January 15, 2015



A special meeting with School City of Mishawaka was called to order at 3:00 P.M., Thursday, January 15, 2015, in Room 205, City Hall, 600 East Third Street, Mishawaka, Indiana. Mayor Wood, Commissioner Stillson, Commissioner Deal, Rebecca Miller, Ken Prince, Attorney Larry Meteiver, Terry Barker, Dan Towner, Greg Hixenbaugh and Ralph Spelbring. Also present were Dave Thomas and Marilyn Nelums-Jones.

Mayor Wood welcomed School City of Mishawaka to discuss their ideas and needs. He informed them that we would love to help in any way we can, but the ways we can help are limited. One of the things we’ve identified early on we are open to new ideas, new partnerships and doing things we have not done before. We will follow the law. We want to make sure we’re not touching a group of Mishawaka citizens and students and not reaching others.

In their presentation they stated that they provide a support for the City in drawing those families that want to move to Mishawaka and claim home ownership.

Project Lead the Way programs supports the Indiana General Assembly’s vision for preparing individuals to participate in the competitive global economy. It is widely recognized by education and business leaders as rigorous, hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming that strongly supports “college and career” readiness.

School City of Mishawaka would welcome the City’s support of a one-time infusion of funds that would allow them to provide basic technology infrastructure to begin the Project Lead the Way “Gateway” program at John Young Middle School.

If funded by the City of Mishawaka it would be tied specifically to Project Lead the Way. School City of Mishawaka provides the funding for the teaching position and associated employee expenses, general supplies, and professional development. In addition they currently operate two (2) Project Lead the Way programs at Mishawaka High School – Engineering and Biomedical Sciences. These programs have been in place for the past several years. While School City of Mishawaka has benefitted from donated funds for these programs, the district has, in large part, paid for the high school programs. They would bear the majority cost of bringing this program to their students.

School City of Mishawaka would gladly provide documentation as needed to verify that the funds would be exclusively used as requested and that such funds would be directed only toward improvements necessary to implement Project Lead the Way. They would also provide documentation as needed and requested by city officials regarding successful implementation, i.e. what expenditures have taken place and the success of the implementation.

School City of Mishawaka stated that program effectiveness can be measured by student achievement in the Project Lead the Way course, course enrollments, student/teacher questionnaires, continued enrollment in MHS engineering and biomedical sciences courses, gender equity of the Project Lead the Way program enrollments, and aggregate achievement results from College and Career Readiness assessments from the Indiana Department of Education to name a few.

If School City of Mishawaka is unable to implement the program for any reason, donated City funds would be returned and/or reimbursed. Documentation to that effect can be provided by School City of Mishawaka.

They gave a breakdown and shared their excitement. They are very high level courses with honors credit. They have been lacking a “feeder” program in their high school. They have about 140 students in BioMedical class at Mishawaka High School. Numbers fluctuate with every beginning class. Schedules can only do so much, and they have to sometimes pick and choose. Gender equity continues to be a struggle for them. Cost in the future is tough to calculate. Technologies need to be replaced. Laptops are required. They just replaced two years ago the computers in the engineering program. They will provide a hard number for us. Student satisfaction is very high.

It is a nationally recognized program and major corporations are signed on to it. They are not looking for a one-time infusion of funds tied directly and specifically to Project Lead the Way. No increase in Teacher salaries. School City would continue to bear the majority of the cost. They will provide any verification how it was used and how it was purchased.

Ken Prince asked if it was an elective and it is. There is not a waiting list. Their philosophy is “give the student the opportunity to try.” There are two Biology teachers. Mayor Wood asked about timeline. If funding was there they would take a look at the master schedule. Structure is nailed down. A public question by Larry Sebring was asked “what is the highest percentage?

Mayor Wood offered his appreciation for their presentation and we will go into this looking at participating where we can. The Mayor’s expectation is pristine audits. What we do will be proven and we will make sure it has impact. Funds would come from the City and generated and impacted in Mishawaka students. We are willing to partner in ways we have not before. 

Meeting adjourned at 4:05 P.M.



Jim Pingel, President

Dave Thomas, Director

Marilyn Nelums-Jones, Clerk

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