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Big Second Quarter Propels Argylls Over Giants

Big Second Quarter Propels Argylls Over Giants by Scott Hunt Chronicle Tribune

Azmae Turner

Madison-Grant’s Azmae Turner eyes two of her 17 points while Marion’s Talia Alsup defends in the Argylls’ 65-27 win Tuesday night in Bill Green Arena.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle Tribune


The Madison-Grant (M-G) girls basketball team used efficient shooting and effective defense to score 28 points in the second quarter, and it led the Argylls to a 65-27 win at Marion Tuesday night.

M-G led 9-5 after the first quarter but forced the Giants into seven turnovers and made 10 of 13 field goal attempts. The Argylls also made eight of 11 from the free throw line to extend to a 37-15 lead at halftime.

“I was proud of the effort. I felt like the first four, six, maybe eight minutes we needed to feel out (Marion’s) speed and length,” said Argylls coach Brandon Bradley. “Additionally, were not used to having officiating where they let them play as much as that.

“Once they settled in and knew how strong they were going to have to be with the ball they adjusted really well,” he added. “We weren’t really sloppy with it, and we started making basketball plays.

Madison-Grant made seven of 13 shots in the third quarter and built the lead to 52-24 then outscored the Giants 13-3 over the final eight minutes.

Junior Azmae Turner had game-highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Argylls. Sophomores Daya Greene and Katie Duncan scored 10 points apiece. Greene also had three steals. Freshman Maddy Moore scored eight points and had eight rebounds while seniors Sarah Duncan and Nancy Chapel scored eight and six points, respectively.

The Giants were led by senior Olivia Aguilar with eight points, junior Alayah Guerrero added seven points, and both girls pulled down five rebounds. Freshmen Alex Avila scored five points, grabbed four rebounds, and had an assist and a steal. Senior Ashanti Cardine scored four points and had two steals while freshman Talia Alsup had three points.

Madison-Grant made 26 of 43 (60 percent) from the field while Marion connected on 9 of 33 (27%). Guerrero made a pair of three pointers, and Alsup hit one in the Giants’ three of 9 effort from long range. Greene made both three pointers on the night for M-G.

Marion (0-4) is off now until November 28 when Indianapolis Tech visits Bill Green Arena for a 12:30 p.m. tip off.

Madison-Grant (2-2) visits Oak Hill Friday at 7:30 p.m. to open Central Indiana conference play.

Number Four Wapahani Tops Madison-Grant in Regional Championship

Number Four Wapahani Tops Madison-Grant in Regional Championship by Scott Hunt Chronicle Tribune

Daya Greene

Madison-Grant's Emma Brummet (6) and Azmae Turner rise up for a block attempt in the Argylls' loss to Wapahani in the Class 2A Elwood Regional championship Saturday night.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle Tribune


ELWOOD — Momentum in volleyball is a powerful force, especially so in a battle between two evenly matched teams.

Wapahani seized momentum early on in its match-up with Madison-Grant (M-G) for the class 2A Elwood regional championship on Saturday night, and the fourth-ranked Raiders used an array of hot hitters combined with some uncharacteristic unforced errors by the number 23 Argylls to assert control.

M-G fought hard to quell the tide of Wapahani’s momentum throughout the first two sets and found its competitive form late in the second.

But the big early deficit was too much for the Argylls to overcome, and it resulted in Wapahani earning a 25-8, 25-17, and 25-23 decision for its second-consecutive regional championship.

Daya Greene

Madison-Grant's Daya Greene eyes and dig during the Argylls' loss to Wapahani in the Elwood Regional championship match Saturday night.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle Tribune

“They run a lot of faster offense than what we’ve been playing against, and we’ve explained that, but its a weird thing, it’s kind of a confidence issue,” explained M-G coach Kayla Jump of the slow start. “My biggest thing was that I have no idea why my team would not have confidence going into play.”

Madison-Grant played perhaps its best match of the season in a 3-0 semifinal sweep of Carroll on Saturday morning, which was the Argylls’ ninth-straight win and 12th in their last 13 matches.

Jump also cited M-G’s regular-season meeting with Wapahani as reason her team should be confident. Wapahani needed a dramatic 15-10 fifth-set win to overcome the Argylls in Fairmount on September 16.

But after the teams exchanged the first two points of the opening set, Wapahani immediately started to gain control by scoring six of the next seven points to move in front, 7-2. The Argylls got no closer than four points, twice, before the Raiders pulled away with a 12-1 surge which included nine in a row to go up 21-6.

Wapahani’s tidal wave of momentum extended into a 7-0 run to begin the second set. Madison-Grant started to find its way back in with back-to-back kills by Katie Garringer and an ace from Gabby Rudy to pull within 8-4.

The Argylls could again draw no closer than four, at 14-10 and 21-17, before Wapahani got kills by three different players and an M-G error to close out the set.

Wapahani put down 22 kills, had five service aces, and scored on four blocks in the first two sets, and took advantage of Madison-Grant’s 19 errors to reach the 2-0 lead.

“They (Wapahani) do a lot of good things. They serve hard and do everything quick, but we were trying to control us instead of trying to control them,” Jump said. “We were off balanced and don’t have confidence in what they’re supposed to be doing. That’s when you start making mistakes. We did do better as were were going, but you can’t wait. You can’t wait until you’re down a few points.”

With their backs against the wall, the Argylls put up a spirited and determined fight in the third set.

M-G took its first lead of the match at 5-4, then put together a 6-0 run started by Emma Brummet’s kill and ended with a kill by Alexis Baney and Grace Holmberg’s block.

The 13-8 lead was immediately trimmed down to two by the Raiders, but the Argylls held on to a slim advantage until Wapahani scored four-straight to go up 22-19. M-G pulled within 22-21 and 24-23 before Camryn Wise ended the Raiders’ sweep with a kill.

“It seems like when it’s bad, it’s real bad,” Jump said of the Argylls’ play. “They start worrying about themselves instead of worrying about the game. That’s something we really have to work on for next year.

“We almost beat them, and I give my team a lot of confidence. It’s a little frustrating,” Jump said. “But they’re a good team so we can’t be disappointed.”

The most disappointing part of losing a regional championship for Jump is saying goodbye to her five seniors: Emma Brummet, Maloree Stanley, Emmie Alcala, Sydney Lee, and Ashlyn Moore.

Argylls Sweep Carroll to Reach Regional Final

Argylls Sweep Carroll to Reach Regional Final by Scott Hunt Chronicle Tribune

Azmae Turner and Katie Garringer

Madison-Grant's Azmae Turner (5) and Katie Garringer put up a block against Carroll in the Argylls' 3-0 win Saturday morning in the Class 2A Elwood Regional.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle Tribune

Elwood - The Madison-Grant (M-G) volleyball team was sharp, efficient, and found a very good rhythm from the start of its class 2A Elwood regional semifinal match against Carroll on Saturday morning.

Azmae Turner

Azmae Turner swings at one of her 12 kills in helping Madison-Grant sweep Carroll in a semifinal match of the Class 2A Elwood Regional Saturday morning.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle Tribune

The result was a dominant 25-15, 25-12, and 25-13 sweep of the Cougars and a spot in Saturday’s 7:00 p.m. championship match opposite number four Wapahani for the 23rd ranked Argylls.

