Club News

Montgomery County Retired Teachers Association


President Kim Nixon welcomed guests and led the membership in the Pledge of Allegiance. Karen Thada gave the invocation. Members who had birthdays in October were recognized. A delicious lunch of baked chicken and pasta alfredo was served by caterer Trish Schwabe.

After lunch, vice president Steve Frees introduced the speaker for the day, Dr. Scott Bowling. Before becoming the Superintendent for the Crawfordsville Community School District, Bowling had received an engineering degree from Rose Hulman but decided to devote his career to education.

He served as a math teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent. He is also a registered Chief Business Officer through the Indiana Association of School Business Officials and currently serves as its president.

Scott and his wife Kelly have three children and are actively involved in their church and in after school activities and sports.

Bowling thanked the retired teachers for their service in the teaching profession. He reminded attendees about an upcoming forum for school board candidates. He said that school board elections are becoming more and more political, sometimes requiring thousands of dollars in campaign funds especially in larger cities. He thinks that this is not a good trend and wishes that school districts were more community based rather that politically controlled. One of the biggest challenges is staffing. Rather than getting dozens of applications for each position they often get just a half dozen. Finding special education teachers is especially difficult. The state has tried to raise teacher pay to address the problem, but it may be at the expense of allowing more charter schools and voucher programs which exacerbates the problem of funding public schools.

Additionally, political parties are getting involved in curriculum decisions which have traditionally been decided by the local school officials with input from the community.

A positive trend is proposed changes in accountability programs. The state has used ISTEP and other testing programs in the schools for decades, but this will change. Bowling believes this is a good thing. There will still be reading tests for students in grade three and math tests for grade five, but the test for high school could possibly be the SAT. Attendance as well as the number of students signing up for 21st Century Scholar Program will also be accountability measures.

The Crawfordsville School District has added measures to help students whose school achievement was affected by the pandemic. A six-week summer school, extra reading specialists, more counselors and new phonics program in the lower grades were initiated to help students catch up.

The school district is also looking for better energy outcomes by possibly putting solar panels on roofs and buying electric buses.

Nixon started the business meeting with a reading of the minutes and treasurer’s report.

Both were accepted by the membership. No reports were given by the audit, necrology, legislative or constitution and by-laws committees. The Community Service report was given by Nancy Bowes who asked members to get volunteer hours sent in by December and announced that a collection this month would be for the Family Crisis Shelter. Members donated $120.

Nancy Buckles gave the Members Concerns report and listed the get-well cards sent to members. Membership chair Dr. Kathy Steele announced that we have 99 members. AMBA representative, Colleen Paige, announced that the Cancer Walk was successful and that another walk is planned to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association in the near future.

Nixon reported on the Fall Leadership Training event held in Danville.

Steele gave the membership information about the new United Way fund and the 16 local agencies which receive money from United Way. She passed out brochures.

Nixon thanked Carolyn and Jane who provided decorations for the luncheon. She thanked Trish Schwabe for a delicious lunch. She announced the next meeting will be Nov. 14.

The meeting was adjourned and door prizes were awarded.