News From Terre Haute, Indiana


November 11, 2013

Board delays vote on closing Union HS

Concerned citizen committee will be allowed to present plan to keep Dugger school open

DUGGER — Folks strongly loyal to Union Junior-Senior High School in Sullivan County turned out in force Monday night, urging school board members to keep their school open.

The board is considering a reorganization plan that would close Union High School. A 2012 study recommended closing the school along with Dugger Elementary.

“I don’t know where we are going to come up with the money” to keep Union open, said Norman Santus, a school board member, speaking after the meeting in Hymera Elementary School.

The Hymera Elementary School’s gym was packed, mostly with vocal supporters of keeping Union High School open. Many wore black and gold T-shirts reading “Save UHS. Bulldog pride.”

Rather than vote to close the high school, the board chose to allow a committee of concerned citizens a chance to present a plan to save the school.

Greg Ellis, a member of the committee and a leader of the movement to keep the school open, said “Union High school is more than a number on a spread sheet.”

“We’re not just talking about a school,” Ellis said. “We’re talking about a community, families, a way of life.”

Ellis said he did not wish to take the matter to court, “but we are prepared to do that if we need to,” he said.

In all, about 15 people spoke during the meeting against closing the school. All were answered with loud applause from the vocal crowd. The crowd became especially loud when it appeared for a moment the board might not delay taking action.

“We were blind-sided,” said Cali Hale, student council president at Union High School. “We’re hurting right now.”

Chriss Jobe, whose children attend Dugger schools, said he respects the school board members, but is disappointed that such an important decision was being made without input from those most affected.

After the meeting, Baker said that over the last five years, the district’s budget has decreased $1.8 million.

Also, he pointed out the cost per student breakdown is about $9,000 at Union and about $5,000 at North Central.

Last week, board president Ronald Frye raised his concerns that a majority of the board would vote Monday to close Union Junior-Senior High School in Dugger.

“I’m dead against it,” Frye, a Dugger resident, said last week.

He said it would devastate the small community and could force residents to enroll their students in other school districts — because schools in those other districts will be closer.

A Save Union High School Facebook page had 1,489 members as of Monday evening.

A Save Union High School group conducted an organizational meeting Saturday at the Dugger Fire Station. “We want to have a consistent message and speak with one voice,” Ellis said.

Northeast Sullivan superintendent Mark Baker said the district is dealing with declining enrollments and less state funding. The district has cut 15 teachers and it has cut programs. “There’s nothing else to cut,” Baker said last week, adding that the district must now consider a reorganization plan.

In the elementary schools, there is only one teacher at each grade level, he said. The district currently has four elementary schools:  Dugger, Hymera, Shelburn and Farmersburg.

Union Junior-Senior High School has about 170 students in grades 7-12, and Dugger Elementary has about 152 students in grades K-6.

The district’s only other junior-senior high school, North Central in Farmersburg, is more than 20 miles from Dugger, Frye said last week. If Union closes, many people will probably send their kids to high schools in Linton or Sullivan, which are closer — but in separate districts called Linton-Stockton and Southwest Sullivan.

Linton-Stockton High School is about five miles away, and Sullivan High School is about 10 miles away.

The 2012 feasibility study presented during the meeting suggested the district have two elementary schools, Farmersburg and Hymera; one middle school at Shelburn, which would close as an elementary school; and North Central High School.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Swiss Unveil New Solar Plane for Global Flight Human Antidepressants Making Shrimp Too Calm Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News