The Raiders snuck out of Fairmount with a dramatic 3-2 win over M-G on September 16.

Madison-Grant faced its biggest deficit of the entire match early in the first set after Carroll scored three-straight points to go up 6-4 then again at 7-5.

A hitting error by Carroll sent senior Emma Brummet behind the service line and started a 7-0 run for M-G.

Alexis Baney and Grace Holmberg each put down a kill, Brummet followed with an ace, and setter Gabby Rudy found an open piece of court with a dink shot to swing momentum fully in the Argylls direction. The run was aided by two more Carroll errors, and the Cougars pulled no closer than five points the rest of the set.

Carroll scored the first point of the second set, but the Argylls scored eight of the next nine to quickly build an 8-2 lead. Madison-Grant then assumed full control with another 8-1 run. Homberg had two kills and three aces to help extend the Argylls’ lead to 19-6.

Confident Argylls Ready to Challenge for Regional Supremacy

Confident Argylls Ready to Challenge for Regional Supremacy by Rob Hunt The Herald Bulletin

Fairmount - Second-year Madison-Grant (M-G) head volleyball coach Kayla Jump is trying to finish a thought when the noise level from her players enjoying pizza and Tik Tok is growing to a crescendo.

She whistles to get their attention.

“Hey, let’s tone it down just a little bit,” Jump tells her team. “Just a little bit, not too loud. Katie (Garringer) over there, she’s so loud.”

Senior Emma Brummet said the whole team is loud.

“There’s not one quiet person,” she said. “There are a lot of voices going all the time, and that’s such a good thing.”

Garringer, Brummet, and the Argylls have made plenty of noise this season, especially over the last several weeks as they’ve rolled up 11 wins in their last 13 matches including the Grant Four and sectional 39 championships.

And noise is just a part of the personality of a team that came together and got hot at the same time and at the right time of the season.

“We’re all just really positive all the time, and we don’t get down on each other,” Garringer said. “If someone makes a mistake, we might yell at them but in an encouraging way. When they get a kill, we always cheer them on.”

Garringer, a junior, is approaching 300 kills this season and leads a strong M-G effort at the net. Classmates Grace Holmberg and Azmae Turner as well as one of the top additions to the roster, sophomore Alexis Baney, have combined for nearly 800 kills. That applies defensively as well as both Turner and Baney have recorded over 100 blocks each.

“I assume that will probably be one of our key things against (Fort Wayne) Carroll because they do have some strong attackers,” Jump said. “If our block can figure out where they’re supposed to be going, then our defense works pretty well.”

Reading the ball off the block is one of the responsibilities of sophomore libero Daya Greene who has recorded well over 300 digs. The usually soft-spoken Greene has had to learn to be more vocal while playing this important position of leadership.

“Her freshman year she did well, but I told her she had untapped potential,” Jump said. “We’re trying to get her to really rule the court. Daya is just not quite as loud, so we’ve worked on her guiding skills for everyone else and not worrying so much about her.”

Whether it is Greene or Holmberg, who also has over 250 digs, on the receiving end, their job is to get the pass to junior setter Gabby Rudy, who has handed out over 700 assists. Rudy took over the job after the graduation of Alia Whitton and a surgery slowed junior setter Tori Hiatt’s season.

“We are still working with Gabby, but she’s gotten better at the mechanics of setting,” Jump said. “Liberos and setters are the commanding figures on the court. We really worked hard with her on her leadership on the court, and she’s grown tremendously from last year and into this year.”

Madison-Grant (23-11) will meet Carroll (23-5) in the first match Saturday in Elwood with third-ranked Wapahani set to meet South Adams in the second match. The Argylls have plenty of talent, and thanks in part to a heartbreaking five-set loss to Wapahani earlier this season and the recent championships, they are brimming with confidence as well.

“They went to state (finals) last year, and we lost to them by two points,” Garringer said. “That was a really good run. Hopefully, we’ll see them again Saturday.”

The seniors were freshmen the last time M-G played in a regional, and Brummet said while she remembers well her previous sectional moment, this memory is more treasured for her.

“My freshman year I went for the last point and the girl got an ace, so I never even touched the ball,” she said. “So this was much more exciting because I was a part of the team.”

This was the 16th sectional championship for the Argylls and Saturday they will seek their third regional title and first since 2013.

“We have to go in there with our heads high and be positive about it and know that we can do it,” Garringer said.

Argylls Top Tipton to Take Sectional Title

Argylls Top Tipton to Take Sectional Title by Scott Hunt Chronicle Tribune

Emma Brummet and Alexis Baney

Madison-Grant’s Emma Brummet (left) and Alexis Baney put up a block in the Argylls, 3-2 loss to Wapahani in Fairmount earlier this season. M-G topped Tipton, 3-2 on Saturday to win the Class 2A sectional 39 championship at Taylor.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle Tribune

Madison-Grant (M-G) volleyball coach Kayla Jump hoped a late-season loss endured by her Argylls at Alexandria might carry with it some long-term benefits.

Turns out Jump’s hope has become a reality.

Since dropping that 3-1 decision in the a showdown for the Central Indiana conference championship on October 3, M-G has reeled off seven-straight wins and ended Mississinewa’s three-year reign as Grant Four champion in the process.

The Argylls took home an even bigger, more important trophy Saturday night topping Tipton, 3-2 to win the class 2A sectional 39 championship at Taylor High School.

“We didn’t have a lot of hiccups (during the season). Alexandria was pretty bad, but I think it kind of actually helped us in the long run,” Jump said Monday night noting the loss to Alex in which M-G scored only 15 points and had an uncharacteristically high amount of unforced errors in the first two sets.

“I felt like we knew where our issues were and we knew that’s not where we wanted to be again,” Jump added. “I was kind of surprised, really, how well we took care of Grant Four pretty smoothly.”

The Argylls didn’t lose a set in five matches leading up to Saturday where Eastbrook won the first set of the semifinal match between the Grant County rivals, 25-23.

M-G swept through the next three, 25-16, 25-19, and 25-20 to advance to the championship match against Tipton.

“I felt like Eastbrook had a lot of potential, so we knew it was going to be a battle,” Jump said. “I’m kind of glad we played them first to kind of get our nerves out.

“Then we knew Tipton was going to be a battle,” she added. “It’s always a battle every year. It was an exciting battle.”

The Argylls and Blue Devils meet in the regular season every year and M-G escaped with a 3-2 win at Tipton on August 27, which included a 32-30 second-set won by the visitors.

Tipton gained the early advantage with a 25-23 win in the opening set, but Madison-Grant won the second, 25-20. The Blue Devils answered to win the third by the same, 25-20 score.

The Argylls owned the fourth set and claimed a 25-15 decision carried that momentum into the decisive fifth set. M-G scored the first five points, extended to a 10-4 advantage, and finished off the sectional title with a 15-9 win.

