VALPARAISO | Academic excellence took center stage Tuesday night as the Valparaiso Community Schools board honored students with perfect ISTEP scores.
Thirty-five students in grades 3 through 8 received certificates and handshakes from the board after being introduced by their elementary and middle school principals.
The students all earned perfect scores last spring on the math or English portions of the test.
“Perfection in academics is exceptionally special,” Superintendent Michael Berta said.
The board also recognized a current and former student of the Porter County Career and Technical Education Center, the site of the evening's meeting.
Center Director Jon Groth said Paige Smith, a senior at Valparaiso High School, was the center's nominee for the Indiana Career and Technical Education Award for Excellence.
Smith was nominated from among 1,300 students for her studies in health occupations. She plans to attend Ivy Tech and Valparaiso University and pursue a career as a nurse practitioner in obstetrics.
Paul Bui, a 2013 Valparaiso High School graduate, was honored for his work as a solar project leader at the Career Center.
Bui has been hired by Fronius Corp., a world leader in welding technology, battery charging systems and solar electronics, which has an office in the Portage Ameriplex industrial park.
Career Center alumni also are being employed by companies such as Urschel Laboratories.
Berta read a letter from the plant manager at Urschel stating there are 26 former Career Center students either employed or serving internships at Urschel. The manager also said the center is Urschel's “only local consistent source of talent.”
The board also welcomed Theresa Cox, a senior patrol officer with the Valparaiso Police Department, as the new middle school resource officer.
Cox has had a career in law enforcement for more than 20 years, including 16 years with the Valparaiso police.
Also at the meeting, the board approved a resolution to issue $4.3 million in tax anticipation warrants for 2014.
Sharon Qualkenbush, chief financial officer for the schools, said the money is a short- term loan for cash flow purposes to cover the gaps in the receipt of property tax revenue.
The board also approved a request by Bill Moran, director of technology with the schools, to advertise for bids to purchase and install interactive white boards in math and science classrooms at the middle schools and high school.