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WARSAW — Retro Bill, lip-synching cops and a laser light spectacular all marked the end of this year’s DARE program as sixth-graders from nine area elementary schools gathered to celebrate their graduation.

Students from Madison, Claypool, Sacred Heart, Leesburg, Harrison, Washington, Jefferson, Eisenhower and Lincoln, along with their families, teachers and DARE officers, packed the Manahan Orthopaedics Center at Grace College, Winona Lake, Tuesday evening, May 10.

Festivities began with a presentation of the colors by the Fort Wayne Police Department Color Guard-Pipe and Drum Brigade. Detective Brad Kellar rode up to the stage on a police motorcycle, lights, sirens and all, then belted out the national anthem.

Retro Bill and DARE Officer Joe Hawn chat onstage. (Photos by Amanda McFarland)



Kids leapt to their feet in excitement as keynote speaker Retro Bill, the official international DARE Buddy, made his way to the stage amidst cheers and high-fives. Retro Bill visited Warsaw Schools last fall, bringing his high-energy message of drug resistance and self-esteem.

A lip sync contest ensued between DARE officers Doug Light and Joe Hawn, with Light coming out the winner. Hawn, Light and Retro Bill made a special presentation to Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Hampton, thinking the prosecutor’s office for sponsoring WCS’s DARE program.

[For a full story and video, visit InkFreeNews.com]

WARSAW — On Tuesday night, Ms. Zellers’ third and fourth grade class transformed Lincoln Elementary into a mock county fair. Sixteen students had the opportunity to choose their own Indiana county and create a presentation on the county’s culture and history. Many family members and past Indiana County Fair participants filled the different booths between 6 and 7:30 p.m.

The class has spent the whole year learning about the different Indiana counties because it is an Indiana fourth grade standard. Every week the students visited and researched a specific Indiana county virtually until all were covered. Next the students each were able to pick a county to research even further for the event.

The students then spent the better part of three months creating their final project.

“We started by going through old photo albums and showing them different ideas from the past two years,” said Zellers.

Despite going through past ideas, each year the event includes new and original ideas created by the students.

“This year we have three different barns but we have never had a barn before,” said Zellers. “They really don’t tell each other or talk about what they are doing.”

The counties represented at this year’s event were Wabash County by Elle Brouwer, Noble County by Deaglan Gardner, Marshall County by Leila Knepp, Miami County by Michael Manes, Tippecanoe County by Shruthi Muthiah, Fulton County by Mattias Niebbia, St. Joseph County by Doondy Patnala, Brown County by Ayva Price, Elkhart County by Issac Rico, Kosciusko County by Aubrie Robbins, Grant County by Karter Shepherd, Spencer County by Lainey Slocum, Carroll County by Zane Studebaker, Marion County by Ada Thomsen, Whitley County by Max Vinkemeier and Allen County by Eddy Wielgot.

Along with current students, past students showed up to help volunteer with the refreshments and reminiscence in the past.

Leah Rhineholt, eighth grader, remembers researching Brown County when she participated in the event. She chose that county because it was where her parents were married and clearly remembers how long it took to put together the scrapbooks associated with the project.

“Their’s are a lot better than ours,” said Reinholt. “The projects have improved a lot.”

[To read more and see photos of the event, visit InkFreeNews.com]

Through a generous donation from a local orthopedics business, Warsaw Community Schools students are receiving an opportunity to work hands on with robotics in their classrooms.

According to Washington STEM Academy teacher David Burden, a donation from Zimmer-Biomet, Warsaw, totaling $20,000 has allowed students in all eight WCS elementary schools to utilize a total of 12 Lego EV3 robots per school.

While learning the fundamentals of how robots work, students are also learning to think critically while working as a team.

"For the sponsors, one of the most rewarding aspects is seeing students actively sharing their knowledge and new discoveries with each other” explained Rick Glass, Harrison teacher. “While working toward the success of their group is important, the students have also learned that everyone benefits from overall successes of the team. Equally important to sharing success is sharing failures. Students are quick to share those as well."

"For the sponsors, one of the most rewarding aspects is seeing students actively sharing their knowledge and new discoveries with each other” explained Rick Glass, Harrison teacher. “While working toward the success of their group is important, the students have also learned that everyone benefits from overall successes of the team. Equally important to sharing success is sharing failures. Students are quick to share those as well."

Although some schools within the district were equipped with robots prior to the donation, Burden noted through this donation, WCS was able to achieve a major goal of the district: unifying educational offerings.

“It has given a level playing field giving students at every school a chance to participate in robotics education,” stated Burden. “We now have robotics education and participation at all schools creating viable curriculum that allows consistency across each elementary school.”

To celebrate the success of students in the program, a showcase will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 14, at the Warsaw Community High School Career Center gym. The inaugural elementary robotics showcase will include concessions, eight rounds of sumo battles and a complete maze challenge open to the entire community to enjoy. Admission to the event is free.

“We are very thankful to Zimmer-Biomet for investing in STEM education that transcends to all of our schools,” noted Dr. David Hoffert, WCS superintendent. “Their generous donation enabled us to start this district-wide showcase. We are looking forward to watching it grow as a display of Warsaw Community Schools commitment to our local industrial partners.”

WARSAW — The Warsaw Community School Board saw firsthand the progress on the design build project coming to fruition.

Project supervisor Jim LeMasters took board members on a location-by-location tour, explaining each step of the project so far and describing what will happen next.

Donning hard hats, the board first stopped at Lincoln Elementary School, where a new building is being constructed. Steel framework for the gymnasium is up and board members were able to see where classrooms, hallways and even the elevator shaft will go.

The next stop was Edgewood Middle School, where most of the interior has been redesigned. Work is progressing in sections, with as little disruption to the academic process as possible. The new science area currently under construction and the ground broken for the new STEM lab addition.

Next door, at Washington STEM Academy, the board saw the bricks chosen for the new STEM lab addition, which closely matches the existing brickwork. They also had a brief tour of the cafeteria, where ceiling removal revealed skylights. There has been some discussion about keeping the ceiling and skylights uncovered.

Work on Washington and Edgewood is slated for completion next fall, while Lincoln is set to open its new doors around January, 2017.

Story courtesy InkFreeNews.com
The annual Fine Arts Festival will be returning to Warsaw Community High School Thursday, May 12. 

The event will include the textile class display, fine art demonstrations, English creative writing and a world language class display.

Events will include:

  • 6-6:25 p.m. Student produced music videos
  • 6:30-6:55 p.m. WCS string ensemble 
  • 7-7:30 p.m. WCHS dance performance
  • 7:45-8:15 p.m. WCHS jazz band performance
  • 6-9 p.m. Tri-Kappa art exhibit
  • 6-9 p.m. Live solo/small group music performance
  • 6-8 p.m. appetizers served and prepared by the Warsaw Area Career Center culinary arts students.


This week in the library during the Digital Learning Special at Madison the third grade students are learning how to code using the resources at Code.org.  The students are exploring the worlds of Minecraft, Star Wars, Frozen, and other games through the use of code.  The students are learning how computer and app programming uses coding, and they are getting to try it out for themselves.  

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