Photo provided

Bunker, Hill, IN - Maconaquah Elementary School was a pitstop last week for the President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Eric Cardwell, the NAESP President, has been on a 4,500-mile round trip this fall. He’s been visiting elementary schools along the way in Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. And he visited Principal Kelly McPike at Mac El last week.

Cardwell said, “Schools are at the very center of this nation’s communities. I’m taking this listening tour as not only a celebration of schools and principal leadership but also to take a real look at the successes and challenges that they are facing.”

McPike said Cardwell visited Erika Reeser’s third-grade class and the school’s STEM lab. He learned about the process of Maconaquah constructing the lab and buildings its own STEM curriculum “from the ground up.”

Photo by Eric Stoff

Miami County, IN - Rainy weather didn’t stop a day of agricultural education Friday.

Fourth grade students from across Miami County gathered at the 4-H Fairgrounds for Ag Day, an annual event hosted by the Miami County Soil and Water Conservation District. There were 13 stations which students rotated between, including topics such as dairy and beef cattle, soybeans, farm machinery, apples and bees, and Maconaquah and North Miami high schools’ FFA programs.

Dawn Baker, Maconaquah High School FFA Faculty Advisor supervised some of her FFA students as they showed a mixture of personal animals, Baker’s animals, and the FFA program’s animals.

She said in today’s society, it’s easy to lose sight of the food chain.

“(The students) have become disconnected to the point that they don’t know where their food comes from at all,” Baker said. “We’re trying to provide that basic information firsthand. By showing the animals and teaching about where it all starts.”

She said it’s good for the FFA students to volunteer and educate younger students, too.

Mac School Logo

Bunker, Hill, IN -- Last month, the Maconaquah School Corporation Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of a new endowment fund that will support student activities for years to come.

The Future Brave Endowment Fund will begin this school year, and funds will be invested with the Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF), of which the Miami County Community Foundation is a fund affiliate.

“This will go to help our students in a variety of different ways,” said Maconaquah Superintendent Dr. James Callane. “It is an opportunity for our alumni and friends of Maconaquah to give to our future students.”

Callane added that he was very thankful to accept the first donation of $250 from Gibraltar Design this week.

Mac Photo provided

Bunker Hill, IN - Maconaquah Cattle Company received a $25,000 Grow Rural Education Grant last month from the America’s Farmer’s Monsanto Fund. The grant was awarded to expand Maconaquah Middle School’s ambitious agroscience program, which is only a couple years old.

MMS Principal Craig Jernagan said this grant will be a big help the program.

“This program has grown tremendously and received incredible support from our community in the last couple years,” he said.

To be eligible for the Monsanto grant, schools had to be nominated by local farmers, and the nominations were considered in the application process.

Maconaquah Middle School Riley Hair photo

Bunker Hill, IN - A Maconaquah Middle School eighth-grader will get a taste of university-level academics this school year.

Riley Hair has been accepted into the University of Notre Dame’s NDignite program, which is an online enrichment program for high achieving middle school students. The program is hosted by ND’s Office of Outreach and Engagement Recruitment, and it is designed to develop leadership skills and helping students identify their gifts.

“I’m very excited,” Riley said.

After taking her SAT exam last year, Riley came home to a letter about the NDignite program, which she had heard about from a couple of her older friends. She applied and was accepted.

Riley looks forward to connecting with students across the nation, and she hopes it will help her pinpoint her passions and gifts.

Maconaquah Schools Logo

Bunker Hill, IN - Starting this fall, Maconaquah School Corporation students will have free entry to sporting events.

Superintendent Dr. James Callane said the goal is to increase attendance at games.

“We want our students to be loud and proud at games,” Callane said. “We hope by allowing students into events free, we will double the number of students who come out and support our teams..”

Elementary and middle school-aged students will need to be accompanied by adults to the events, and student ID’s are required for entry.

Photo by: Daisia Dodd, student photographer

Maconaquah High School’s graduating class of 2018 tosses their caps in the air after their graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 2. Photo by: Daisia Dodd, student photographer

Bunker Hill, IN - “Pomp and Circumstance” and the Maconaquah’s School Song served as musical bookends to Maconaquah High School’s 2018 graduation ceremony Saturday afternoon as 153 Braves entered new chapters of life. Clad in red and blue caps and gowns, the graduates shared laughs, swapped stories, and took countless pictures as they celebrated the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

MHS Principal Chad Carlson congratulated the class and wished them well.

“I tell people all the time that this is my favorite day of the school year — just being able to watch these young men and women walk across that stage and get that diploma. It’s something they’ve worked for so long. I love it,” he said.

Dakota Swinford wins IUK competition

Maconaquah High School senior Dakota Swinford received a prestigious art award last week from Indiana University Kokomo’s 23rd annual High School Art Exhibit.

Swinford was invited to the awards ceremony last week but was surprised to learn that her mixed media piece, “Memento Mori,” was named Best of Show.

“I was shocked,” she said. “I was very surprised at the whole thing.”

Hancock said this show is the largest high school exhibit IUK has ever held, and 14 schools from North Central Indiana were represented this year.

“To get Best of Show is very impressive,” Hancock said.

The title of Swinford’s piece, Memento Mori, is Latin for “remember death.” The piece featured a sculpted cat that Swinford described as “pretty beat up” and seven sculpted skulls painted differently to represent its previous lives.