SCH Digest

Scott E. Miller, Superintendent

Issue 1 - January 2021

Hi SCH Family,

I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Dawn Greene and Lou Gikas and everyone who supported them to make the consolidation selection process go as smooth as it has. It has been no small task to develop this plan and make sure that everyone was treated fairly and with consistency. I would also like to thank all the teachers affected for their patience and understanding as we have worked through this process. I remain confident that despite all the challenges consolidation presents, our new makeup will provide greater student opportunities and potential for success. I’m very excited to see it realized this fall.




School Counselors Celebrate During National School Counseling Week, Feb. 1–5, 2021

National School Counseling Week 2021, “School Counselors: All in for All Students,” sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), will be celebrated from Feb. 1–5, 2021, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition for school counselors who implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century.

In a proclamation, Dr. Michelle Rushing cited school counselors for being actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; for working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world; for focusing on positive ways to enhance students’ academic, postsecondary and social/emotional development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. School counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master’s degree in school counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.

“School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, postsecondary options and social/emotional skills,” said Jill Cook, ASCA executive director. “School counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success.”

More than 100,000 school counselors nationwide will be participating in the week’s festivities. Many schools will be hosting special events and activities to call attention to the countless benefits of a comprehensive school counseling program.

As part of its celebration for National School Counseling Week, the School City of Hammond will Certificates of Appreciation and a copy of all signed Proclamations . Parents or community members with specific questions or concerns about school counseling programs should contact the school counselors at their local schools. More general information can also be found on ASCA’s website, #NSCW21

Special activities include:

Webinars and Events
All webinars and events

  • Monday, Feb. 1: Webinar: TeacherTalk: School Counselors Collaborating for Student Success, 4 p.m. EST
  • Tuesday, Feb. 2: Webinar: State of the Profession: Protecting the School Counselor Role, 2 p.m. EST
  • Wednesday, Feb. 3: Webinar: State of the Profession: School Counselors Respond to COVID-19, 2 p.m. EST
  • Thursday, Feb. 4: Webinar: State of the Profession: School Counselor Demographics and DEI, 2 p.m. EST
    School Counselor of the Year Gala, 8 p.m. EST (watch on ASCA On Air or Facebook Live)
  • Friday, Feb. 5: Webinar: State of the Profession Q&A, 2 p.m. EST

About the American School Counselor Association

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) promotes student success by expanding the image and influence of school counseling through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and systemic change. ASCA helps school counselors guide their students toward academic achievement, career planning and social/emotional development to help today’s students become tomorrow’s productive, contributing members of society. Founded in 1952, ASCA has a network of 50 state and territory associations and a membership of approximately 40,000 school counseling professionals. For additional information on the American School Counselor Association, visit

Head Start

Head Start students, their families and staff put on their dancing (and jumping!) shoes for the Family Engagement video concert with Jim Gill on January 13, 2021. Jim is an award-winning musician, author and child development specialist who completed his graduate studies at the Erikson Institute of Chicago. His active musical games kept everyone (adults included!) engaged and moving throughout the half hour-long concert. Parents have reported that their children are still jumping and dancing thanks to the concert! Students whose families were not able to attend the concert at the scheduled time were provided the opportunity to watch the concert at a time that worked for their schedules which truly made it a concert for all students and their families. One of Jim’s all-time most popular songs is the “Silly Dance Contest”. On those days when you need a little extra energy or some stress relief, google/search “Silly Dance Contest” and click “Play”. It’s very likely dancing to that song will be just the boost you need! Thanks to the SCH Technology Department for their expertise and support in making the concert a success!

Health Services

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Human Resources

Benefit Time

Benefit days are primarily comprised of Vacation, Sick, Personal and Family Illness days. Each category has specific uses and should be scheduled for the intended purpose.

Vacation Days: These days must be scheduled with your immediate supervisor and are approved with consideration to the needs in the department.

