Mt. Vernon Board of School Trustees

1. Work Session (5:15 p.m.)


The School Board held a Work Session at 5:15 p.m.

2. Pledge of Allegiance (7:00 P.M.)
Mrs. Kellie Freeman, Board President

The School Board, before each meeting, offers the opportunity to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance.  People attending the meeting are welcome to take part in this procedure.  Those desiring not to take part may either remain in the hallway before the meeting or sit quietly in the meeting room.


Mrs. Freeman led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

3. Call to Order
Mrs. Kellie Freeman, Board President


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

4. Adoption of Agenda
Mrs. Kellie Freeman, Board President


Dr. Parker announced there was additional personnel added to the  agenda.  Mrs. Walls made a motion to adopt the agenda as presented.  Mr. Gray seconded, and the motion carried 4-0.


5. Reports
Dr. Jack Parker, Superintendent


Dr. Parker announced there were several reports.

5.1 Good News
Mrs. Maria Bond, Director of Community Relations


Mrs. Bond shared the following Good News:

1.  MVCSC passed the Operating Referendum with 55% of the community voting yes, which ensured additional pay for teachers and classified staff, additional SRO's so there will be at least one in every building, and will replace the lost revenue of the expiring Increment Funds in our Operations Fund;

2. MVHS celebrated Senior Honors Night and recognized the outstanding achievements of this very special senior class.  Over $4.4 million in total scholarships was awarded to the Class of 2022.

3.  It was announced at the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation Gala that Dianne Grannan (MCE) is the District Teacher of the Year and Jay Jones (MVMS) was named District Staff of the Year.  Denise Kirby and Jake Burgess became member of the MV Alumni Hall of Fame.

4.  Congratulations to Board Member Tony May for  receiving the Indiana School Board Association's "Exemplary Governance Award" and to Kellie Freeman and Shannon Walls for receiving the "Advanced Governance Award."

5.  The 2021-2022 Ambassadors graduated in April and the application is now open for any community member (parent, business member, resident or community member) to apply to be a 2022-2023 Ambassador.  The schedule and program information, as well as the  application, is live on our website under the Community Tab. 

5.2 MVHS VOICE Organization

Mr. Casey Dodd and Mrs. Megan Addison


Mr. Dodd introduced members of the Mt. Vernon High School's VOICE Organization and their adult ally, Megan Addison.  VOICE is Indiana's statewide youth empowerment brand and program whose initiative is  to engage, education and empower teens to promote and celebrate tobacco-free lifestyles.  Advocacy goals include educating community members on the problem of tobacco and vaping in our community; prevent youths and adults from using tobacco and vaping products while helping users find a way to quit; and recruit and organize youths to join VOICE and gather youth and adult allies to support their overall initiatives.  Media Advocacy is used to promote the VOICE message in local and social media.  Policy Advocacy is changing community environments through systems change including educating and bringing awareness to key decision makers and local, state and federal legislators about the  public health issue of tobacco and vaping.  Four days of action are held to help with this awareness.  Red Ribbon Week, Great American Smokeout, Take Down Tobacco and World No Tobacco Day.  Most teens are not aware that nicotine use has serious effects on a teen's health and well-being such as premature aging of the skin, tooth loss, increased acne, vulnerability to illness, and decreased athletic performance, just to name a few.  Members pointed out that 15 to 17 year olds are sixteen times more likely to use a juul compared to ages 25-34.  Young people who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely to start smoking tobacco cigarettes than their peers that don't vape.  VOICE members thanked the board members for allowing them to give their presentation to raise awareness and celebrate their achievements.




5.3 Spotlight on Programs

Mrs. Stephanie Miller, McCordsville Elementary

Reading and Math Specialists


Mrs. Miller introduced Dan Keeler, Math Specialist, and Anita Erkmanis, Reading Specialist, who gave a presentation spotlighting McCordsville Elementary's Reading and Math Specialists Programs.  Ms. Erkmanis began by stating in Tier III (intensive, targeted and individualized instruction) there are 50 students in reading and 42 students in math.  Students who receive Tier III Reading intervention are determined by teacher recommendations and previous years performance/concerns, NWEA scores, MAP fluency results, Heggerty Phonemic Awareness screening, IEP's/504; and flagged from the Universal Dyslexia Screener.  Tier II reading intervention consists of intensive, targeted instruction, systematic instruction, explicit or direct instruction, immediate corrective feedback and frequent review.  The goal is that all K-2 teachers be trained in Orton Gillingham (a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic and prescriptive way to teach literacy) to provide consistent phonics/phonemic awareness instruction.  Students' progress is monitored and groups are fluid with students moving in and out depending on needs and success with targeted skills.

