New Coaching Program Helps At-Risk High School Students

BY JANET MANDELSTAM High school students at risk of not earning a diploma have extra support this year thanks to a new pilot program that places eight educational coaches at 10 schools in southwest-central Indiana. Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) and Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington launched the Graduation and Career Coaching Initiative to improve graduation rates, prepare students for postsecondary options, and ensure a qualified workforce for regional employers. Educators at each of the schools, including Bloomington High School North and Bloomington High School South, identify the at-risk students who will work with the coaches. Coaches report to Trudy Shaw at Ivy Tech. “They meet with the students every week and review their grades, attendance, and any disciplinary issues,” she says. […]

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Dr. Seuss’ Characters Come Alive at Monroe County Public Library Event

BY BARB BERGGOETZ If attendance in previous years is any indication, on Saturday, March 4, about 500 preschool- and elementary-age children and their families will converge on the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) to see beloved Dr. Seuss characters come alive. The occasion is Seusspicious Behavior, which celebrates the birthday of the famed author of more than 40 children’s books. This year, Bloomington High School North advanced acting class students will offer four 20-minute performances based on the stories “Yertle the Turtle” and “Gertrude McFuzz” during the free annual event, scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Other activities include games and crafts designed to highlight the importance of reading. Francesca Sobrer, Bloomington North theater program director and drama teacher, says […]

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A Long Hike That Raised Thousands For African Children Is Now a Book

BY PETER DORFMAN In 2013, Morgan Scherer, then a senior at Bloomington High School North, had an idea to raise money to help refugee children in the turbulent Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). His “bold dream,” as he calls it, was to get sponsors for a hike on the northernmost 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail — alone, with his dog, Niko. Morgan and Niko walked the walk and in the process raised $10,000 for the Bloomington-based nonprofit organization Giving Back to Africa, which fosters education for Congolese children. Now, three years later, Scherer’s story is being told in a book titled I Just Kept Walking, published by the Bloomington Rotary Club. The book was conceived of by Giving Back […]

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IU Researchers & Local High Schools Working Together On Revolutionary Concussion Device (Photo Gallery)

BY CARMEN SIERING As a coach of the Bloomington Blades high school hockey team and Bloomington High School North lacrosse club team, Dave Appel understands the concern surrounding concussions in youth sports. “It’s one of my greatest fears,” he says. “Any time you have an open-contact sport where the speeds are high, the possibility exists on every single play.” That’s one of the reasons Appel was eager to work with Nicholas Port and Steven A. Hitzeman, researchers at the Indiana University School of Optometry, who have been gathering baseline data on the eye movements and balance of athletes since 2010. So far they have collected data from more than 1,000 athletes at IU and area club and youth teams, all […]

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Steve Philbeck: Teacher

BY BARB BERGGOETZ Teacher Steve Philbeck considers himself an entertainer, of sorts. Some colleagues may cringe at that idea. But this Bloomington High School North social studies teacher says it goes with the job. And he relishes the chance to engage his students while he imparts knowledge and activates their minds. After serving as director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monroe County and policy director of the Bloomington Boys and Girls Club, he decided to become a high school teacher and, at age 40, began his new career. “I like all ages of kids, but I wanted to be with kids who have a greater capacity to understand the world and the interrelatedness of it. I wanted to be […]

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