Sick Days: These days are used as needed for personal illness. You will need to follow the “call-off” procedure, but these days may not be used as vacation days. They are for personal illness and anything beyond three sick days must be accompanied by a physician’s release to return to work. Extended illnesses cannot simply use sick days but must request a leave or (if eligible) FMLA.

Personal Days: Must be requested and approved by immediate supervisor prior to taking the day.

Family Illness Days: Are for family illness and may not be taken as vacation days. Call off procedures still apply.

Contact Information

Human Resources has sent out a request for updating your name (if newly married), address, phone numbers and emergency contacts. Please fill out the form as soon as possible!

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to all the staff members who have/had birthdays in January!

Lissette Acosta, Raechel Adam, James Adams, Wendy Akers, Kelvin Alcox, Stevie Anderson, James Andrews, Nicole Aponte, Pamela Austin, Melissa Baker, Tabitha Balio, Kimberly Balitewicz, David Barth, Kristin Bernardi, William Bieschke, Sonia Blakeley, Candace Bradford, Matthew Bradney, Bethan Brown, Amber Cano-Coppage, Krystyle Carlos, Megan Carlson, Blanca Carrillo, Reyna Castrejon, Swati Chakraborty, Sandra Chapa, Joyce Chumley, Scott Ciupak, Shanda Collins-Alexander, Donna Cooper, Boyzie Coutler, John Czulno, Patricia Deane, Kathleen Dominiak Treasure, Kimberly Doppler, Teresa Duncan, Felicia Elliott, Denette Ethridge, Richard Fantin, Scott Fehr, Cathy Fisher, Lawrence Follrad, Michelle Frost, Jill Gajewski, Christine Garza, Alicia Givens, Joann Click, Carmen Gonzalez, Linda Gonzalez, Luisa Gonzalez-Hannon, Gina Good, Diana Goodman, Dawn Greene, Diann Gute, Olivia Guynn, Jilldean Hammel, Tracey Hardy, Adam Harmon, Taeisha Harris, Alana Harveth, Mary Henry, Desa Hernandez, Algelica Hernandez, Paulina Hernandez, Maria Herrera, Debra Hingst, Scott Holbrook, Sophia Ibarra, Jennifer Isbister, Mirjana Jasnic, Jason Jendread, Atmando Jimenez, Larry Johnson, Dorothy Jones, Deborah jones-Gensel, Lauren Keilman, Kelly Kieltyka, Sean Kinsey, Emily Kolat, Monica Korzenecki, Megan Krueger, Robert Kujawa, Shaun Kun, Denise Labus, Donna Ladd, Jocelyn Langford, Spencer Lemmons, Manuel Llanes, Heather Lozano, Joy MacDonald, Bianca Magallon, Maria Magana, Gabriel Malave, Eboni Malone, Kayla Martin, Amanda Martinez, Guillermo Martinez, Johnny McClendon, Tanysha McNeil, Lydia McNeiley, Charlotte Mendez, James Miles, John Miles, Joey Miller, Maria Miramontes, Larry Moore, Joseph Munoz, Cynthia Navarro, Deborah Newman, Blanca Nieves, Lindsey Norton, Juan Ortiz, Alex Peck, Karen Peek, Jordan Perkins, Robert Perry, Kevin Persley, Debra Peters, Janice Peterson, Elizabeth Pittman, Victoria Pliego-Poza, Samantha Poteete, Jessica Pramuk, Kathryn Province, Danielle Pryor, Daniel Rex, Melanie Richardson, Jeffery Ritter, Damiena Rodgers, Carla Rodriguez, Esperanza Rodriguez, Gerrit Ross, Brenda Ruiz Diaz, Rhonda Safstrom, Tiffany Sangster, Maria Serros, Stephanie Sharp-Przekwas, Stephanie Short, Alison Simon, Pamela Smith, Cassandra Smith, Lucy Somers, Juan Soto, Deshawn Stevens, Rhonda Sutphin, Nancy Talley, Cynthia Tanas, Chad Thompson, Sandra Tinoco, Megan Tiscareno, Laura Vela, Diana Vela, Ana Verduzco, Paul Wagner, Alan Walczak, Michelle Wallace, Colette Weitknecht, Melonee Widelski, Ann Williams, Erica Wolfe, Leslie Yanders, and Kimberly Zavala.