Mr. Keeler started by stating he uses NWEA scores, classroom assessments and teacher recommendations to determine what students to pull out of class for Tier III remediation.  The first nine weeks of remediation focuses on basic foundational skills.  The second nine weeks on foundational skills along with some Essential Learnings.  The third nine weeks on foundational skills with more focus on Essential Learnings.  The fourth nine weeks on Essential Learnings with higher focus on ILEARN related skills in the upper grades. Mr. Keeler finds that pulling students out of class into smaller groups, the students are more focused, interactive/engaged in their learning and more likely to ask questions in  smaller settings.  He uses weekly meetings to discuss student progress, the student showing more confidence and able to perform  practices skills at a higher level and the student shows higher scores in their progress monitoring and classroom proficiency scales to determine when to exit students from Tier III. 



5.4 Whole Child Advisory Committee Report
Mr. Chris Smedley, Assistant Superintendent


Mr. Smedley gave a report on the Whole Child  Advisory Committee. 14 parents/community members and 14 school employees were invited to serve on the committee after expressing interest.  The purpose of the committee was to share our approach to addressing the needs of the whole child and why it is important to us at Mt. Vernon as well as how we can provide greater clarity to our stakeholders.  Focus areas included academic-based centering around curriculum and programs and social/emotion wellness centering around SEL (Second Steps, MindTrek, TBRI).  One of the questions asked of the committee members was what skills would you like your child to have when they graduate high school and are sent out into the world.  Responses included respect, communication, grit, strong work ethic, college ready, problem solving, just to name a few.   Hard and soft skills were identified of what we want children to be equipped with when they leave high school.  Hard skills are specific activities, or capabilities, that an individual possesses or can demonstrate in a measured way (technical or knowledge-based) and includes skills  such as project management, programming or coding, teaching, bookkeeping, etc.  Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with others and includes skills such as critical and creative thinking,  communication, problem solving, work ethic, leadership, etc.  Recent studies shows  that 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft skills and people skills, while only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).  Mr. Smedley shared age appropriate topics that were covered throughout the year showing the scope of social and emotional learning through Second Steps and Mindtrek.  Committee members were surveyed on the SWOT analysis of our approach w/SEL and identified Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  Strengths included common language that kids learn and staff use, putting kids  first and staff being trained.  Weaknesses included communication on the website, knowing what is on the  website, lack of SEL programming at the high  school and lessons  not consistent.  Opportunities included giving teachers clear guidelines on what they can and can't talk about with students. Another one was if we use the letters SEL, we need to educate our families on what that means at Mt. Vernon.  Threats included social misconceptions, social media causing a divide in our community, teachers going outside of guidelines and it not being reported, They discussed changing SEL to a different name, but thought it might look like  we were hiding something. Based of those weaknesses and  opportunities they focused on what they could do moving forward and developed action steps with the first being implement a SEL-based program at the high school that supports the social/emotional wellness of our students. Also, through communication, clarify to staff the scope of responsibility  to ensure they are within the laws for schools and share messages with parents on our approach and where they can access the curriculum being used (TBRI parent training, videos, newsletters, website) to support social/emotional wellness.  Train principals and counselors on the scope of responsibility and how to share  that information with staff and equip staff with the training and resources to deliver the content appropriately (neutral and unbiased).  At the end of their work on the committee, members were given an exit survey to give feedback.  Mr. Smedley felt that parents/community members that served on the committee got a better understanding of what our approach is and is not.  They felt better going through that process.   




6. Public Comments Regarding Agenda Items
Mrs. Kellie Freeman, Board President

H 225 - Public Participation at Board Meetings

May only address items listed in the agenda

Must be recognized by the presiding officer.

Must reside within the Corporation boundaries, and/or are parents/guardians of MVCSC students, and/or employees of MVCSC.

Must provide name, address, and group affiliation, if and when appropriate

Limited to 3 minutes duration

Comments and concerns related to curriculum, methods of instruction, instructional materials, or Corporation employees shall be submitted in writing to the principal of the school and the Superintendent.