Argylls Sweep Way to Grant Four Volleyball Title

Argylls Sweep Way to Grant Four Volleyball Title by Scott Hunt Chronicle-Tribune

Madison-Grant swept its way to the Grant Four volleyball title on Saturday in Fairmount, ending Mississinewa’s three-year reign as champions in the process.

The Argylls opened with a 25–11, 25–19, 25-–2 win over Oak Hill in the semifinals then topped Ole Miss 25–15, 28–26, 25–19 in the finals.

Mississinewa earned its way to the championship match with 25–23, 25–18, 25–22 win over Eastbrook.

The Golden Eagles defeated the Panthers 19–25, 25–14, 12–25, 25–19, 15–12 in the consolation match.

Semifinals

Madison-Grant 3, Oak Hill 0

Katie Garringer had 10 kills and seven aces, Lexi Baney added six kills and seven blocks, and Azmae Turner added six kills, three blocks, and three aces in M-G’s win. Daya Greene and Grace Holmberg picked up 10 digs each. Gabby Rudy had 18 assists, five digs, and three aces.

Julianne Gosnell had eight kills, Alyssa Thompson had six kills while Katy Jo Camden and Caylee Hunt recorded four kills each for the Eagles. Mia Edwards picked up 16 digs and Thompson had 11 digs. Alivia Shaw passed out 20 assists.

Mississinewa 3, Eastbrook 0

Darah Watson finished with seven kills while Mia Catey and Carly Bolser had six kills each and combined for seven blocks for Ole Miss. Megan Stanley served four aces and Sophie Corey had two aces. Corey also had seven digs and Jazzy Nicholson picked up six digs and had eight assists. Katy Hosier dished out 15 assists.

Lexi Binkerd had six kills, two blocks, and 10 digs for the Panthers. Chloe Poe and Ava Walters had three kills apiece. Heidi Storey had four aces and Suzanne Storey picked up 15 digs. Allyson Hiles added 12 digs and Walters handed out 10 assists.

Consolation

Oak Hill 3, Eastbrook 2

Thompson paced Oak Hill with 13 kills and 17 digs while Gosnell put down 11 kills. Edwards had 18 digs and Taylor Holloway picked up 12 digs. Shaw passed out 28 assists and had 10 digs.

Poe topped the Panthers with 10 kills while Binkerd and Alexis Rust had seven kills apiece. Heidi Storey and Lainey Brodkorb each had five kills. Suzanne Storey had 19 digs, Walters picked up 15 while Poe and Binkerd had 11 digs each. Walters finished with 30 assists.

Championship

Madison-Grant 3, Mississinewa 0

Garringer finished with 11 kills, four aces, and four blocks in the final. Holmberg added 10 kills and nine digs. Rudy dished out 25 assists and had eight digs. Greene finished with nine digs and two aces while Turner had three kills and five blocks. Emma Brummet had three kills and two aces for M–G.

The Indians got four kills from Bolser and three apiece from Catey and Stanley. Catey also had three blocks. Corey served three aces and had 12 digs. Watson had two aces and nine digs. Katy Hosier dished out nine assists and had two aces.

Madison-Grant ended 20–11 and meets Blackford Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in the opening game of Class 2A sectional 39 at Taylor.

Mississinewa finished the season 18–12 and opened play against Eastern in Class 3A sectional 24 at Maconaquah on Tuesday.

Eastbrook closed the regular season 12–15 and will meet the winner of Madison-Grant and Blackford Saturday at noon in a sectional semifinal at Taylor.

Oak Hill ended its season at 6–21 after a 3–0 loss to Northfield on Monday. The Golden Eagles await the winner of Mississinewa and Eastern for an 11:00 a.m. semifinal match on Saturday at Maconaquah.

Madison-Grant Reviews 2021 Budget

Madison-Grant Reviews 2021 Budget by Tim Tedeschi Chronicle Tribune

The Madison-Grant United School Corporation board held its formal 2021 budget hearing at Monday’s meeting, with budget adoption set for October 12.

Business Director Shaela Smith said the district is requesting revenue in the operations fund of approximately $3.761 million, lower than the advertised levy of $4.8 million, and revenue in the education fund of approximately $7.7 million.

Local property taxes go toward the operations fund, while the education fund is financed through state funding calculated based on a school’s enrollment. The education fund is dictated to pay for classroom expenditures, while the operations fund is meant to pay non-classroom expenses.

Smith said the district is projected to have a $323,352 pension bond fund obligation in 2021 and an approximate $1.2 million obligation to the debt service fund. The budget process also includes the capital projects and bus replacement plans which can be found at http://www.mgusc.k12.in.us/Home.

According to the bus replacement plan, M-G will replace two 2009 Thomas buses in 2021 at an estimated total cost of $220,000.

No members of the public commented on the proposed budget during the public hearing.

Following the hearing, the board approved the annual disaster preparedness plans and school improvement plans for Park and Summitville Elementary Schools and Madison-Grant Junior/Senior High School for submission to the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Superintendent Scott Deetz said IDOE requires improvement plans to be submitted each year, and the district reviewed the plans for compliance and alignment with district curriculum.

While the plans will be sent to IDOE by October 2, Deetz said each school will present in-depth on their respective plans at later board meetings, with Summitville scheduled to present November 9, Park on November 23, and the junior/senior high on December 7.

In other business, Deetz said the fall Average Daily Membership (ADM) count was conducted on September 18 and found the district has a total of 1,054 K-12 students and 25 pre-kindergarten students. The total includes 914 in-person students and 138 students receiving instruction virtually, although Deetz said more students are transitioning to in-person learning at the end of the first quarter as families feel more comfortable returning to campus.

During the COVID-19 update, Deetz said the district has reported a total of seven positive cases since August 7 as of Monday’s meeting. He noted the district’s newest confirmed case was a student taking part in 100 percent virtual learning that does not come in contact with any other students or staff members at this point in time, but the district opted to call parents to notify them of the case anyway since the district was informed by the local health department.

“In that case, we decided not to blur the lines and notify everybody right when we were notified,” he said.

Deetz said Gov. Eric Holcomb’s announcement moving the state into Stage 5 of the Back on Track plan does not have many immediate effects on school operations, as the mask order and social distancing are still in effect and most school events were already under 500 people.

He said Athletic Director Ryan Plovick is already in talks with other local athletic directors and the health department to determine protocols for basketball season, as basketball games tend to draw bigger crowds at M-G in an indoor setting with no way to know what state guidelines will look like at that point.

Argylls Top Frankton in Key CIC Volleyball Battle
view more volleyball photos

Argylls top Frankton in key CIC volleyball battle by Scott Hunt The Chronicle Tribune.

FRANKTON — Madison-Grant cleared a big hurdle in the race for a Central Indiana Conference (CIC) volleyball championship Tuesday night.

The Argylls fought off a late first-set rally by Frankton to gain momentum and rode that wave to a dominant second-set performance.

Momentum and roles reversed in favor of the host Eagles in the third and early fourth sets, but M-G regrouped and rallied to finish off a 28-26, 25-12, 9-25, 25-22 decision.

Madison-Grant (14-10) now stands tied with Alexandria (15-6) at 4-0 in the CIC with a battle looming between the two Saturday evening on the Tigers’ home court to likely settle the league title. The Argylls also have matches with Blackford and Elwood remaining and Alex plays Eastbrook and Elwood.

