Executive Director Notes


Dr. Don Harman
Executive Director

We continue to grow to serve you with the addition of the following staff:

  • Julie Monetta, Literacy Cadre Training Support Specialist
  • Danielle Gilbert, Literacy Cadre Training Support Specialist
  • Monique Hutchinson , Literacy Cadre Training Support Specialist
  • Christine Gesiakowski, Literacy Cadre Training Support Specialist
  • Laura Unsicker, STEM Integration Specialist
  • Ilona Roberts, Food Service Administrative Assistant
  • Dr. Sarah Hickle, Director of Academic Innovations and Initiatives

Service is our #1 priority! Our staff believes each member is a valued partner. Based on that belief we focus on the following practices each day:  
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Support
  • Service

Our entire staff includes:
Dr. Don Harman, Executive Director
Lisa Abell, Assistant Executive Director/Director of Co-op Purchasing
Dr. Michelle Grewe, Director of Professional Learning
Darlene Kennedy, