“U.S. News and World Report” Releases 2017 High School Rankings

Several high schools in the Kankakee Valley are ranked among the best in Indiana by “U.S. News and World Report.” The publication reviewed more than 28,000 schools nationwide for its 2017 rankings, and 136 schools in Indiana made their “Best High Schools” rankings. The publication ranks schools based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college. Continue reading

Knox City Council Blesses Downtown Project

Downtown Park
The Knox City Council has blessed the development of the vacant lot at Main and Lake Streets into a Serenity Garden.

A Knox Community High School class has the city council’s enthusiastic blessing to beautify the vacant lot at the corner of Lake and Main Streets. English Department Chair John Poindexter says 33 of his senior students are taking part in the career readiness curriculum and want to put the paperwork and planning into action.

“What we’d like to do is go in and put up either a gazebo or a pergola, one of the two, and have two picnic tables or benches for people to sit in, do some landscaping and put in a brick walkway,” Poindexter told the city council. Continue reading

Homecoming and College Go Week at Knox High School


Homecoming and College Go Week are keeping Knox High School students busy. Activities have been developed by guidance counselors to help educate students about colleges. One of those activities includes a college fair to be held today during lunch.
Students will get to visit with different college representatives to fill out applications free of charge and to ask questions. Principal Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff said they have set up a great opportunity for the students to get information on their futures.

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Student Council President to Give Knox Commencement Address

Members of the Knox High School Class of 2014 opted to have one of their fellow graduates deliver this year's commencement speech.
Members of the Knox Community High School Class of 2014 chose  one of their fellow graduates deliver this year’s commencement speech.

This year’s Knox Community High School graduation will feature something unique. A few seniors went to principal Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff earlier this year and inquired about voting for their own commencement speaker. All seniors were eligible to be chosen as the speaker. The 2014 senior class voted to have Chris Baczynski give the commencement speech at their ceremony on Friday, June 6. Baczynski was a member of the SCILL welding program, a football player and served as student council president. He will be attending IUSB after graduation.

Knox High School Graphics Department Earns National Award


After competing only one year prior, the Knox Community High School graphics department was noted in the Phoenix Challenge National Magazine for taking home a silver award for Flexo Press printing. Flexography is used for producing labels on packages. It utilizes a raised rubber plate to imprint on products. Candy wrappers, bottles of pop, anything you see in the store with a label on it was most likely produced with Flexo Press printing. This is the second year that Knox has sent students and their graphics teacher, Mr. Sullivan, to Charlotte, NC for the Phoenix Challenge. Schools from all over the nation and Canada compete in the program. The Knox team ranked third in the nation. The students who participated this year were Sarah Horstman, Elizabeth Radelja, Mario Rodriguez and Nathan Lynch. Thanks to their success this year, the Phoenix Challenge program will continue to be funded through the Knox School Corporation in years to come.

U.S. News Awards Medals to Several Area Schools

badge-national-rankingsThe Kankakee Valley boasts some of the best high schools in the state, according to recent rankings by a national publication. John Glenn High School in Walkerton ranks 17th on the 2014 U.S. News and World Report list. The magazine awarded the school silver medal. Students there have an opportunity to take advanced placement tests, and 36 percent do. Of the school’s 611 students, 85 percent are proficient in English and 84 percent are proficient in math. Knox Community High School earned a bronze medal from U.S. News and World Report. The publication notes 25 percent of the 606 students enrolled take AP courses and tests, 77 percent are proficient in English and 69 percent are proficient in Algebra. Continue reading

Gov. Pence to Announce School Safety Grant at Knox High School

Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence

Governor Mike Pence will soon be announcing more than $9 million in grant funding that will go towards improving the safety of schools and school corporations throughout the state at Knox Community High School. Pence will visit the school on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. to announce the Secured School Safety Grant, a dedicated state grant fund that provides matching safety-related grants to school corporations and charter schools.

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End of the School Year Approaches at Knox Schools

The end of the school year is approaching quickly and High School Principal Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff gave the Knox Community School Board an update on senior activities for the next few days.

A meeting was scheduled earlier this week to discuss dress codes for graduation and laptops will be turned in later this week. The computers will be inspected by the technology staff to note any damage for insurance claims. Students are accountable for the equipment.

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Knox School Board Acts on General Diploma Recommendation

Superintendent A.J. Gappa
Superintendent A.J. Gappa
During their April 1 meeting, the Knox Community School Board heard from High School Principal Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff concerning diploma credits needed for a general diploma.