“We have some tough battles. Elwood’s not going to lay down either,” said M-G coach Kayla Jump minutes after the Argylls finished off their win at Frankton. “Alexandria probably has some fuel for fire because in Madison County we beat them.

“I think we’re ready. My girls have some adrenaline that goes into playing,” she continued. “They knew coming into tonight it was going to be a big match and they knew what was on the line so I’m not worried about them playing. I’m worried about us executing.”

If the Argylls execute the way they did against Frankton, third-set notwithstanding, the CIC title with be within their grasp.

Madison-Grant led for nearly the entire first set against Frankton, other than a 9-9 tie, and looked to put a decisive stamp on the opener with a 23-16 lead. But the Eagles scored nine of the next 10 points to move in front 25-24.

However, the Argylls seized momentum again after a trio of hitting errors by the hosts and a well-placed corner shot by Katie Garringer for a kill finished the set at 28-26.

Leading 12-9 in the second set, M-G took control after a kill by Azmae Turner gave the Argylls a side out and put the serve in the hands of Gabby Rudy. Rudy served three-consecutive aces and Garringer followed with back-to-back kills to extend the lead to 18-9.

A kill by Frankton’s Chloe Thomas interrupted the run, but M-G scored the next five points to move in front 23-10. The Eagles scored the next two before another Turner kill and an ace from Emmie Alcala put the Argylls in command with a 2-0 advantage.

Then the third set happened. All of Madison-Grant’s momentum was quickly swept away when Frankton raced out to a 12-1 lead, extended it to 16-3 and 22-8 before closing out the easy win.

“It got to a point where they were still trying but they were like ‘OK, this is ridiculous and then we moved on from that,’” Jump said of the third set. “That’s about the best thing you can do. Even though we kind of came out a little slow in that fourth set we were still grinding.

“We could have just laid down and said here we go again, so that was a good turnaround for us,” she added. “I told them I hope I never have to watch that (third set) again.”

The Argylls started with the first three points of the final set only to have Frankton score seven of the next eight on its way to building a 10-6 lead.

But back-to-back kills by Emma Brummet and Grace Holmberg led to five-straight points by the Argylls and a 10-2 run overall that put M-G in front 16-12.

Frankton battled back to tie it at 17, but another Brummet kill an Eagle error gave M-G a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Brummet recorded her fourth kill of the final set and had an ace while Alexis Baney added a block and two kills for three of the last five points, including the clincher for the Argylls.

“(Brummet) plays a really nice role for us and she is one of our captains,” Jump said. “She was really trying to ramp the team up (after the third set) … she came to life that last set.

“Lexi has so much potential it’s kind of unreal,” Jump added of Baney, who is a sophomore. “She’s still trying to figure out her body and her rhythm. When she figures that out she will be absolutely dominating. Honestly, I don’t think we’ve even seen a glimpse of what her potential is.”

Garringer finished with 11 kills to lead Madison-Grant while Baney put down nine kills and had four blocks. Holmberg ended with six kills and 12 digs and Turner had seven blocks. Rudy dished out 32 assists and had four aces. Daya Greene picked up 11 digs and she and Brummet both had two aces.

With its win over Frankton, Madison-Grant avenged a 2-1 loss to the Eagles in pool play of the Madison County tournament.

“They played a different rotation against us (in the tournament) than they played tonight,” Jump said. “… I do think (playing Frankton) helped a little bit because they knew what was going on. (Frankton) did a good job of mixing up and listening to their coach. We knew we were gonna have a battle no matter what rotation that they ran.”

Argylls push 2A No. 1 Wapahani to the Limit

Argylls push 2A No. 1 Wapahani to the Limit by Scott Hunt The Chronicle-Tribune

Katie Garringer

Madison-Grant's Katie Garringer takes a swing at a kill in the Argylls' 3-2 loss to Class 2A No. 1 Wapahani Wednesday.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle Tribune

FAIRMOUNT — When it arrived at Madison-Grant Wednesday night, the Class 2A top-ranked volleyball team from Wapahani had lost just four sets all season.

Three of those came in a sweep at the hands of Class 4A No. 1 Yorktown, the Raiders only loss in 11 matches.

However, waiting on Wapahani was an Argyll team growing in confidence and ready to rumble after its runner-up finish in the Madison County tournament on Saturday.

M-G put up a mighty fight, indeed.

Momentum was a shared commodity, each team controlling play in splitting the first four sets. But it was Wapahani who grabbed it last with a four-point run to take a 10–6 lead in the fifth.

Grace Holmberg

Madison-Grant's Grace Holmberg attempts a spike against Wapahani Wednesday in Fairmount.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle Tribune

The Argylls closed back within two twice, the final time at 12–10, before Wapahani scored the final three points to escape with the 3–2 win.

“We played really well in our first two matches on Saturday (wins over Lapel and Alexandria) and I think that gave us confidence going into this one,” said Argyll coach Kayla Jump. “We were really relaxed against Oak Hill (on Tuesday) and I was a little disappointed, but maybe they were saving it up for tonight. I have a lot of optimistic thoughts about our next few matches.”

Jump said she thought the Argylls seemed relaxed before taking the court on Tuesday, maybe a little bit too relaxed for the coach’s liking given the caliber of competition.

And the Raiders gained control early in the first set by building a 12–6 lead. M-G closed within 14–12, but Wapahani pulled away for a 25–16 win.

“Usually when we play better we’re a little bit more fired up,” Jump said. “We were a little relaxed and I’m like ‘Do you know who we’re playing?’”

Jump said she made some adjustments between the first and second sets, and the Argylls responded,

“We just came out on fire,” Jump said. “I guess they listened.”

Wapahani scored the first point, but on the strength of a pair of blocks by Azmae Turner and Katie Garringer’s serve, M-G scored the next five points to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

The Raiders fought back to a tie at 14 before Emma Brummet’s ace sparked a 6–1 run that ended with an emphatic kill by Garringer and a 20–15, M-G advantage. Garringer also put down kills on the final two points of the Argylls’ 25–18 win.

Wapahani built a 15–6 lead in the third set, only to see the Argylls claw back to within 17–15. The Raiders pulled away again and went up 2–1 with a 25–18 decision.

The Argylls led from the first serve to finish in the fourth set, growing leads of 15–6 and 19–9, then finishing with a convincing, 25–14 win.

The teams exchanged three-point runs early in the fifth set and the Raiders held a 5–4 lead after theirs. The set was tied at 5–5 and 6–6 before Wapahani pulled away to close out the match.

“They decided to hit different shots than they normally do to make (Wapahani) earn points,” Jump said of what most pleased her about the match. “We struggle with that. I thought after the first set we decided to do that and I was really proud of them for listening, changing our game plan, and rolling with our new game plan.”

“Emma

Madison-Grant's Emma Brummet (6) and Azmae Turner put up a block in the Argylls' 3-2 loss to Class 2A No. 1 Wapahani Wednesday night in Fairmount.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle Tribune

Garringer finished with 16 kills, Grace Holmberg added nine and Turner finished with seven kills and five blocks. Lexi Baney had four blocks and Holmberg two blocks, three aces, and 10 digs. Gabby Rudy served five aces and passed out 32 assists, while Daya Greene picked up 17 digs. Brummet had two blocks and two aces.