All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no person may address or question Board members individually

For those wishing to address the board on an item not on the agenda, a request to place an item on the agenda must be received no later than seven (7) days prior to the meeting.  


Janet Smith gave comments regarding the Whole Child Advisory Committee of which she was a member.  She felt the committee did not accomplish much and was told the committee's  purpose was to inform parents of materials being taught.  She felt the committee was stacked with 50% teacher/staff participation and she did feel the need for that as the purpose was to inform parents.  Meetings were held at 4:15 p.m. so that limited parent participation.  She has been assured and believes to be true that CRT and CSE is not being taught at Mt. Vernon, but  is concerned there are some woke teachers using unapproved language and undesirable books are being issued to students at the middle school that have been board approved.  She feels it is the board's responsibility to know what is in these books.  In her opinion, SEL opens the door to CRT and CSE and should be taught by parents in their homes with the values  they want their children to possess. She thanked Mr. Smedley for  meeting with her to discuss these issues.  She concluded by saying she feels the younger teachers are being hired, the more woke it is going to get. 




7. Consent Agenda
Mrs. Kellie Freeman, Board President

The school board shall use a consent agenda (Policy #0166.1) to keep routine matters. By a single motion, the Board approves/adopts the following items or actions which reflect application of School Board Policy and/or Indiana Code. Any items marked "Consent" may be removed from the agenda by a Board Member or the Superintendent.



Mr. May made a motion to approve  the following Consent Agenda:

1.  Minutes of the April 18, 2022 board meeting;

2.  Claims;

3.  The following personnel items:


Melissa Breidenbach, MVMS Resource Teacher (2022-2023 School Year)

Morganne Blechle, Preschool Speech and Language Pathologist


Jeannine Carder, MES Teacher (Retirement)

Lauren Reifel, MVMS Teacher

Greg Rollo, Director of Technology

Ashley Lain, MVMS Teacher

Brian Johnson, MVMS Teacher

Teran Strickland, MCE School Counselor

Christina Grandstaff, MCE Teacher

Lee Larkins, MVHS Counselor

Carinne Collier, MVHS Teacher


Christopher Sanford, Transfer from MCE 5th Grade to MVMS Math (2022-2023 School Year)

Michelle Dunahee, Transfer from Resource Teacher to Special Education Essential Skills Teacher (2022-2023 School Year)

Emilee Niles, Transfer from MCE 1st Grade to MCE 4th Grade


Kaitlyn Zelepugas, MVHS PE Instructional Assistant

Janine Murora, FES 2nd Shift Custodian

Ryan Oneil, MCE Custodian

Jasmine Roll, FES Food Service

Katherine Moynan, FES Food Service

Alexis Shelton, Temporary Part Time Summer Maintenance (5/9/22 - 8/26/22)

Nicole Burris, Community Relations Intern (2022-2023 School Year)

Taylor Heiniger, MES ENL Summer School Instructional Assistant


Cody Merritt, Building Technology Assistant change from 195 day calendar to 260 day calendar (year round)

Mary Adams, Temporary change to Part Time Custodian - currently serves as a bus aide (5/31/22 - 7/22/22)

Tracey Hudson, Temporary change to Part Time Custodian - currently serves as a bus driver (5/31/22 - 7/22/22)

Nicole Birdsong, Temporary change to Part Time Custodian - currently serves as a bus driver (5/31/22 - 7/22/22)

Sydney Huynh, FES Teacher to MVHS Special Education Instructional Assistant

Bliss Nunez, MVMS Instructional Assistant to MVMS Instructional Assistant High Intensity

Gustavo Gutierrez, change from MVHS Custodian to MVMS Custodian


Natalie Adams, MMPS Instructional Assistant

Marcia Marshall, Transportation Bus Driver (Retirement)

Manuel Sandoval Castaneda, Transportation Bus Driver

Shelley Spencer, MES Instructional Assistant (Retirement)

Beth Blunk, MVMS Attendance Secretary

Brandi McClanahan, MVMS Instructional Assistant

Deborah Duncan, MES Food Service (Retirement)

Laura Foy, MES Food Service Manager (Retirement)

Jane Skinner, FES Food Service (Retirement)

Sophia DeWael, Communications Intern

Gwen Scrogham, MVCSC Administrative Assistant (Retirement)

