Valley Insight by Guest Author Deb Miller – October 2018

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By Deb Miller
Akron Elementary School, Counselor
Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation
Family Groups

Akron, IN – Akron and Mentone Elementary Schools are helping students build positive relationships with other students in different grades and with staff members through family groups. The purpose of family groups is for students to interact with others in different classes and grades, to help promote the sense of belonging and community in our school, and to help fifth graders become better leaders. At Akron, each family group is made up of students in grades K-5. Each family has at least two fifth graders who will act as the leaders of the family and they will lead the activity. Staff members are also assigned and paired with a family group. The adult’s role is to assist when there are issues.

Family groups meet about one time a month to learn a character education topic that is discussed throughout the month in the classroom, daily announcements, and weekly and bi-weekly guidance lessons. The topics come from the Core Essential Values/Core Essentials curriculum. Core Essentials is used in many schools across the county. This year the monthly themes (Big Ideas) are: Wisdom, Initiative, Contentment, Cooperation, Compassion, Self-Control, Service, Individuality, Hope, and Perseverance.

Each month family groups meet to learn what the Big Idea is, how students and adults apply this big idea, and participate in a craft activity. Each theme also has an animal to identify with therefore students watch a video to learn more about this animal. For example, in September the theme was Initiative – seeing what needs to be done and doing it. Students talked in their family groups about things they can do at home and at school. They wrote these things on Popsicle sticks and created a dam with paper beavers. The beaver was the animal of the month. Before the monthly family group activities, the counselors meet with the fifth grade students to talk about leadership and what their role will be for the activities.

Fifth graders state they like leading their family and helping them learn about a topic. Family groups go along with TVSC’s mission of Student Success through the development of Character, Leadership, and Literacy. Students are learning to get along with others and become better leaders.

Mentone Elementary 5th Graders Collaborate with Songwriter Steve Seskin

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Mentone Elementary 5th graders recently had the opportunity to sit down with songwriter Steve Seskin to write this inspirational song – Nothing is Impossible!

Steve Seskin is one of the most successful writers in Nashville today, with a boatload of songs recorded by Tim McGraw, Neal McCoy, John Michael Montgomery, Kenny Chesney, Collin Raye, Peter Frampton, Waylon Jennings, Alabama, Mark Wills, and Peter Paul and Mary. His song “Don’t Laugh At Me” was a finalist for CMA “Song of the Year” in 1999, and has spurred an entire tolerance movement, launched by the Don’t Laugh at Me Project. Other Seskin hits include: “I Think About You,” “Life’s A Dance,” “No Doubt About It,” “If You’ve Got Love” and “Grown Men Don’t Cry.”

Valley Insight for September 2018 – Guest Author Adam Heckaman

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By Adam Heckaman, TVSC School Board President

Akron, IN –In 1975, the Tippecanoe Valley community began a transformation that led us to where we are today. We have faced many challenges, experienced much success, but most importantly, we have consistently risen to each occasion presented and grown as a school corporation and community.

Most would agree that at the center of every community is its public school. When schools and community work together, both move towards a positive future. So, what makes our community and school system different? From my perspective, it is clearly the amazing support shared by all our corporation’s stakeholders. If not for our school system, what future would our community hold? If not for our community, what would our school corporation look like?

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation and the surrounding community have the common goal and commitment to foster student success through development of character, leadership and literacy. We accomplish this through the support of our many extracurricular programs, such as but not limited to our athletic programs, the arts, and vocational programs, as well as the outpouring of public assistance for special events such as the Miracle Tree, a locally sponsored event designed to provide a special Christmas holiday to those needing a little extra help in our community. By building a sense of community within each of our schools, we strengthen our bond with the greater community. The more positive the effect students feel from this bond, the stronger their ties become to the community. Both the community and the school benefit when working together. I believe TVSC’s future is bright and is truly blessed to have such a supportive community for our children to be a part of.

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” At TVSC, we consistently bring together a small group of people to help change the world. This small group of people is the amazing teachers, counselors, administrators and various support staff who create a safe and encouraging space for all our children to grow and learn. Classroom educators are on the front line every day; not only do they instruct, but they mentor, tutor, nurture and counsel. They believe in their students and treat them as family. They work together to achieve goals and encourage students to dream bigger, search harder and reach farther.