Madison-Grant (10–7) had its match with Blackford on Thursday postponed so the Argylls will next compete in the Frankfort Invitational on Saturday.

The Argylls will then turn their attention to pursuing a Central Indiana Conference championship. M-G is off to a 2–0 start in CIC play and hosts Mississinewa on Tuesday.

Madison-Grant has seven more matches - five CIC opponents included - and the Grant Four remaining before the quickly approaching Taylor Sectional begins on October 15.

A rematch with Wapahani could take place in the Elwood Regional a little over a month from now, but Jump said the Argylls have work to do before that happens.

"We just always have to work on our passing," she said. "I think our passing and our serving has to get better to compete at a level (of Wapahani). We’re going to have to really, really work on our passing to make it come together.

Argyll Netters Repeat Sweep of Frankton
Nick Evans

Nick Evans, Madison-Grant’s No. 1 singles player, hits a strong forehand shot during his match with Frankton’s Logan Smith on Wednesday. Evans won the match, 6-0, 6-1.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

FAIRMOUNT - The overall team result was the same as when they met August 26 in the first round of the Madison County Boys Tennis Tournament, with Madison-Grant posting a 5–0 win Wednesday over Frankton.

But there were differences, and the first was at the top of the roster. Argylls senior Nick Evans made short work of Frankton’s Logan Smith 6–0, 6–1 in the No. 1 singles match. It was a matchup that was much closer last month, but Evans learned from that meeting, was aggressive from the outset, and improved to 10–1 this season.

“One of my main plans was to come out strong and put him away early,” Evans said. “I got a lot of serves in, and that set up a lot of my shots, so it was a good game plan.”

Nick Evans

Madison-Grants' No.1 singles player, Nick Evans, returns a backhand shot.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

In the earlier meeting, Evans struggled with his backhand against Smith, something the Frankton junior tried to exploit this time around.

But Evans was ready.

“Today, it was a lot better, and I feel like he, at first, wanted to go to my backhand a lot,” he said. “When he found out it was a lot better than last time, he didn’t really know what to do.”

It was an effort worthy of praise from the coach of the opposition.

“(Evans) is probably the best I’ve seen this year,” Frankton coach Mark Hartley said. “He just throws so many things at you. He’s got a wicked topspin, a wicked backspin. He’s got a great serve. He’s got a second kick serve. He just throws the kitchen sink at you. He’s incredible.”

Evans credited M-G coach Tony Pitt with helping him prepare for the rematch.

“We’ve seen some of the results he’s had, and Logan is a nice player who has beaten and competed with some nice players,” Pitt said. “We knew that ahead of time and told Nick to be ready from the get-go, and he did what he’s been doing all year.”

In the remaining singles matches, there was more fight from the Eagles. In a match that featured many long points, M-G senior Jace Gilman prevailed 6–2, 6–3 over Frankton junior Jacob Davenport in the No. 2 match while Jackson Manwell made it a singles sweep for the Argylls with a 6–2, 6–1 win over Frankton’s Braxton Walls at No. 3.

Jackson Manwell

No. 3 singles player for Madison-Grant, Jackson Manwell, returns a shot against Franktons' Braxton Walls.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

“That’s been our strength all year,” Pitt said of the singles play. “They’ve been our solid go-to, our lineup has changed a lot at doubles. We basically have eight players who are good enough for those four spots, but that’s been our constant is the singles. Those seniors have been through the wars before. They played those spots last year, and they just continue to do what they do.”

The Argylls made it four-match sweeps as Clayton Hall and Mason Richard defeated Eli Maines and Sam Hartley in No. 2 doubles 6–2, 6–2.

While seemingly dominant elsewhere, the Argylls had to show some perseverance in the No.1 doubles match.

Jace Gilman

Jace Gilman, No. 2 singles player for Madison-Grant, returns a shot as he plays up on the net during his match with Frankton’s Jacob Davenport.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

Frankton’s Ayden Brobston and Ethan Friend took the first set 6–3 — after initially falling behind 3–1. But Lance Wilson and freshman Christopher Fox roared back to dominate the second set 6–1 to force a third. Wilson fought off a pair of breakpoints and eventually served out the final game as the Argylls took the third set 6–3.

“The overall score is going to look lopsided again, but Madison-Grant is tough,” Hartley said. “They’re leaders.”

The Eagles return home Thursday to face Madison County champion Lapel while Madison-Grant hosts its invitational Saturday, with play beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Prep Roundup: Conference, County Champions Abound

Prep Roundup: Conference, County Champions Abound by Rob Hunt The Herald Bulletin

August 30, 2020

Wednesday

The 2020 Madison County boys tennis championship began with first-round play. Defending champion Lapel and Madison-Grant each advanced with 5-0 wins over Anderson and Frankton, while Pendleton Heights pulled out a 3-2 win against Alexandria.

Gabby Rudy handed out 17 assists as Madison-Grant volleyball swept Taylor 25-9, 25-10, 25-15 while Shenandoah took care of Sheridan 25-21, 25-11, 25-19 behind 14 kills from Erikka Hill and nine aces by Bridget Lohrey.

Thursday

The Argylls recorded their biggest volleyball win of the season to date with a marathon five-set (18-25, 32-30, 13-25, 25-20, 15-7) win at Tipton. Grace Holmberg led the offense with 14 kills, Lexi Baney had 12 blocks and Daya Greene recorded 27 digs to anchor the defense. Rudy dished out 46 assists.

Saturday

Two area golf teams also won conference titles as Daleville edged Shenandoah for their fourth MEC title in six years and Madison-Grant took the CIC. Allen led the Broncos with a 93, and Shenandoah’s Craig earned medalist honors with an 86. Abbie Hostetler led the Argylls with a third-place overall score of 87.

Local Schools Partner to Bring Grant Dollars to County

August 28, 2020 Chronicle-TribuneArticle 

Local school corporations working together are being awarded almost half a million dollars from the GEER Fund (Governor’s Education Emergency Relief).

Eastbrook, Oak Hill, and Madison-Grant successfully teamed up to write a grant in hopes to further their chances in getting the most funds available for their schools.

“We knew we needed to update devices for our students given the possibility of more remote learning this year,” Madison-Grant Superintendent Scott Deetz said. “Our best chance to do this was to work with the partners in our community. We reached out to our neighboring corporations to collaborate and were thrilled when Superintendent Chad Cripe (Oak Hill) and Superintendent Brett Garrett (Eastbrook) joined us. We also worked with Ivy Tech, who also received funds from GEER to help support professional development as schools expand virtual programming.

“In total, our corporations were awarded $474,960,” Deetz continued. “This will make a big difference for all of us in providing the best experience for our students and staff.” 

According to Brenda McVicker, director of curriculum and assessment at Eastbrook and an author of the grant, “Funds will be used specifically to replace outdated devices for our students. In some of our schools there was a shortage due to the high usage last year. No one expected what happened last March, our students were totally dependent on devices.