Cory Charbeneau, MVMS Permanent Substitute

Sarah Kay Burdine, MVMS Building Treasurer (Retirement)

Tara Goff, MMPS Instructional Assistant


Jason Wiley, AP/DC Teacher

Brittany Webber, FES Tutor Coordinator (¼ of stipend)

Jill Mace, FES Tutor Coordinator (¼ of stipend)

Sophie Hrinowich, FES Tutor Coordinator (¼ of stipend)

Rachel Rathbun, FES Tutor Coordinator (¼ of stipend)

Samantha Grider, MVHS Head Varsity Volleyball Coach (2022-2023)

Brian Williams, MVHS Head Girls Cross Country Coach (2022-2023)


Jennifer Leavell, MVHS Yearbook

4.  Requests to Accept Donations;

    a.  Donation of $600 from Mr. Robert Carrier to the MVHS Trap Club to fund targets;

    b.  Donation of $500 from Psi Iota Xi Sorority to the MVHS National Honor Society to further the work of their organization;

    c.  Donation of $500 from Dr. John and Darla Lowe to the MVHS Football Program;

    d.  Donation of $750 from Psi Iota Xi Sorority to to MES Music, Art and Library Programs;  

    e.  Donation of $1,000  from Psi Iota Xi Sorority to each of the following MVHS departments ($250 each):  Choir, Band, Library and Art;

    f.  Donation of $750 from Psi Iota Xi Sorority to each of the following FES departments ($250 each):  Library, Art and Music;

    g..  Donation of $2610.03 from the FES PTO to the FES School Staff Account to help pay expenses from the raffle and staff needs during the year;

5.  Construction Claims.

Mr. Gray seconded, and the motion carried 4-0.



7.1 Regular Session Minutes

7.2 Claims

7.3 Personnel Report

7.4 Overnight Field Trip Request

7.5 Request to Accept Donation

7.6 Construction Claims

8. Action Items
Mrs. Kellie Freeman, Board President

8.1 Approval of Retirement Plan Provider Services Contract
Mr. Greg Elkins, Chief Financial Officer


Mr. Elkins stated this is a follow-up to a prior board action on April 18, 2022 to approve Equitable as the MVCSC 401(a) retirement provider and plan administrator.  Resolution 2022-16 approves Equitable as the recordkeeper of that contract.  Mrs. Walls made a motion to approve Resolution 2022-16 as Record Keepers for MVCSC 401(a) Retirement Plans. Mr. May seconded, and the motion carried 4-0.


8.2 RESOLUTION 2022-15 Approval of Post Closing Agreement
Mr. Greg Elkins, Chief Financial Officer


Mr. Elkins stated Mt. Vernon entered into an agreement allowing us to purchase the parcel of land located at 8283 N. 200 W., Fortville, IN  46040 and then lease the house located on the parcel to owner Daniel S. Meyer.  The agreement allowed Mr. Meyer to live in that home until June 1, 2022.  In September, 2021 Mt. Vernon entered into a Post-Closing Agreement where if seller vacated the house prior to May 1, 2022, Mt. Vernon would reimburse Mr. Meyer $10,000.  Mt. Vernon is now in possession of the property.   Mr. Gray made a motion to approve Resolution 2022-15 Approving Real Estate Post-Closing Payment.  Mrs. Walls seconded, and the motion carried 4-0.


8.3 2023-2024 School Calendar
Mr. Chris Smedley, Assistant Superintendent


Mr. Smedley stated three different 2023-2024 school calendars were generated and  three surveys were conducted to see which option staff and parents preferred.  The first option left the calendar pretty much the same as it is now with classes beginning the end of July (2 weeks fall break, 2 weeks winter break; 2 weeks spring break); the second option added 3 days to summer with classes beginning August 3rd (1 week fall break; 2 weeks  winter break and 2 weeks spring break); the third  option added five days to summer with classes beginning August 4th (1 week fall break; 2 weeks winter break; 2 weeks spring break).  Of the 1620 responses, 61.9% opted for the third option.  Since recent legislative changes only allows three asynchronous learning days, the two planned e-learning days have been changed to 2-hour early release days.  This allows us to save the three asynchronous learning days for weather related closings.  In addition, we will need to modify the 2022-2023 calendar, already board approved, changing the two e-learning days to 2-hour early release days.  Mr. Smedley will bring a revised 2022-2023 to the board for approval next month.   Mrs. Walls made a motion to approve the 2023-2024 school calendar as presented.  Mr. Gray seconded, and the motion carried 4-0.