Dr. Ratliff suggested lowering the credits for a general diploma from 46 to 42. The same English and Language Arts credits and Math credits would be needed, but dropping the number of credits would allow more opportunities in the vocational classes or other electives. Plus, the students would be able to graduate on time.

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Knox High School to Benefit from Energy Upgrades

Knox High School

The Knox Community High School recently entered into an agreement with NIPSCO to conduct an energy audit.

On Feb. 25, representatives with NIPSCO will arrive at the high school to evaluate the electrical needs at the high school and assess what can be improved in terms of energy efficiency. As part of the Energizing Indiana initiative, any improvements to be made,will not cost the school any money. The school could benefit up to approximately $13,000 in improvements.

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Veteran Sgt. Tim Watts Speaks at Knox Middle School

Sgt. Tim Watts speaks to the assembly at Knox Middle School.

Schools across the nation held Veterans Day programs today, and Knox Community Schools were no different. Following the presentation of colors by the Knox VFW Post 748 and the Pledge of Allegiance led by middle school student Mariah McKee, a special guest speaker addressed the crowd.

Recently-returned U.S. Army National Guard Sergeant Tim Watts spoke to the gathered students about his call to duty for the military and what Veterans Day means to him. He explained that his time in the military consisted of some of the hardest times of his life but he knew it was his duty to protect and serve his country.

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Knox Community High School Shows Drop in Enrollment

Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The official Average Daily Membership, or ADM, count at the Knox Community School Corporation showed a drop in enrollment. Superintendent A.J. Gappa explained the statistics to the school board Monday night.

“We dropped from 1924 to 1882.5, which is a drop of 41.5 students,” explained Gappa. “The reason for the half-student is because Kindergarteners are still considered only a half-student.”

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Knox Community High School Prepares For Graduation

Graduation for Knox Community High School Seniors is set for tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Weinberg Gym. Valedictorian Taylor Quella and Salutatorian Brenden Owens will be addressing the student body and a slide show of pictures will be presented.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Byron Holm, owner of the Holm Medical Clinic at Lifeplex and the Holm Medical Clinic in Walkerton. Dr. Holm is a 1965 Knox High School graduate.

Graduation Services To Take Place Tomorrow Afternoon For Local Schools

Graduation services were held last night for Eastern Pulaski Seniors and another graduation service is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. West Central School Superintendent Charles Mellon reports the details of graduation services for seniors.

“That’ll be on Sunday, May 27,” said Mellon. “Baccalaureate is at 2 p.m. ET with Commencement to follow.”

Knox Community High School Commencement is Friday, June 1 at 7 p.m. in the Weinberg Gymnasium, and graduation at North Judson-San Pierre High School is slated for Sunday, June 3 at 7 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.

Funeral Services Held for Drew Shearin

Drew Shearin

On the first Sunday following the death of a popular student a week ago, the clergy of the community used the occasion to pray for and ask comfort for the family and friends. By the outpouring of sorrow all last week, the student body of Knox High School and the community at large showed what an impact Drew Shearin had on all who knew him.

Before hundreds of those in his services Friday night, his youth pastor, Rev. Rick Martin, put it best in his closing prayer.

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Knox High School Renovation Project Nearing Completion

New lockers were installed as part of the QSCB project at the high school

The Knox Community High School has been under construction this past summer. The Corporation received a Qualified School Construction Bond and Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the money was used to fix several issues at the High School:

“The main part of the project was to replace the water pipes throughout the building,” said Gappa. “The building is a little over 35 years old and many of the pipes had become clogged, water pressure at the east end of the building was pretty weak and in some places hot water was just trickling out of the pipes instead of streaming. It was due to be finished this week before school started and the majority of the work will be finished. The last part of the project in the main part of the building are the sinks and the restrooms. They are due to arrive today and will be installed this week and so everything will be ready to go for school.”

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Graduation Services Scheduled for June 3rd for Three Starke County Schools

Top Ten (L to R) Darienne Griffith, Hayley Windbigler, Katelyn Peters, Kaitlyn Betz, Tiffany Friedlund, Tabitha Tepes, Elisabeth Caudill, Brittany Shannon, Carole Surfus and Heather Rogers

The Knox Community High School Seniors will graduate on Friday, June 3rd, at 7:00 p.m. CT in the Weinberg Gymnasium. The Valedictorian for this graduating class is Darienne Griffith. The Salutatorian is Hayley Windbigler. The rest of the top ten students in the class include: Katelyn Peters, Kaitlyn Betz, Tiffany Friedlund, Tabitha Tepes, Elisabeth Caudill, Brittany Shannon, Carole Surfus, and Heather Rogers. Continue reading