Plymouth Assistant Superintendent Announces Retirement

A 1963 graduate of Knox High School, Dr. Rodger Smith has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the school year at Plymouth. He has been the assistant superintendent of the corporation since 2008. He was superintendent of the John Glenn School Corporation for five years before his employment at Plymouth.

Smith still makes his home in Knox.

Knox Community Schools Laptops Benefit Students, Teachers

Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa

Knox Technology Coach Chris Ross gave a laptop usage update to the Knox Community School Board members this week. Superintendent A.J. Gappa says it has been a learning experience for teachers and students.

“We talked about how the staff has transformed from the beginning of last year where they were all entry level and how they’ve progressed throughout the school year – some more rapidly than others because they’re handier with technology,” said Gappa.

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Knox High School Honor Day Program Held Friday

Knox High School Top Ten

The Knox High School Honor Day program was held Friday, May 18th.

Approximately $318,000 in scholarships were distributed to the graduating seniors. The Ben Bowen Award recipient was Elliott Coad, Hannah Folkers won the Bonnie Taylor Award and Shelby Gilbert and Logan Short were named winners of the Robert Hanselman Award. Some other notable scholarship winners were Sierra Brooke of the Roger Laramore Scholarship, Chelsea Whitcraft won the George W. Burkett Scholarship and Thomas Clem won the C. Slisher Scholarship.

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Knox Swim Coach Resigns Following Alleged Inappropriate Behavior

Robert "Ryan" Corbin

After previously being suspended with pay, Robert “Ryan” Corbin filed his resignation with the Knox School Board, who approved it at their recent meeting. Corbin, a Knox High School gym teacher and boys and girls varsity swim coach, was suspended after being accused of inappropriate behavior with a 16-year-old student.

Police had previously interviewed both the student and Corbin and they both allegedly admitted to having conversations with each other. Inappropriate Facebook messages were sent, and conversations were also held via telephone and texting.

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Knox High School Football Team to Host Relay For Life Dodgeball Tournament

“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!” That advice will come in handy at the Inaugural Starke County Dodgeball Tournament, hosted by the Knox High School football team. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Relay for Life Foundation.

Brady Jones of the high school organized the event, and he told WKVI that he chose to benefit the Relay for Life Foundation to give back to the community with the help of the Knox football team.

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Jerry Nenycz Named Indiana Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year

Jerry Nenycz

A 1999 Knox High School Graduate is the Indiana Non Commissioned Officer of the Year. Staff Sergeant Jerry Nenycz, of Plymouth, won the honor in head-to-head competition with eight other soldiers. Nenycz was asked about the competition.

“I went through a preliminary a month ago, then last weekend I went to state competition and won the right to represent my state at Regional at Camp Grayling, Michigan,” Nenycz said.

We asked Nenycz if he wins at the Regional would it mean going on to the national competition.

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Bond Set in Knox Swim Coach Arrest

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall set a $15,000 bond for Knox Community School swim coach Robert R. Corbin, who is charged with two counts of Attempted Child Seduction as Class D felonies. Corbin, 27, is also prohibited from making any contact with the victim.

In the affidavit in support of probable cause filed today in circuit court by Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff and prepared by Knox City Police Department Detective David Combs, it is alleged that on Wednesday, March 28, Knox Police Department Officer Chad Keen responded to a call and went to a residence in Knox. He was informed by the victim’s father that his sixteen-year-old daughter had been receiving inappropriate messages from a Knox teacher, and Officer Keen took printed pages of Facebook messages between his daughter and Corbin.
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Knox Gym Teacher Arrested on Child Seduction Charges

The Knox City Police Department continues to investigate an alleged improper internet contact incident between a Knox High School gym teacher and a student.

Police investigated a complaint last week where a parent reported the act. Robert “Ryan” Corbin, 27, of Knox, was arrested Sunday as a result of the preliminary investigation. He faces preliminary charges of Child Seduction and Attempted Child Seduction, both Class D Felonies. He is being held in the Starke County Jail under no bond.

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Knox City Council Commends Officer, Fireman in Rescue

Mayor Rick Chambers passed out praise at the Knox City Council meeting this week. Chambers thanked Knox City Police Officer, Chad Dulin, and Knox-Center Township fireman, Wayne Noah, for quick action in saving the life of a child in an accident that occurred Saturday at 200 East and State Road 8. The car went into the ditch and began filling with water. The pair arrived on scene and helped get the child out of the car. The fire department then arrived on the scene and extricated the driver out of the car.

The Mayor also praised the Knox High School Girls basketball team who brought home the first Sectional crown since 1995.

Emergency Services Organizations to Conduct Training Exercise

Local emergency services organizations will be conducting a training exercise on December 10th. The exercise will take place at the Knox High School between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.

The training will consist of various departments including the Knox Police Department, Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Hamlet Police Department, and the Knox Fire Department. Also participating in the training will be Starke County EMS, Starke County Emergency Management and IU Health Starke Hospital.

Again, when you see all of the emergency personnel at the high school Saturday, this is only a training session.

Students Honored for Spotlight on Success Achievement Surprised by Guest at Knox School Board Meeting

Tim Watts

The Knox Community School Board had a special Spotlight on Success agenda item this week. The students in Mrs. Kleinfehn’s high school class have been corresponding with Tim Watts, a 2004 graduate of Knox High School, and a member of the National Guard. He has a special email account so the students can email him and those letters are monitored by Mrs. Kleinfehn.

The students appeared before the School Board Monday night for the Spotlight on Success presentation and Superintendent A.J. Gappa said they got a surprise.

“It just so happens, Tim was home on leave this week so he was able to show up in person at the board meeting and the kids didn’t know he was coming,” said Gappa. “The Board thought that it was really special for a graduate of Knox High School to come back and take the time, especially when he’s got limited time left before he goes overseas, to talk to these kids and show some samples of emails they’ve already sent.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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