website and also shared with the local media.

Chad Cripe named Tippecanoe Valley High School principal

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The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation board of trustees unanimously approved during a July 10 meeting Chad Cripe to be the new principal of Tippecanoe Valley High School (TVHS).

Cripe comes to Tippecanoe Valley from Manchester Junior Senior High School (MJSHS) where he served as assistant principal. During his time at MJSHS, he was highly involved with Professional Learning Communities and adding dual credit and AP classes to the curriculum. Cripe is also a certified School Safety Specialist.

“He brings with him a solid high school background, the ability to establish strong individual relationships, a solid work ethic, high integrity and moral values, and the dedication necessary to bring out the best in students and staff,” said Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation Superintendent Brett Boggs.

Prior to becoming an administrator, Cripe taught numerous high school social studies courses during 14 years as a classroom teacher and was a head varsity boys’ basketball coach at East Noble High School and New Prairie High School.

“There were many characteristics of TVHS that attracted me to the school and community. The two areas that stood out the most were the rich history of academic excellence and the family atmosphere of the community,” said Cripe.

Cripe earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies education from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in 2002, followed by a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Ball State University in 2013. He is currently working on a doctorate degree in education administration and supervision from Ball State University that he plans to complete in the fall of 2019.

“Chad has the personality, skills and abilities to be an outstanding high school principal. We are glad to have him join us as a member of the Tippecanoe Valley family,” said Boggs.

Cripe replaces Dr. Michael Bendicsen who served as TVHS principal for the past three years. Bendicsen submitted his resignation in May and will serve in an administrative role with Fort Wayne Community Schools.

“I am looking forward to meeting new people, celebrating success and embracing the challenges that come with being a principal,” said Cripe.