As an Alumnus of Tippecanoe Valley High School, I have often asked myself where my sense of pride for my school and community comes from, and why is it so strong? What is it about the school and the community we grew up in that holds such a special place in the hearts of Valley Alumni? I believe the answer is in the bonding of life-long friends, memories made, dreams created, knowledge gained, and the educators who cared and encouraged us to succeed. Those of us who have graduated from TVHS understand the sense of Valley Family – Valley Pride which resurfaces when we take time to reflect and appreciate our past and present as Vikings! This pride overflows us as we walk the halls of our old stomping grounds and reflect on the choices and paths our time at Tippecanoe Valley led us down. The experiences and memories from TVSC have shaped us into who we are as individuals. This is our community; this is our school; this is our family. Valley Family – Valley Pride



Tippecanoe Valley 9th Annual Distinguished Alumni Dinner

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The Tippecanoe Valley Distinguished Alumni Committee would like to invite you to honor the Distinguished Alumni Class of 2018 at a dinner on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6:30pm. The dinner will be held at Tippecanoe Valley Middle School and is open to the public.  Tickets are on sale at all TVSC Schools and Administration Building.  Please join us as we reminisce about the great times at the Valley!  Any questions, please call Lori Tilden-Geiger at 574-598-2146 or 574-527-3000.

TVHS Student Art Supporting Mental Health Earns Grant

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Schools Receive Financial Awards to Support Art Programs

Indianapolis— In May, to bring awareness to the unique mental health challenges that students can face, 132 students representing 18 high schools across Indiana, created and submitted artwork pieces in various mediums for the “Your Health Matters” student art competition and showcase. Three students were chosen for the top awards from New Albany High School and Mooresville HS, with each school receiving $3,000. The remaining schools were awarded more than $1,000 for their art programs with the purpose of promoting mental wellness and reducing stigma, through art. Lisa Lynch, Tippecanoe Valley High School Art Teacher, was awarded $1,400 from the student art to supplement the art program.

Participating in the arts improves cognitive function and memory, reduces stress and anxiety, increases self-esteem, and helps people connect with their emotions. “The student pieces were remarkable”, said Becky Gee. “For the second year, we had a group of Herron School or Art and Design students, led by Katherine Swartzendruber, panel the pieces and the committee had a challenging time choosing the winners because Indiana has some very talented students! We thank the art teachers who sponsored these students, and especially the students, for being vulnerable and creating such authentic and powerful pieces. Their art helped to raise awareness about and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.”

The Children’s Mental Health Month Committee is comprised of representatives from Adult and Child Health, Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana Center for Children and Families, Indiana Arts Commission, Infancy Onward, Mental Health America of Indiana, Youth M.O.V.E. Indiana, and REACH for Youth. More information about metal health, and this art project, can be found at .


Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation – Riley Children’s Foundation

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AKRON, IN (August 13, 2018) – Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation (TVSC) has been recognized as a Red Wagon School Corporation by the Riley Children’s Foundation Kids Caring and Sharing Program. To be eligible, each school in the district has donated at least $1 per student. TVSC schools include Akron Elementary, Mentone Elementary, Tippecanoe Valley Middle School, Tippecanoe Valley High School and Burket Educational Center.

TVSC’s students and staff repeatedly exhibit the heart of Valley’s Mission of being committed to student success through the development of character, leadership, and literacy. Tippecanoe Valley is also committed to giving back to others in need, in and out of their community.

Kids Caring & Sharing is the named philanthropic partnership between the Riley Children’s Foundation and the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) that offers students simple ways to help other children by raising funds through their schools to benefit Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. Participating in the KCS program provides an opportunity to engage students in service learning and character development projects. Since the statewide program’s 1985 inception, Indiana K-12 students have raised more than $15 million for Riley Hospital.

Riley Children’s Foundation is the fundraising arm of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and the founding organization that opened Riley Hospital in 1924. Today Riley Hospital is recognized as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation and is the only comprehensive children’s research hospital in the state of Indiana. Our mission is to raise funds statewide to support Riley Hospital funding priorities: pediatric research and patient care, maternity and newborn health and family support programs. Riley Children’s Foundation also funds Camp Riley and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home and Billie Lou Wood Visitor Center. For more information, visit