Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Future Dates  

10/9 Tue.  Washington STEM Academy 2nd grade display

10/10 Wed. Jim Kessler – History of Basketball

10/12 & 13 Fri. & Sat. Taste and Trade

10/17 Wed. Trace Hansen – U.S. Olympic Committee

10/24 Wed. Joe Bryan – WCHS Advanced Transportation

10/26 Fri.  Spooktakular

10/31 Wed. Paula Bowman – First Friday & Downtown Happenings

11/7 Wed. Kris Farwell – Lego League AND Optimist Singers

11/14 Wed. Eisenhower Elem. Robotics Teams

12/5 Wed. Lindsey Best – Big Brothers Big Sisters

12/19 Wed. Optimist Singers

1/2 Wed. White Elephant Auction

6/29/13 Sat. Triathlon


Wednesday, October 3, 2012 

Our meeting was led by Past President Joel Wihebrink, who led us in a standing ovation for Immediate Past President John Sullivan.


84 Optimists & 9 guests attended our meeting.  Julie Runnells was the guest of Jeff Owens; Matt Boren was the guest of Jay Tate; Dr. Craig Hintz was the guest of John Elliott; Jon Harding was the guest of Andy Swihart; Bob Walmer was the guest of Jim Walmer; Ben Barkey was the guest of Rick Kerlin; Dani Barkey was the guest of Troy Akers; Tom Ray was the guest of Joel Wihebrink, and Kyle Stephenson was the guest of Alan Grossnickle.      

Door Greeters:  Mike Cusick and Jim Walmer.

Prayer was offered by Bob Jackson. 

Pledge was given to the American flag. 

Promise yourself was said in unison.

Martin Becker led us as we sang “Hail to Optimism.” 

Birthday Honoree:  Ot Schroeder.  Martin Becker led us in the birthday song with our usual results.


            >>>> INFORMATION

Prayer Requests: 

Joe Wilkey’s recovery from quadruple bypass surgery.


Membership:  Past President Jeff Owens read Matt Boren’s, Julie Runnels’, and Superintendent of the Year Dr. Craig Hintz’s applications.  Past President John Sullivaninducted Matt Deeds.  Matt Boren is sponsored by Jay Tate.  Julie Runnels is sponsored by Past President Jeff Owens.  Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Craig Hintz is sponsored by Past President John Elliott.  Matt Deeds is sponsored by Dr. Jon Lippe.


Sheriff of Attendance:  Sheriff Bill Landrigan and Deputy Harry Gigous greeted Tom KlineMark Skibowski, and Past President Bret Wolf, who watched his son-in-lawMatt Deeds be inducted.


Past Gov. Ron Donkers made a major announcement about our Triathlon.  The date has been changed to the Saturday JUST BEFORE the 4th of July.  It will be June 29, 2013.  Also this year in addition to a short swim after the traditional participants, there will be kid’s races for kid’s who are 11 to 12 or 13 to 14.


Art Gakstatter announced our downtown Spooktakular will be Friday, October 26.  Help is needed.


Bart Templeton is looking for greeters.  Please sign up.


Chaplains Fred Nieter and Past Pres. Ron Henry are looking for people to do the invocation this coming year. 


Jerry Clevenger reported 74 kids attended last Friday’s Octagon meeting. 


Pres. Tracy Furnivall reported Baker Youth Clubs have averaged 320 kids per night.  More volunteers are needed to help kids with homework and work with them.


Trina Hoy invited us to the Warsaw – Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce’s Taste & Trade Expo on October 12 and 13 at the Orthopaedic Capital Center. 


The Kosciusko County Auditor’s Office reports the State of Indiana has changed the requirements for real estate Homestead Deductions.  You now have to file a form with the county Auditor’s office by the end of the year in order to keep your deduction.  Go to to see if they are missing your form.


Please pray for our Troops and Families:   EN3 Evan Mock – Navy – working with mine detecting dolphins


Sergeants-at-Arms:  Bob Jackson entertained us for one last time. 

Tracy Horrell is celebrating his adoption of his nephew.

Tom Ray & Past Lt. Gov. Dr. David Haines are proud of their daughter/granddaughter’s 21 straight serves, winning a volleyball game.

Past President Bret Wolf described some of what has happened since we last saw him 15 years ago.

Matt Deeds was glad to see his father-in-law, Bret Wolf at our meeting.

Alan Grossnickle highlighted Kyle Stephenson’s triple major including some technical stuff.  I found his LinkedIn site:

Superintendent of the Year Dr. Craig Hintz announced that Dani Barkey is looking for a new Performing Arts Center (PAC) manager. 

Fred Nieter told us the one about the guy who invented special peas to solve world hunger.  His brand name was Noble Peas.  He made so much money that he founded the Noble Peas Award.




Ben Barkey and Tom Ray introduced us to our Washington STEM Academy f/k/a Washington Elementary School.  The Academy uses a project-based learning STEM education delivery method.  STEM includes:  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  

Tom Ray recounted when Dr. Craig Hintz first visited Washington and noticed all the science education going on.  Dr. Hintz had an instant vision of Washington becoming a STEM Academy.

Washington received the largest Indiana Department of Education grant ($500,000) in the state to help fund this year’s learning.  The emphasis is on Lakes and Streams, Orthopedic Capital of the World, Theme School, and 21st Century Skills.  The partners are the Kosciusko Lakes and Streams, Kosciusko Water and Soil Foundation, Department of Natural Resources, Grace College, Manchester University, Science Central museum in Fort Wayne, and Orthoworx.  The DNR’s River Watch, Project Wet, and Project Wild are key components of the science learning.

The kids use 150 I-pads and 180 laptops.  The kids use interactive apps to engage their imaginations in reading, science, and math.  If a student has trouble reading a new word, he/she can click on it and hear the word pronounced.  Fractions are learned visually as a square is divided into parts by the student.  Math is learned with touch and see activities.  Much of the learning is hands on.  The kids learn well with experiences that show the content of the lesson.  Each grade studies a local body of water.  They will stay with that body of water through their years at Washington.  The 4th and 6th grades are using First Lego League.  The 5th graders did a straw rocket project.  They documented the variables of how the rockets were made and then the results of distance and speed with different angles and amounts of force used to launch them.


We each need to tell 5 people about the great things happening at Warsaw Community Schools.  In addition to Washington becoming a STEM Academy, each elementary school will have its own focus.  In addition our schools have enhanced their foreign language and fine arts offerings.  

Our system is attracting people to our area.  People who are looking at multiple job offers are noticing the quality of our schools.  Our own Akash Jain’s family was looking at offers in 3 states.  They picked Warsaw after looking at our school system.  People who have lake homes here are considering relocating here year round to put their kids in our schools.  We have had students transfer from Canterbury to Washington. 

We are invited to the 2nd grade display in the Washington gym next Tuesday, October 9th.  The display is open from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Go to and watch their youtube videos.