“If you have an outdated device, it can cause a lot of undue stress on our students and teachers,” she continued. “We were thrilled when the grant came out as we needed this to make our devices up to date and renewable for our students so they could have a great experience.” McVicker also credited the collaboration with Ivy Tech and FiveStar Communication to help bring dollars to the school systems. The GEER Fund is designated to specifically help schools with devices and connectivity needed during remote/virtual learning. While each school has different specific needs, McVicker credited the partnerships for the big award.

“We’re really blessed, we have three school corporations who came together at the table for the greater good to make sure all our students have the best opportunities and resources available. This can only happen through true collaboration and being unselfish and saying ‘Here’s what we need, and the distribution will look different based on the needs,’” she said. “It was fantastic to work with three superintendents who put the needs of their students and staff above themselves. They have the capacity of true leadership in looking out for what is best for our students and staff. Whenever you collaborate and win, it’s a great feeling.”

Schools will be able to move quickly to replace outdated devices and get them into the hands of students, along with help for virtual connectivity as GEER Fund distributes funds. All three corporations will be able to immediately utilize funds for new devices and connectivity options.

Madison-Grant Reports Smooth Start to Reconfiguration

Madison-Grant Reports Smooth Start to Reconfiguration by Rebecca R. Bibbs The Herald Bulletin

August 24, 2020

SUMMITVILLE — Every morning, Kristy Frank gets her three children up for school, overseeing their getting dressed and breakfast before getting on the bus at 7:30 to take them to each of the three buildings in Madison-Grant United School Corp.

Though the school district’s board of trustees last school year voted for a contested reconfiguration that would put all students in grades pre-K to two at Summitville Elementary School and students in grades three to six at Park Elementary School in Fairmount, nothing much has changed, she said.

“So far, I don’t see any difference. It’s the same school and the same school system,” the Jonesboro resident said. “Honestly, with everything going on, my kids’ concern is just being able to stay in school and not which school they’re in.”

Based on academics, enrollment, and financial considerations, the school board embarked several years ago on an unsuccessful campaign to do just what is happening this school year. However, at that time, facing a huge public outcry, the board backed down.

Last fall, they revisited the issue and decided to make the plan a reality.

Frank, however, said she never was concerned.

“I guess, in our minds, the benefits outweighed everything else academically,” said the mother of an eighth-grader, fifth-grader and a second-grader. “I trusted just the system that was in place, and we thought that it would be what was best for our kids, honestly, even if it means being on the bus a little longer. We’re just firm believers in the people who run Madison-Grant. We love Madison-Grant. We wouldn’t have our kids anywhere else.”

Transportation was one of the primary reasons the reconfiguration was derailed the first time. Parents, especially those whose children live on more rural routes, were especially concerned about potentially increased amounts of time their children would spend on buses. Some parents also said it didn’t make sense and wouldn’t save money to transport students from one town to another when Summitville and Fairmount each already had elementary school buildings.

But Frank said that hasn’t been a problem.

“It’s honestly going great,” she said.

Madison-Grant Superintendent Scott Deetz, who spearheaded the reconfiguration, said families were excited to get back to school.

“The energy in that building – whether you were in Summitville or Fairmount – you were excited to be back in the building filled with kiddos,” he said.

The reconfiguration relieves classroom overcrowding at Summitville and allows teachers to collaborate better with others at their grade level, especially since they now share entire hallways, Deetz said.

“Educationally speaking at Madison-Grant, that allows our schools to have an equal number of students in each grade,” he said.

The silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, Deetz said, is his teachers were able to start making the transition earlier than they would have in a traditional school year. Teachers started collaborating in April, and while they normally would have to wait till school is out, they were able to get their belongings together.

“While they were teaching remotely, they were able to come in and box up their belongings,” he said.

Though there was a little bit of a learning curve for teachers new to their buildings when it came to transportation on the first couple of days, Deetz said everything generally has been going well. Bus drivers also had to make an extra effort to recognize students in their masks.

“Transportation, honestly, is getting down to be a science,” he said. “We took our time and made sure we got students on the right buses. Now we’re cruising like we’ve been in school for three months.”

The district also is giving parents an option to drop off students at the high school if they believe the bus ride would be too long. But Deetz said only eight children use that option consistently.

The benefits of the reconfiguration may not all be visible right away, Deetz said.

“I am really excited to see the impact both academically and financially. I realize that might take a couple of years before we see that,” he said.

Jackie Samuels, principal at Summitville, said everything is going smoothly on her end. The biggest change, she said, is the age of the children in the building has visibly decreased.

“The building has a different feel,” she said. “It’s been neat to see how adding more littles into your buildings changes your day. It’s so fun to have a real focus on the primary student, and it’s redefined where we are and what we can do for these kids in this time of COVID.”

Previously, Samuels said, everyone had to be mindful of the presence of older students. That played itself out on the walls of the schools, which were covered with both cheerful pictures of the sun and inspirational quotes for the sixth-graders.

“Now all of it’s very inviting for our younger students,” she said. “It’s cheery and happy and warm. It gives them places to identify with.”

One thing hasn’t changed, Samuels said.

“Still, that feeling of family and love is there,” she said. “It’s been a happy place in the middle of a very different time. We are in a groove.”

Students wearing masks and walking towards buses

Students leave Summitville Elementary School for their buses on August 13. Madison-Grant United School Corp. went through a reconfiguration of its schools for the start of this academic year.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

Students walking onto a bus

Buses are waiting as Summitville Elementary School students prepare to go home after classes on August 13.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

JobSource Program Connecting Students to Virtual Learning

JobSource Program Connecting Students to Virtual Learning by Ken de la Bastide The Herald Bulletin

August 21, 2020

ANDERSON — In what is believed to be the first program of its kind in the state, JobSource is providing computers and internet access to local students.

Brianna Price, director of special programs, said JobSource executive director Doug Eckerty had a lot of ideas on how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We looked at the pressing issues in Madison and Grant counties,” she said. “We wanted to find the hole in the gap to provide assistance to the local communities.”

JobSource started the Family and Education Gap Assistance Program, which uses a $300,000 grant to buy laptop computers and pay for internet access for one year for students.

Where internet access is not available, the program will provide “hot spots.”

The program is designed to assist 200 students.

“It’s a crazy situation the schools find themselves in,” Price said of the virtual classrooms. “These are tough times for the schools.”

Price said the JobSource staff worked during the summer months to develop a strategy.

She said some students are facing an unstable home environment when it came to the ability to get back into the schools.

“The teachers, social workers, and counselors can only do so much,” Price said. “With virtual learning, there is a higher rate of absenteeism.”

JobSource has hired four resource coordinators to work with the local school systems to help identify students that didn’t have a computer and access to the internet.

“There are no costs to the schools,” Price said. “The resource coordinators are working with the schools to identify what is keeping a student from being successful.”

The resource coordinators were recruited from teachers and those with social service experience, she said.

“Students need to have the ability to continue in school,” Price said. “We wanted to keep the students from falling behind.”

The program will also help families that need assistance from other community agencies through a partnership between JobSource and the United Way, Christian Center, and local food banks.

