Baugo Schoolhouse

Publication of Baugo Community Schools: Winter 2020

Superintendent's Message

Tis' the season for giving and celebrating. Baugo Community Schools is committed to acknowledging the dedication and hard work of our employees. Each month building principals have recognized an employee of the month. Employees from every workgroup have been chosen by their peers, which illustrates the importance of every employee to the success of our district.


Also important to our schools is making time to improve our community through service. Throughout this edition of the Baugo Schoolhouse, you will see evidence of our schools working to make our community a better place. We believe that we share responsibility for helping students become contributors to their community and embed experiences in our calendar for these opportunities to occur. Also included in this edition of the Baugo Schoolhouse is a new segment we call Why I teach. Teachers from across our district were asked the same question and we included several of their responses for your enjoyment.


Finally, Baugo Community Schools is committed to helping students access college. College saving does not have to be complicated or expensive and every 529 dollar deposited is tax credit earning. Sign up now for a 529 college savings account through the Baugo Promise. Families with questions about college savings plans can contact our district office. Tell them that I encouraged you to call.


- Byron Sanders, Superintendent, Baugo Community Schools

Jimtown Searches for New Head Football Coach for Only the 2nd Time In 40 Years

Jimtown High School and Baugo Community Schools are saddened to announce the resignation of Jimtown High School Head Football Coach, Mike Campbell. Mike has decided to give up the head coaching job at Jimtown to spend more time with his family.


Coach Campbell recently completed his 12th season at Jimtown following the retirement of hall of fame coach Bill Sharpe. Coach Campbell won 104 games as the Jimmies’ head coach against only 44 losses. This represents a winning percentage of .703. During the 12 years that Coach Campbell has been the head coach at Jimtown, the Jimmies have won five sectional championships, two regional championships and appeared in two semi-state games--one in class 2A and one in class 3A.


Head Coach Mike Campbell has been the very definition of an Education-Based Athletics leader in our community. Jimtown owes a debt of gratitude to Coach Campbell for his service to the school and young people of our community.


School administrators began the search for a new coach in mid December and plan to recommend a new coach to the board of trustees in early February.

Jimtown Elementary Literature Night

The Elementary hosted a Title 1 family event on Dec. 12th. Forty families attended the event which included information about Title 1 services and resources. Title 1 funding helps JES to provide extra support and resources for all of our students. We have reading and math games, leveled books, and other activities available that can be checked out to play at home. Contact the school for more information. During the evening, families also enjoyed decorating graham cracker Scrabble tiles, swooping down the big slide and shopping at the book fair.


A special thanks to the many parents who volunteered in the Book Fair during the week. Thanks to your support, almost $1,600 was raised for the library.

The Jimtown Intermediate Green Team

JIS has partnered with Elkhart County Landfill in their Green School Initiative. This fall is the first of a six semester experience. JIS can earn up to $2000 for their efforts. The team meets to empty recycling bins around the school, create posters to help promote different types of recycling, and to discuss upcoming activities that include cleaning up trash on campus, taking a field trip to Elkhart County’s Environmental Center, and presenting to community leaders. Spring activities include partnering with Crayola to implement a marker recycling program for dried out markers of any kind to help keep them out of our landfills. We are also working to keep our school community informed using a bulletin board information campaign.

Why I Teach: Rebecca Courtney, Jimtown Intermediate, 4th Grade

I teach because... I see some of the highest and lowest moments in a child's life. I get to be there for them. To cheer them on when they accomplish something they didn't think was possible. To hug and comfort them when someone (or something) they love passes away. We laugh together. We grieve together. We grow together. We become a family. That's why I teach. My students are MY kids.

Jimtown Schools Participate in the FIRST Lego Robotics Regional Qualifying Tournament

The JIS Teams Earn Honors!

Jimtown Intermediate had two teams participate in the Lego Robotics competitions this fall. Teams competed in four categories: core values, innovation project presentations, robot game, and robot design. Collaboration and respect are critical for team success. Miss Endicott's team Earth Supports focused on solutions for air pollution while Miss Floyd's team Jimmie Reno Crew focused on renovating the Jimtown's 1929 gym. Earth Supports earned 15th place in the game competition while Jimmie Reno Crew earned 2nd place for their renovation proposal.

JJHS Learns to Make a Difference

The JJHS FIRST Lego Robotics Team completed another great season with their participation in the regional Qualifying Tournament on November 23rd at Success Academy in South Bend. During the season, titled City Shapers, the team of 7th and 8th graders researched problems associated with abandoned buildings around Elkhart. They interviewed Elkhart City officials that led them to propose the conversion of an abandoned property into a community garden! Working with mentors from Jimtown High, the team learned about computer programming and strategic thinking, developed their communication and presentation skills, and above all - they realized that they can make the world better with what they learn!

Why I Teach: Laura Crocker, Jimtown Elementary, 2nd Grade

I’ve always had a passion for children. When I first started babysitting, I enjoyed being around kids and watching their curiosity. I love to see students grow and make progress.


