News From Terre Haute, Indiana


July 21, 2013

READERS' FORUM: July 21, 2013

Still studying pool proposal

Like most concerned citizens, I am following the swimming pool proposal. I am mostly interested in a fair presentation of the facts placed on a level playing field.

At this time, I am not sure if the new pool idea is good or not. Too many unanswered questions remain. One thing I am aware of, there is an organized campaign to flood the news media with letters advocating the new pool, using phrases like “How the swimming program helped make positive changes in my life,” etc. One example was printed in the Opinion section of the July 15  paper by Eli Stuhlmacher of Trafalgar, Ind. I am sure you will read more.

Another thing that concerns me is how and if the average student will ever get to use this new pool and how the average kid will find transportation to this new pool. Yes, some students have cars and some have parents with the spare time and money to take their kids or pay for cab fare. I would say the majority do not.

I had been working on a letter on this subject, when I read one from Gary S. Izo in last Sunday’s Readers’ Forum. Mr. Izo expressed my thoughts almost to the word.

Not having all the facts yet, this sounds like a small elitist group with would-be “coming of age” swimmers, or others, perhaps having contracting or constructions aspirations. Like Ms. Myers stated in her letter, “A misuse of taxpayer money”, July 5, we spend $10,800 per student on education and now propose to spend $17,000 per swimmer. Sounds to me like blatant favoritism so for.

While I’m at it, it really irritates me to hear that they are moving the North vs. South football game away from our Memorial Stadium. I played there and we looked forward to it with great anticipation. If money is a problem, I’m sure the VCSC, City and ISU could work something out. The North vs. South game at the Stadium is and should remain a tradition here in Terre Haute, “A Level Above.”

— William P. Thiel

Terre Haute

Institute can help Indiana improve our education

During the 2013 Indiana General Assembly, I was proud to co-sponsor legislation creating the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute, which began its inaugural class July 17 on the Indiana State University campus.

Created with bipartisan support from my colleagues in the House and Senate, it is a two-year experience that is designed to address the professional needs of principals with an emphasis on student success.

Housed at the university’s Bayh College of Education, the institute’s ultimate goal is to improve schools. The institute will increase a principal’s capacity to address the current needs of their school, such as teacher evaluation models, student performance, community involvement, and the shaping a strong school culture.

It is truly powerful when leaders, who share the same issues and concerns, can meet face-to-face and share their stories. That’s why the participating principals will be guided by mentors, who are established and respected educators in their communities. The diverse experience of the mentors at various leadership levels will help their mentees process and incorporate information learned at the institute into meaningful and usable knowledge that they can put to use at their schools and with their students.

The mentors also will play a key role in guiding small group activities and discussions with the participating principals. Working in small groups, the principals will focus on developing and implementing personal and school improvement plans, facilitating action research projects at each school, refining school improvement plans, and building a network of other principals to gain support during and beyond the institute experience.

I’m pleased that one of the 11 mentors, selected through a collaborative effort between Indiana State University and the Indiana Association of School Principals, is from Western Indiana. Clay Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Timothy Rayle, Ph.D., will provide his expertise throughout the two-year experience.

To participate, principals must have the support of their superintendent and school corporation. Nominating a principal implies the superintendent and school board think the principal has the potential to improve their school, are supportive of positive change in the school and will allow data collection to occur, the very data collection that ultimately will help improve the school.  

The institute is currently accepting applications for its 2014 class, which will begin next summer. To learn more, or to apply, please visit

Today’s economic climate has showed us that more than ever, we must make sure our children are equipped with the educational tools and resources they need to thrive. The same is true for our teachers and school administrators who have made education their life’s mission. I fully expect that the institute will help improve schools and have a direct impact on our children’s achievement and success.

— State Rep. Clyde Kersey

Indiana House of


D-Terre Haute

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