Old school changing hands

The former Waveland Elementary School building is getting another chance on life.

South Montgomery School Corp. has signed a $45,000 purchase agreement with Brenda Jones, school board president Brad Monts said.

The board unanimously approved the agreement during its regular meeting Monday evening. Jones was not in attendance.

Jones made the offer the corporation received last month, as the board restarted the process of determining how much the wrecking ball would cost. The 30-year-old building has sat empty since 2013.

No buyers closed on the site when it was first put on the market, administrators said. Some residents wanted to see the old school reused as a community center.

Superintendent Dr. Shawn Greiner said the corporation was glad to see a buyer step forward and hopes the building will be used for another project.

In other business, the board took the next steps on securing funds for long-planned district-wide renovations.

Members gave the green light to preliminary plans and forming a lease to pay for the proposed $33.5 million project. It includes a new career and technical education facility and administration building, athletic upgrades and safety improvements.

The money will come from lease financing, a process common for major building projects. It involves selling the three elementary school buildings to the district’s seven-member citizen building corporation, which in turn will lease them to the school district.

The building corporation will issue the bonds, covering them with rent payments from the school district. 

“This mechanism is used because then the debt that is created by these bonds doesn’t count toward your statutory debt limit,” school district attorney Dan Taylor explained.

When the bonds are paid off, the building corporation will turn the school buildings back to the administration.

A public hearing on the lease is scheduled during April 10’s board meeting.

Monts said a timetable for the projects should be set by this summer. Part of the work is being done to prepare for the sixth graders, who move to Southmont in fall 2018.

Also during the meeting, the board:

• Approved the hirings of Cindy Armbruster, homebound services through May 22; Anna Redmaster, Ladoga special education assistant; and April Gann, permanent secretary at New Market.

• Granted the resignations of Alexa Hutson, Ladoga elementary teacher (effective at the end of the school year); and Becky Holt, Ladoga special education assistant (effective Feb. 10).

• Approved the hiring of the following coaches: Deryk Benge, varsity assistant track; Rob McCormick, varsity assistant boys golf; Tim Flagg, junior high assistant track; Jenny Kixmiller, junior high assistant track; Bart Jochim, junior high track; and Eric Murphy, junior high girls tennis.

• Gave approval for the sixth grade’s field trip to Chicago. Ladoga and Walnut students will go on May 19 and New Market on May 22.

• Approved the 2018-19 academic calendar.

The board’s next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. April 10 in Southmont’s large group instruction room.

Native’s Africa program impacted by unrest

A county native’s mission to give underprivileged children school supplies in central Africa is caught in the middle of ongoing unrest over language.

Jacob Moore, a 2008 graduate of Southmont High School and 2012 Wabash College alum, is co-founder of ScholarShop Africa, a nonprofit organization where students earn credit toward school supplies or food through community service. Moore first moved there in 2012 for a three-year stint in the Peace Corps.

Though known as the most peaceful country on the strife-filled continent, Cameroon’s government has come under fire for appointing French-speaking judges and teachers in the country’s two English-speaking regions.

Last fall, English-speaking lawyers began protesting, followed by a teachers strike. Demonstrations at times turned violent.

Then in January, the government shut off internet and ATM access in the English-speaking regions.

In response, residents are shutting down schools and businesses two days a week, forcing Moore to stop some of his educational work.

Despite the protests, the program is going well, said Moore’s mother, Diana McCormick. Moore has set up a co-ed soccer team and a computer coding program for girls.

But without the internet, the girls cannot practice their newfangled skills, leaving instructors to teach programs that don’t require Web access. Moore himself must travel 13 hours by bus to an internet cafe to work online.

“So he’s feeling frustration, no fear at all for his safety,” McCormick said. “It’s frustration and anger.”

McCormick has read news reports indicating the internet could be restored by the middle of next week, but her son isn’t convinced. Reporting about the unrest is risky – journalists are routinely detained and newspapers and broadcast outlets suspended.

When the unrest first began, Moore wanted to shut ScholarShop down for a month and come home to raise funds. The organization decided to stay open until summer.

Moore plans to visit home in the fall, but would have to stay in Cameroon if they decide to have school this summer. The program lasts nine months.

If the situation becomes dire, the Peace Corps will pull its volunteers from the country. Moore, whose time as a volunteer ended in 2015, doesn’t believe that will be necessary.

“Jacob has promised me that if that happens, he will then go and evacuate himself,” McCormick said.

Boy loves school and needs a mentor

Neal is a 10-year-old boy who lives in a home with a single mother and an older sibling. He is new to this area and has already made a few new friends at school. His mom would like to see him bond with a positive male role model and keep him busy with new interests outside of the home. She said Neal is a sweet kid with a big heart and is very helpful. She does worry that he can get emotional and things seem to bother him more than they do with his brother.

Because of that, she would like a mentor who can possibly help him cope with these feelings. He makes good grades at school and has had good attendance. He loves computer games like most boys his age but also likes to ride bikes, run, fish, play at the park, play board games, bake, cook, watch television and movies as well as doing craft projects and going to museums.

Neal loves his new school even more than his previous one. His favorite subject is science and he hopes to be a police officer when he grows up. He said if he could describe his perfect day it would be to take his grandparents to see “The Wheel of Fortune” because they love that game. Neal said if he gets a mentor he would like to go to the park, a petting zoo, the animal shelter and maybe do some craft projects. Neal plays the ukulele and the flute and loves to collect cars.

