Dick Wagner Retires from Knox Community School Corporation after Teaching 40 Years

Dick Wagner and this year's business class

The Knox Community School Board members accepted the retirement of a high school teacher at their meeting this week.

“Dick Wagner had submitted a letter of retirement. He had some personal issues that developed so he felt that it was in his best interest at this time to retire. Mr. Wagner was a business teacher at Knox. Over the years, he’s done other extra-curricular activities. I believe he, at some point, did the Yearbook at the High School, he’s also been a tennis coach, and he was involved with the Knox Federation of Teachers where he has been the past President, a position he held for the last number of years until this past May. He got in forty-and-a-half years. We want to thank him for all he’s done for the Corporation and the time he’s put in,” commented Superintendent, A.J. Gappa.

Photo provided.

Knox High School Students Remember Drew Shearin

Drew Shearin

The following piece was submitted by WKVI Intern and Knox High School student, Makayla Dillard.

We’ve all heard the saying, “only the good die young.” This was undoubtedly proved true this past Monday night. The tragic untimely death of Drew Shearin affected the entire community. His life touched nearly everyone’s life in some way, shape, or form. He was the nicest young man, the most successful young musician, and the most talented young actor. But that’s just it – he was so young. As Ms. Miller, his best friend’s mother, said, “God needed someone to teach the angels how to play music.” The amount of people that showed up to his candle light vigil Wednesday evening was absolutely incredible. “Each of the candles represented someone that he touched,” said Ms. Miller. And that was inevitably true. Drew Shearin’s life affected hundreds upon hundreds of people. Everyone from his peers, to the entire community.

Continue reading

Candlelight Vigil Held for Drew Shearin

Photo provided by Jayme Goetz

The heart of the community has been torn asunder following the tragic loss of a Knox High School student. Andrew “Drew” Shearin was a 17-year-old junior whose life touched an unbelievable number of hearts before he was prematurely torn away from his family and friends, spurring an unbelievable amount of sorrow in the community.

“Drew was an extremely popular and engaging student and will be greatly missed by his peers, our staff, and the Knox community,” said Knox High School Principal Elizabeth Ratliff. “We also offer our heartfelt sympathies to the family for their loss.”

Continue reading

Accident Claims Life of a Knox High School Student

Drew Shearin

A Knox High School student was killed in a single vehicle accident late Monday night.

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department said that 17-year-old Andrew “Drew” Shearin was traveling eastbound on State Road 8 when for some unknown reason, his vehicle left the roadway and struck a NIPSCO utility pole. The accident occurred just east of the Yellow River Bridge. Starke County Sheriff’s Department officers and Washington Township Fire Department personnel found him trapped in the vehicle and he was pronounced dead at the scene.  Starke County EMS and the Knox City Police Department assisted at the scene.

Continue reading

Homecoming Week in Knox

Homecoming Queen candidates: Front row: Shelby Gilbert, Taylor Quella, Tori Winebrenner, Kelsey Bailey, Erica Pick. Back row: Abigail Frazier, Kristine Binkley, Kazia Stacy, Kourtney Wagner

This week is Homecoming week for Knox High School. It started off with the annual Ironman Volleyball tournament. Boys from each class played in several closely matched games. The Freshman nearly beat the Seniors, but ended up with third place by defeating the Juniors in the Consolation Match. The sophomores came in second after having been defeated by the seniors as they emerged victorious in the Best-of-Three Championship Round. Continue reading

Knox Schools on Track to Implement One-to-One Computer Program this School Year

Knox Middle School and High School are participating in a one-to-one computer program this fall where all students will receive a computer to use for the entire year. The final preparations are being made for that transition and Superintendent, A.J. Gappa gave the School Board an update on that progress this week.

“The Principals and Curriculum Director have been meeting and putting together Policy and Procedures Handbooks for the computers and the computer use guidelines,” said Mr. Gappa. “There should be a letter going out to parents later this week with some of those explanations. We will have a student agreement form for students to sign when they receive their computer and also a parent agreement form for parents to sign.”

Continue reading

Renovation Project Continues at Knox High School

Crews have been replacing water pipes throughout the High School

The renovation project is progressing at Knox High School. A Qualified School Construction Bond in the amount of $1,970,000 was approved for the replacement of water pipes, construction in the pool area, new lockers and more at the High School.