Jimtown Intermediate Introduces Student Council

JIS was proud to introduce a 6th grade student council this fall. The 6th grade classrooms elected representatives from applications submitted to their teachers. The goal for the student council is to improve the culture and environment of the school by developing leadership and improving communication. To date the council has organized an anti-drug Red Ribbon campaign and made decorations for a homeless center's Thanksgiving dinner. Future activities include an anti bullying campaign. Students sacrifice recess time as a commitment to this work.

All Aboard the Jimmies Express!

Jimtown Elementary students earned a “ride” on the Jimmie Express as part of the school-wide PBiS program. The program is designed to teach, to model and to practice appropriate behaviors. Positive and negative consequences reinforce these expected behaviors. Students earn individual, classroom and school-wide rewards for using expected behaviors. During the week special red boarding passes were stamped and turned in for a prize drawing. From the time students received their train tickets from the conductor until the last drop of hot chocolate was finished, a fun time was had by all.

Why I Teach: Amy Campbell, Jimtown Intermediate, 6th Grade

Teaching is my mission field; it's where I can impact kids and help them be better people.

Jimtown High School Service Day

Students at Jimtown High School gave back to their community on November 20th. Every Jimmie was involved in a service project that day, including working at a nursing home, working at a preschool, working with Habitat for Humanity, working with Faith Mission, working with Elkhart Co Parks Dept, working with the Northern IN Food Bank and many, many more. Here are some highlights:

Why I Teach: Peter Hoffman, Jimtown High School, Chemistry

To be a bright spot in a student's day.

JHS Advanced Health Career Exposure

Jimtown High School’s Advanced Health students visited an Elkhart-based dentist’s office in November to learn about the new technology and equipment used in dental health. This is just one of the several medical fields these students will study throughout this course. Learning about the many fields in the medical pathway will help students focus on a specific interest in order to begin gaining dual credits, certifications and internships in that area.

Why I Teach: Corey Stoner, Jimtown Junior High School, 8th Grade Social Studies

I enjoy interacting with kids and impacting their futures.

Why I Teach: Cinnamon Trejo, Jimtown Junior High, 8th Grade Spanish

I believe my story has the ability to impact students in a positive way.

Jimtown High School Fall Sports Awards

Jimtown High School held the Fall Sports Awards program on Wednesday, November 13th. The awards program is a chance to not only honor those standout athletes on the court, field, or track but also to recognize those student-athletes who exemplify the BEST of scholar-athletes during that season.

Big picture

Pictured are:

Front Row: (L-R): Abbi Snider, MVP Girls Soccer, Cali Campbell, MVP Cheerleading, Grace Crocker, MVP Cheerleading, Mary Behrens, MVP Girls Golf, Abbigail Griffen, MVP Girls Cross Country

2nd Row: (L-R): Clay Campbell, Defensive MVP Football, Blake Garrettson, MVP Offense Football, Bill Pawlak, MVP Boys Tennis, Jonathan Wiggins, MVP Boys Cross-Country

Back Row: (L-R): Isaac Daniels, MVP Boys Soccer, Dustin Whitman, Special Teams MVP Football, Tony Pletcher, Special Teams MVP Football, Ethan Devol, Offensive MVP Football


Jimtown Alumnus Highlight

Mr. Bill Firstenberger, Class of 1985

Bill Firstenberger is an Elkhart native, 1985 graduate of Jimtown High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame in 1989, and his Masters of Liberal Studies from Indiana University in 2000.


Bill has worked in museums for almost 30 years, including the History Museum in South Bend, the Billy Sunday Historic Site in Winona Lake, and his current position as Executive Director at Ruthmere Museums Campus in Elkhart. Bill is the past President of the Elkhart County Museums Association.


In 2000, he founded the consulting firm Museumcroft, a consortium of museum professionals who provide an array of specialized museum consulting services to small and mid-sized museums. To date, Museumcroft has completed over 30 museum projects across the country.

Bill has chaired many conference sessions on issues pertaining to museum operations and the use of technology in museum settings. He is the author of numerous articles on both regional history of the Midwest and material culture studies, most notably his 2005 book published through the University of Iowa Press, In Rare Form: A Pictorial History of Baseball Evangelist Billy Sunday.


Bill lives in Elkhart, Indiana, with his wife of 29 years, Lori. Their 20-year-old son Eric is a sophomore at Purdue University studying actuarial science. Bill’s pastimes of the recent and long past include hiking and fishing in the wilds of Ontario, playing tennis, vintage baseball utility fielder, and most recently, Fortnite!

Baugo Community Schools Board of Trustees

Eric Ott - President - eott@baugo.org

Caleb Pontius - Vice President - cpontius@baugo.org

Julie Phillips - Secretary - jphillips@baugo.org

Troy Bontranger - Member - tbontrager@baugo.org

Kris Seymore - Member - kseymore@baugo.org


The Board of Trustees generally meets on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at 7:00pm at the Educational Service Center. A calendar of meetings can be found at our website at www.baugo.org/school-board/.