Price said the program is open to all the school systems in Madison and Grant counties on a first-come, first-served basis.

As of last week, JobSource has received inquiries from the Anderson Preparatory Academy, Elwood, and Madison-Grant.

“My heart breaks for every district,” Price said. “The schools are between a rock and a hard place because of the pandemic.

“We don’t want to replace the teachers,” she said. “We’re not teachers.”

Price said the school systems refer the children that need access to the computers and internet.

“The schools are doing everything possible,” she said. “It’s the school systems that know the students in need.”

Price said the program won’t end once the pandemic restrictions ease.

“The sole purpose is to reach out to families,” she said. “We want to help the children.”

Madison-Grant Gives Additional Re-entry, Virtual Learning Guidance

The Madison-Grant United School Corporation is putting the finishing touches in place for preparation of the start of school next Friday, Aug. 7.

Superintendent Scott Deetz gave the school board an overview of the plan and recent updates at the regular meeting Monday.

The board approved an update revising the use of mask expectations in the plans to adhere to Governor Eric Holcomb’s recent executive order. Masks will be required for all adults and students grades three through 12, and teachers and other employees in preschool through second grade will have the authority to require the younger students to wear masks in certain situations like while on the bus.

Deetz said the most recent guidance from the state advises that if desks are all facing the same direction and at least three to six feet apart, students will be permitted to remove their masks during instructional time but will be expected to put the masks back on if getting up and passing other students for any reason.

Please read the entire article by Tim Tedeschi.

Queens of the Court

Article by Rob Hunt with The Herald Bulletin 

The Madison County area has seen more than its fair share of volleyball talent over the last decade. While no player dominated during her career like former Alexandria star and current Northwestern defensive specialist Megan Miller, there have been plenty of examples of players who have excelled in the sport in this area.

Here is a baker’s dozen of the best to set, spike, and defend on the volleyball courts over the last 10 years.

Isabel Anderson, Lapel (2015–2018) — One of the best all-around setters in recent memory, Anderson led the Bulldogs to their best-ever season of 27-6 in 2018. She was The Herald Bulletin’s Area Volleyball Athlete of the Year her senior year when she recorded 821 assists, 303 digs, 78 aces, and 136 kills. For her career, she amassed over 2,000 career assists and is the school’s all-time leader in that category.

Quincey Gary, Pendleton Heights (2011–2014) — Before going on to a great defensive career at the University of Alabama, Gary posted big numbers en route to earning the 2014 Herald Bulletin’s Volleyball Athlete of the Year award. She recorded 439 kills in 2014, including 20 or more kills in no less than 7 matches, and averaged better than five kills per set. She was a three-time AAU All-American and her club team placed third nationally when she was 13 years old.

Melody Davidson, Liberty Christian (2013–2016) — Now a redshirt junior at Butler, Davidson earned All-Big East honors as a sophomore after leading the conference with 134 total blocks last season. During her career with the Lions, Davidson was a three-time All-PAAC selection and averaged nearly three kills and two blocks per set. She recorded 215 kills last season at Butler.

Allie Hueston, Alexandria (2010–2013) — After earning the 2013 THB Sports Volleyball Athlete of the Year award, Hueston went on to play at Eastern Illinois University where she was a two-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection as a middle hitter. In 2013, Hueston authored 634 kills and 110 blocks while also recording 38 service aces (compared to only 16 errors in 400 chances) and 200 digs. She was twice named first-team All-State and was a four-time All-Area performer.

Lindsay Ingenito, Daleville (2014–2017) — The first Broncos player to record 1,000 career kills, Ingenito helped lead the Daleville volleyball team to the school’s first-ever regional championship in any team sport in 2016. That was the second of back-to-back sectional championships for Ingenito and the Broncos. Her senior year, Ingenito led Daleville with 317 kills and was second last season for Huntington University, where she will be a junior this year when she tallied 223 kills and 37 blocks.

Blaine Kelly, Alexandria (2014–2017) — Often overshadowed by her teammate Miller, Kelly was a volleyball standout in her own right for the Tigers. The winner of the 2018 Red Haven and Johnny Wilson awards, Kelly was the first in school history to record both 1,000 points in basketball and 1,000 kills in volleyball. She was a three-time All-CIC and All-County and was named second-team All-State twice while winning three sectional and three Madison County volleyball championships.

Megan Miller, Alexandria (2014–2017) — A four-time All-State selection, Miller dominated the area during her run with Alexandria, which included the program’s first-ever trip to semistate and four consecutive THB Sports Volleyball Athlete of the Year awards. During her career with the Tigers, Miller recorded 2,600 kills, 1,799 digs, 455 aces, and 139 blocks. She was an AAU National Champion and an Under Armour All-American. After two years at the University of Nebraska, which included an appearance in the 2018 NCAA National Championship, Miller has transferred to Northwestern University, where she will be a junior this fall.

Kanani Price, Madison-Grant (2013–2016) — A key defensive specialist for so many great M-G teams, Price would go on to play at Mississippi State in the SEC. Price was a two-time All-CIC selection, was named ICGSA 2A All-State, and was selected to the North All-Star team. She recorded 475 digs her senior year, including a school-record 36 in a single three-set match and helped the Argylls win sectional and Madison and Grant county championships. 

Mary Sayre, Alexandria (2014–2017) — A third member of the 2017 Alexandria semistate team, Sayre was the setter who put Miller and Kelly in position for so many of their kills. Sayre, who played tennis at IU-Kokomo last season, recorded over 2,000 assists in her career with the Tigers, which included those three sectional and Madison County titles. In earning the program’s first regional championship in 2017, Sayre tallied 44 assists in a four-set win over Rochester.

Kate Sperry, Frankton (2016–2019) — Sperry was a big part of the revival of the Frankton volleyball program and earned the 2019 THB Sports Area Volleyball Athlete of the Year. Sperry led the Eagles to the 2018 sectional championship and a 27-win season in 2019 while recording over 1,000 kills during her career. As a senior, Sperry posted 373 kills, 64 aces, 230 digs, and 312 service receptions as the Eagles won their first-ever CIC championship in volleyball. She is now ready to begin her college career at Grace College.

Macee Rudy, Shenandoah (2013–2016) — Before becoming a standout defender and an NAIA honorable mention All-American at IU-Kokomo, Rudy was a standout all-around performer for two Shenandoah sectional championship teams. As a senior in 2016, Rudy recorded 262 kills, 51 aces, 348 digs, and 481 service receptions for the Raiders. Her Shenandoah teams won 73 games in her four seasons, including 44 during those sectional championship years.

Sloane Stewart, Madison-Grant (2014–2017) — During her time with the Argylls, Stewart was a dominating force behind a team that won a pair of sectional titles. As a senior, Stewart pounded 598 kills and had 167 total blocks with a .357 hitting percentage. She also helped M-G to both the Madison County and Grant Four championships in 2016.

Hunter Wise, Madison-Grant (2010–2012) — After leading the Argylls to the 2012 sectional championship, Wise was named THB Sports Volleyball Athlete of the Year for the second straight season. That year, the 6-foot-2 Wise pounded 533 kills and was also named first-team All-State and the Grant County player of the year for the second straight year. The Argylls were 127-18 during her four seasons and Wise was a four-time All-CIC performer before going on to a solid career at the University of Houston.