“All the water pipes throughout the High School are being replaced and that’s a major project,” explained Superintendent, A.J. Gappa. “All the ceiling tiles had to be removed to get to the water pipes. Many of the cement block walls had to be cut into and blocks taken out to replace pipes and then put back into place. We have some major work going on in the pool area because of the changing of the ceiling and the lighting in addition to the deck lining and so forth. Everything is torn up, there’s dust everywhere, but work is progressing. It appears that a couple things may be a little ahead of schedule and a couple of other things are just barely behind, but everybody thinks it will be done on time, which is mid-August.” Continue reading

Services for Andy Howes Set for August

Andy Howes

Services will be held in Starke County in August for Chief Warrant Officer, Andy Howes. Although complete details are not available at this time, it is known that services will be August 2nd and that his remains will be taken on to his final resting place, Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Those services will be held August 5th. Howes’ partial remains have been in U.S. possession since 1988. They were identified through DNA samples.

Originally, plans were set for 2012 but were moved up to August of this year.

Howes was on a mission in November of 1970 when his helicopter failed to return to base.  He was a Knox High School graduate.

Continue reading

Ted Hayes Spotlights Class of 1961 in Today’s “Ted Hayes Remembers” Program

Linda Lock. This picture is from the 1961 Sandbur Yearbook

TED HAYES REMEMBERS 5-13 (download or listen)

You’re invited to listen to “Ted Hayes Remembers” today at 12:20 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. CT. He will talk about the Knox High School Class of 1961.

It was the biggest class to graduate to that date (110). The varsity basketball record of 19-1 still stands as the best ever. Mark Simmons taught Government and History, Jane Beeson taught Home Ec., Henry Meurer was the High School Band Director, Bob Beeson was the basketball coach and Dale Snelling was the football coach.

Linda Lock and Ron Fletcher were chosen as Mr. and Miss Knox High School. Linda was also the Homecoming Queen her senior year.

Continue reading

Former Knox Resident Living in Japan Not Harmed in Earthquake

Peggy Ikeda

A former Knox resident who has taught in Japan for a number of years is reported to be “safe and sound.” Peggy Ikeda, daughter of Kiyoko and the late Giichi Ikeda, emailed her sister, Dr. Katherine Kamrath, that there was none of the devastation where she lives.

Peggy is a 1969 graduate of Knox High School. She lives and teaches in Kanazawa, Japan, which is on the western side of the island.

As a side bar to this story, Dr. Kamrath reports that her mother, Kiyoko, is in an assisted living complex near her home in Lafayette, California.

Kiyoko (or Kee-oh as she was known to everyone in Knox) was a former Starke County elected official before retiring to the west coast to be near her daughter and family.

School News

On Saturday March 5th, the Winamac Community High School Robotics Team won the Jay County Vex Robotics Tournament. The team finished the qualifying rounds 9-0 then won the elimination rounds. Members of the team are Eric Sass, Alex Gudas, Natasha Daugherty, Eric Newman, Brett Beach, Kohl Hoover, and Greg Zellers.

(L to R) David Elliott, Drew Shearin and Craige Pihpps. Photo provided.

Lafayette Jefferson World Premiere of “Uncertainty”, composed by Knox High School Student Andrew “Drew” Shearin, occurred on March 2nd, 2011. The Lafayette Jefferson High School Annual Concerto Concert was the forum for this special performance. Drew was represented with his plaque signifying winning the IMEA (Indiana Music Educators Association) Young Composers Competition Concert Band Class which he received at the IMEA State Convention. Drew was asked to introduce the piece that was performed by Lafayette Jefferson’s top Wind Ensemble with a short speech. “Uncertainty” was wonderfully performed and both the piece and Drew received a 2 minute standing ovation. After the concert was concluded, Drew was greeted and congratulated by many of the concert goers and the various attending directors as well as the Knox School Corporation instrumental music staff.

Continue reading

Area Music Students do Well at Recent ISSMA District Solo and Ensemble Competition

(L to R) Brendan Owens, Brittany Shannon, Allie Bulick, Katelyn Peters, Hannah Janson, and Drew Shearin

Congratulations to the Knox MS and Knox HS participants in the Indiana State School Music Association District Solo and Ensemble Competition. The Middle School and High School had nearly a hundred students perform in competition at Valparaiso HS in Valparaiso, Indiana on Saturday, January 29th. They combined for a total of 41 Gold Division Ratings with 8 State qualifiers. Brendan Owens, Brittany Shannon, Allie Bulick, Katelyn Peters, Hannah Janson, and Drew Shearin will compete on February 26th, 2011 at North Central HS for State Gold. Congratulations to all participants and Good Luck State Qualifiers!