Neal is talkative and easy to get along with. Along with all the things listed above, Neal mentioned he would also be willing to try new things. Neal would be a lot of fun for a male who is interested in similar things and has a couple hours to give each week.

The Youth Service Bureau provides one free monthly group activity per month that you can attend if you choose. The JUMP staff also sends out monthly lists of fun low- or no-cost activities for the mentors to do with their mentee to help keep things fun and interesting. 

The process of becoming a mentor includes filling out an application, completing several background checks, a volunteer training and reporting monthly on your activities. If you are interested in finding out about the JUMP program, contact Jill Hampton at 765-362-0694, ext. 103; or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To learn more about the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau, visit www.mcysb.org or visit them on their Facebook page at www.face-book.com/mcysb.

The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau is a MUFFY Partner Agency.

Meet Dane Mishler & Heidi Gambrel

The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau will present Dancing with the Montgomery County Stars on May 20 at Wabash College. In the weeks leading up to the dance competition, the Journal Review will feature each of the 10 dance pairs. This is the first couple to be featured.

Name, occupation:

Dane Mishler; dentist

How long have you lived in Montgomery County?

Around 23 years

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I like running, biking, swimming, attending crossfit, and attempting to play golf. I also enjoy going to my current church, College Park, in Indianapolis and spending time with my small group there.

Tell us about your family.

I have two amazing parents, Greg and Trisha Mishler. I have an older sister Brittany Hembree who is married to Kyle Hembree. They gave me my two awesome nephews, Madox and Hudson, and my wonderful niece Peighton. I have a younger sister Hilary Mishler, who is engaged to Devin Kelly. I also am lucky enough to have all my grandparents still: Roscoe and Lois Wulliman and Lynn and Jan Mishler.

What song always makes you get up and dance or sing along?

“Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch

What was your reaction when you were asked to be a Star?

I was pumped and ready to go. After watching the show last year for the first time I was excited when Heidi asked if I would participate.

Why did you decide to participate?

I really like being a part of Montgomery County and I want to do my best to contribute positively to our community in any way I can. This is an excellent fundraiser to benefit the youth of our community so it was a simple choice to participate.

Why should the public come to this event and support you and your partner?

It is an awesome opportunity to support Montgomery County, help others who need our assistance and enjoy great entertainment with dinner. I also am going to speak frankly now, Heidi and I are going to have an amazing performance and I think people will have a great time watching it.

• • •

Name, occupation:

Heidi Gambrel; expanded duties chairside assistant for Dr. Dane Mishler and Dr. Janet L. Rucker

How long have you lived in Montgomery County?

32 years

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, vacationing, shopping, being outdoors, and of course, dancing.

Tell us about your family.

I’ve been married to my wonderful husband Todd for 16 years. We have been blessed with two sons Thatcher and Rowan.

What is your dance background?

19 years of coaching/choreography, Crawfordsville Middle School Dance Team; two years as instructor/coach, Star Performance Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; five years, ballroom.

What song always makes you get up and dance or sing along?

I love all genres of music. Anything that has a good rhythm and is upbeat.

Why did you decide to participate?

I have been participating in this fundraiser for five years. I love giving back to the community I grew up in and supporting the children in Montgomery County. It’s wonderful meeting new people in our county every year who are just as passionate as I am about supporting the YSB.

Why should the public come to this event and support you and your partner?

This event is one the biggest fundraisers in Montgomery County. It’s definitely well worth attending with dance entertainment, a great meal, and silent auction. You won’t want to miss it.

MCCF seeks nominees for Volunteer of the Year awards

Volunteers play a vital role in the success of most not-for-profit agencies and have a significant impact on the quality of life in our community. Is there an individual in your nonprofit organization who, without compensation has made a significant, long time contribution of his/her time and talent to make your organization better and our community a better place to live? 

If so, the Montgomery County Community Foundation would like to offer the opportunity to Montgomery County nonprofits to nominate them for a special award. One adult will be selected as the MCCF 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award and one youth will be selected as the MCCF 2017 Peggy Herzog Youth Volunteer of the Year award winner.

All nominees will be recognized and the winner announced at MCCF’s annual meeting at 4 p.m. May 25. The organizations that nominate the winners will receive $1,000 in honor of the winner. The winners will each receive a personal plaque and their names will be added to a perpetual plaque displayed at the Foundation.

To nominate someone, fill out a nomination form and return it to Montgomery County Community Foundation by 5 p.m. April 6. The form also is available on the Foundation’s website www.mccf-in.org under the News & Events tab.

To ensure the award is shared throughout the community, winners will not be selected from a particular agency in consecutive years and both winners will not be named from the same agency in the same year. Each agency may nominate just one individual, even if volunteers work in different capacities for each award. Family members and spouses of current board members and staff of MCCF are not eligible for nomination.

Last year’s Peggy Herzog Youth Volunteer of the Year was Makhalea Young, nominated by both Montgomery County 4-H and North Montgomery FFA. Dr. David Maharry, retired Wabash Professor, won award for his service tutoring students in math at the Crawfordsville Adult Resource Academy. 

Questions about the award or the nomination process may be directed to Cheryl Keim at 765-362-1267 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..