8.4 Student Handbook Changes for 2022-2023
Mr. Chris Smedley, Assistant Superintendent


Mr. Ryan King, Assistant Principal at McCordsville Elementary, presented the student handbook changes, per the attached, for the three elementary schools for 2022-2023. The assistant principals at all three elementaries worked to align and update the handbooks developing a Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation Elementary Student Handbook that represents all three elementary schools so that families receive identical information at whichever school they attend.   Notable changes, updated cell  phone content and display section by adding smart watches and texting during the day. The Child Care Program through YMCA was updated to remove before school information as all three elementary schools only offer after school care. 

 Ms. Crystal Cooper presented handbook changes, per the attached, for Mt. Vernon Middle School.  Notable changes, adding THC to the list of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, as they are seeing this more often at the middle school, and instead of just having tobacco, changed it to tobacco/nicotine which covers vaping.  

Ms. Anita Glaze presented handbook changes for Mt. Vernon High School.  Notable changes, Step Program added (adding a formal process for office  referrals to be consistent with the other buildings).  Student dress and appearance now  consistent with county high schools.

Mr. Smedley thank everyone for all their hard work, especially the elementary assistant principals for their collaboration to make one elementary handbook.   Mrs. Walls made a motion to accept the Student Handbook Changes for 2022-2023 as presented.  Mr. May seconded, and the motion carried 4-0.



8.5 Health Services Handbook Changes 2022-2023
Mr. Chris Smedley, Assistant Superintendent


Mrs. Tracy Furnas, Corporation Nurse, presented Health Services Handbook Changes for 2022-2023, per the attached.  She stated most of the changes just provided more clarification for parents.   Notable changes, previously provided two snacks lists, which was confusing, now one list provided.  Add cough drops to medication administration allowing students 9-12 to carry cough drops as needed.  Mr. Gray made a motion to accept the Health Services Handbook changes as presented.  Mrs. Walls seconded, and the motion carried, 4-0.  


8.6 Student Textbook and Fees for the 2022-2023 School Year
Dr. Scott Shipley, Director of Curriculum


Dr. Shipley presented Student Textbook and Fees for the 2022-2023 school year, per the attached.  At the elementary level, fees will go from $118.50 in 2021-2022 to $171.81 in 2022-2023 due to the recent adoption/addition of english/language arts textbooks.  Middle schools fees did not change much at all.  Grade 6 science fee removed.  Base fee for 6th grade is $156.65; 7th grade $160.99 and 8th grade $178.28 and will increase depending on elective courses students select to take.  High School fees are dependent  on courses taken.  Mr. Shipley provided a list of courses and their fees which included materials adopted at the April 18th school board meeting.  Mr. May made a motion to approve the Student Textbook and Fees for the 2022-2023 School Year.  Mrs. Walls seconded, and the motion carried 4-0.


9. Board Member Reports
Mrs. Kellie Freeman, Board President

Fortville RDC - Mr. Tony May

Cumberland RDC - Mrs. Kellie Freeman

Hancock Co. RDC - Mr. Phil Edwards

McCordsville RDC - Mrs. Shannon Walls

MVEF - Mr. Chad Gray


1. Mr. May reported the Fortville RDC meets later in the week. 

2 . Mrs. Freeman reported the Cumberland RDC received a grant to help with a development  in the area of US 40 and 700.

3.  Dr. Parker reported, on behalf of Mr. Edwards, we have received  the $500,000 donation from the Hancock Co. RDC to help solve the traffic problem at Mt. Comfort Elementary.  He thanked them for their help with this issue. 

4.  Mrs. Walls was unable to attend the McCordsville RDC meeting. 

5.  Mr. Gray reported the recent MVEF Gala was a success and 95% of the  teachers' Make a Wish requests have been fully or partially funded.  


10. Announcements
Dr. Jack Parker, Superintendent


Dr. Parker thanked the community for supporting and passing the referendum.  He thanked all the volunteers that came to the poles to help, showing great community support.


11. Adjournment
Mrs. Kellie Freeman, Board President


Mrs. Walls made a motion to adjourn at 8:18 p,m.  Mr. May seconded, and the motion carried 4-0.