Special Education

During this time of elearning, many parents and teachers are working toward increasing the students ability to focus on completing assignments. Sometimes staying focused all day during elearning can be a complicated task for students. A simple way to help students focus is for teachers and parents to provide specific behavioral supports. For example, providing students a visual schedule can help them to know what's coming next and so their day becomes more predictable and helps them organize their time. Providing them a checklist for completed tasks can help students feel a sense of accomplishment and helps build confidence when they are faced with academic challenges. Just prior to instruction time beginning, teachers and parents can frontload the student with the expectations for appropriate behavior; or perhaps let them know what to specifically do if they start to feel overwhelmed with the assignment. Then during the instruction time, teachers and parents can provide verbal reminders to use those replacement behaviors, this will help the student stay focused on the task at hand.

SCH Highlights


Senior, Aaron Huerta of George Rogers Clark High School is one of nine Hammond students enrolled in the newly state approved Earn and Learn site for the Precision Machining Academy held at the Ivy Tech East Chicago Campus. Aaron admits that “before enrolling in this program, I had little knowledge of what a machinist does other than what I learned from my Intro to Advanced Manufacturing class at Clark High School”.

The School City of Hammond launched the academy in partnership with the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing committee, Hammond Machine Works, Ivy Tech, Center of Workforce Innovations and the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships.

When asked how this program will benefit him after high school Aaron replied, “Manufacturing is a high demand field in this area with great benefits and good pay. I will be able to either continue in this field in college or possibly get a job right out of high school because of my experience in this class”. Students enrolled in the program have the opportunity to earn 25 college credits and a certificate in Machine Tool Technology.

Aaron speaks very highly of his instructor, Rob Musgraves. “Before working on the machines, Mr. Musgraves has taught us a lot about what employers look for, such as how we treat others, the importance of staying focused on the job, and being on time. Mr. Musgraves has also taught us OSHA requirements in the workplace and always reminds us SAFETY FIRST”.

The students are just beginning the hands on experience of the course. “I am most excited about seeing all of the machines and learning how to use them”. When asked what advice he has for other students considering the field, Aaron states “It may seem hard at first but the more you get into it, it starts to click. This is a great opportunity in the end”.

Clark MS/HS

Clark MS/HS would like to recognize the staff members below for all their hard work and dedication this month and throughout the year(s).
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Scott MS

Charles N. Scott Middle School recently celebrated the distinguished accomplishment of Lead School Counselor – Lydia McNeiley. School Counselor McNeiley was recently recognized by the Indiana School Counselor Association (ISCA) as a 2020 Middle School Counselor of the Year Finalist. She has been an advocate for our students, and more specifically a champion for the SCH community and Charles N. Scott Middle School. Through her efforts Scott MS has been able to engage families, stakeholders, and community members in supporting military veterans, exploring college and career readiness opportunities, building ongoing partnerships with numerous outside agencies, and most importantly increasing student performance. Mrs. McNeiley is the true definition of a School Counselor exemplified by dedication, excellence, civility, and professionalism.

During the month of November 2020, Charles N. Scott Middle School participated in the 2020 Valparaiso University Great Lakes Virtual Chinese Speech Contest and Talent Show, led by World Language (Mandarin Chinese) Instructor Zhengrui Lu. Noted as the youngest contestant, SMS scholar Ja'Naya Williams won the Award of Successful Performance – Level 1, and received a book about China as reward. Instructor Lu commented, “So proud of her. I believe it is just the beginning of our students participating and winning in Chinese contests…lots of students have presented their excellent potentialities in Mandarin learning”. This exemplary action of courage can be utilized as example for others to follow as the SMS scholar competed with all high school level students. This shows that we all have our own special advantages and skills.

Stay Informed

An update from the Superintendent is distributed monthly.

View previous updates from Mr. Miller here.

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