M-G Paying All Employees During E-Learning

By Tim Tedeschi March 18, 2020 Chronicle-Tribune

All Madison-Grant United School Corporation employees will continue to receive their regular pay while the district holds e-learning days due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. 

The M-G school board unanimously approved a resolution at its Monday board meeting affirming that the district will continue to pay all of its employees regardless of whether they are working during this time or not. Teachers are continuing to instruct students virtually, and some non-teacher employees such as custodians and office workers will continue to work intermittently with adjusted schedules during the school’s e-learning days, Superintendent Scott Deetz said. Others, such as special education paraprofessionals and Title I assistants, are unable to work with their students during e-learning and are not working during this time. Deetz explained while teachers and administrators continue to receive their normal pay since they are under contract, all other employees who do not have a teacher contract are not typically paid if they are not working at the school during normal school days. 

“This is a very long ask to go without a paycheck. Yes, they know Christmas break they don’t get paid, at spring break they don’t get paid. They understand that, but this is something different,” Deetz said. “...For the foreseeable future, we’ve got folks that are making $11, $13 an hour that could go three or four weeks without a paycheck and not qualify for unemployment.” 

Deetz said the move covers all employees not under teacher contracts so as not to leave any employees out as an oversight, and includes workers such as bus drivers, custodial staff, Title I assistants, cafeteria workers, office staff, and more. 

He said the resolution to pay these workers is a legal mechanism that will pertain only to school days during this school year affected by COVID-19 and would not be an “evergreen” resolution for future e-learning days for inclement weather or other reasons in future school years. 

“So that allows us to legally continue to pay folks even though they’re not coming into the job and that could satisfy any accusations of ghost employment,” Deetz said. “It’s very straightforward, but yet something we never thought we would have to ask for.” 

Business Director Shaela Smith told the board tax revenues and funding for enrollment is still coming into the school as usual, so the paychecks for all employees will continue to be paid out of the typical revenues. She said she is keeping track of all employees being paid who are not working and any other additional expenses the district incurs due to COVID-19 with the hope that reimbursements and grant funding will be made available in the future.

M-G Gets Digital Learning Grant

The News-Sun

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Fairmount, IN- The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) recently announced Madison-Grant United School Corporation was the recipient of a $50,000 Digital Learning Community Advisory Grant. For 2020, grants were awarded to districts focused on building digital initiatives around the purposeful and strategic integration of technology into instruction. 

"Immersing children in a curriculum centered around technology and community establishes an academic environment whereby current and future success is certain to follow," said state superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick. "I congratulate our awarded districts for their commitment to creating lasting partnerships within local communities, and for their continual efforts to making a positive impact in the lives of students." 

With a continued spotlight on enhanced technology integration, IDOE expanded the digital learning grant to include a focus on building community partnerships. Eligible partnership opportunities also provided matching grants by way of monetary funding or in-kind services. 

Along with the expanded focus, 2020 Digital Learning Community Advisory Grants centers around connecting academic concepts to real-life applications, both in the classroom and abroad. By doing so, schools can maximize relevancy and engagement, thus transforming K-12 education for students. This year's grants requested schools further develop technology integration capacity through implementing transformational initiatives in one of three areas - Instruction and Learning, Leadership and Development, or College and Career Ready. 

In total, 52 districts were awarded nearly $2.5 million in funding, with grants ranging from $19,000 to $56,000.

Preparing Students to be Ahead of the Curve

Madison-Grant announces its partnership with Waterford.org as an addition to their early childhood curriculum as yet another piece of curriculum to round out a cutting-edge education through their early childhood programming. Waterford.org “seeks to blend the best aspects of learning science, mentoring relationships, and innovative technologies to form community, school, and home programs that deliver excellence and equity for all learners.” The program is currently being offered through Madison-Grant’s early childhood education programs and is being utilized in the classroom. Dr. Scott Deetz explains how Madison-Grant uses the tools provided by Waterford.org, “it's a vehicle for pre-k students to deliver curriculum that lends to academic development for our students. It’s part of our foundational curriculum that is in concert with live teaching. In our pre-k classroom, for example, a teacher is working at a center, then we'll have some students working independently through the software and monitor the progress on teacher assigned lessons based on level and interest that can adopt to students.” 

Madison-Grant extended their offerings in their community this year with the addition of the Argyll Adventure Academy, a STEM focused pre-k. Dr. Scott Deetz  says, “The intent of our early childhood programming, regardless of the program, is to develop a sound social and emotional foundations that will last through their career.” The addition of a STEM specific preschool is only one aspect says Deetz, “The steps we have taken is to have STEM related activities in each one of our pre-k programs. We went above and beyond to find outside funding through the Department of Education and grants to help develop our teachers professionally and also provide them with top notch resources like additional robots, computers, circuit boards, and software to deliver hands on experiences to our pre-k classes so our transition into our k–12 program is virtually seamless because this is the same focus we have in the rest of our system.” Waterford.org is an exciting part of this STEM focus in supporting teachers and students to be kindergarten ready as Waterford.org believes, “while every individual has the capacity for growth at every stage of life, childhood academic experiences are uniquely critical for setting a lifetime learning trajectory.”

Active Event Warning System

Madison-Grant United is accustomed to coordination. This district covers six townships between Madison and Grant Counties and works regularly with both sheriff departments, as well as two local police forces. “Any time there is an alarm, there is usually coordination between three agencies, if not all four,” said Superintendent Scott Deetz. This became apparent in March 2019, when multiple teachers reported the sound of gunshots to their school’s office. The system activated, and within ten minutes more than 100 first responders from 12 different agencies were on scene. Deetz worked to simultaneously communicate with media, parents, and teachers. While the noise was ultimately from construction activities nearby, the response was comforting to the school staff.

Through the SSSG, Madison-Grant United’s goal is to set up and initiate an active event warning system. The district will be using the same program as sister school Mississinewa, so he continues to promote efficiency of communication between all stakeholders. With so many agencies to coordinate, Deetz is hoping to standardize the system. “The next piece is creating a unified network between the two counties.”

Good Morning: Madison-Grant Gains Membership in National FFA

For the first time since the 1990s, Madison-Grant Jr./Sr. High School received a membership with the National FFA Organization. FFA is an intra-curricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership.

With new construction this past summer, the school added over 1,400 square feet dedicated to agricultural education. With both Madison and Grant counties nearing 75% of land use for farming, according to the Indiana Business Research Center, the program is relevant to students in the area.

According to agriculture teacher Courtney Tate, membership in the FFA will provide new opportunities and access for competition and connection for Madison-Grant students in the new agricultural education program.

The group planned for four major events in the future. Their planning requires illustrating how parts of the projects involve the community, chapter, and members and how all can benefit.

Madison-Grant’s agricultural education program begins in the seventh and eighth grade, as all students participate with required course work. The classes introduce agriculture, as well as leadership skills, opening up the ability to a more advanced course load when they reach high school level.