The North Judson-San Pierre Bands participated in the annual Indiana State School Music Association District Solo/Ensemble Contest on Saturday, January 29th at Twin Lakes High School. The following ratings were given:

Silver Rating Performances: Connor McBride, Chase Collins, Sarah Green, Paige Madsen, Rachel Brent – woodwind quintet; Matthew Godsey – baritone solo; Sarah Green – clarinet solo; AJ Garay, Katie Farler, Matt Godsey, Austin Stacy – low brass quartet

Gold Rating Performances: Caitlyn Barnes – clarinet solo; Nathan Japkowski, Bohen Strayrook, Corbyn Minix – percussion trio

Gold Rating Performances qualifying for the ISSMA State Solo/Ensemble Contest for February 26th in Indianapolis: Austin Stacy – tuba solo; Rachel Brent-clarinet solo; Carter Tucker – Flugel Horn solo; Rachel Brent, Sarah Green, Paige Madsen – clarinet trio; Matt Godsey, Carter Tucker, AJ Garay, Katie Farler, Austin Stacy – low brass quintet.

Photo provided by Knox High School Principal, Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff.

Andy Howes’ Remains Positively Identified

Andy Howes

We are learning more details about a story WKVI broke on Saturday. Several bones that were returned to the Army in 1988 have been positively identified as belonging to Andy Howes, the young soldier from Knox who was MIA for over four decades after the helicopter he was in went down in Vietnam.

We now know there were six bones recovered (a right upper arm, a left lower arm, a right upper leg, one rib, and two other bones). All of the bones are partial and degraded, but positively match the DNA profile provided by Rob (Andy’s brother) and his late sister, Valarie.

Continue reading

James Strong Named Commander of the Indiana State Police Post in Bremen

Commander James Strong

Indiana State Police Superintendent, Paul Whitesell, recently announced the promotion of First Sergeant, James Strong, to the rank of Lieutenant to serve as the Commander of the Indiana State Police Post in Bremen. The Bremen Post covers Marshall, St. Joseph, Kosciusko, and Elkhart Counties. Strong earned this promotion through written testing and a competitive interview process.

Continue reading

Knox Kiwanis Food Basket Promotion a Huge Success

Members of the Knox Student Council, National Honor Society and dedicated volunteers separate donated food into groups before assembling baskets

A big thank you goes out to many people from the Knox Kiwanis Club. President, Todd Wallsmith, was in Wednesday to thank Knox Community Schools, Knox High School teachers, Dean’s Food of Rochester, the Knox Center Township Fire Department Auxiliary, Community Services of Starke County, the SCILL Center, and members of the Kiwanis, among others.

Continue reading

Marvin Allen Wins Hubert Hawkins History Award

IHS Board of Trustees Chair Thomas Hoback and Marvin Allen

Marvin Allen of Knox is this year’s recipient of the Indiana Historical Society’s Hubert Hawkins History Award. The presentation will be made during the Society’s annual Founders Day Dinner at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. The Hubert Hawkins History Award is made annually to a local historian for his or her distinguished service and career in local history.

Continue reading

Knox Community School Board Moves Ahead with High School Project

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Community School Board approved two agenda items that involve the Qualified School Construction Bond project at the high school. The project includes rehabilitating the roof, lighting, ceiling and HVAC unit in the pool area and water piping throughout the building.

Continue reading

Food Donations Needed for Kiwanis/Knox Schools Food Drive

Keisten Childers, Hayley Windbigler and Grant Warren appear before the Knox School Board. Also pictured: HS Assistant Principal Michael Bendicsen, Ken Whiles and Billie Wright

The Knox Kiwanis Club and the Knox School Corporation are teaming up to help families in need this holiday season.

The two organizations are collecting food and/or cash donations to help Knox families. The requests for food baskets are greater than the donations. If you have food that you can donate to these organizations, you may drop it off at the Knox High School Office today or Thursday, or call 772-1670. The students and Kiwanis members will be assembling the food baskets on Thursday and delivering them to families on Friday.

Continue reading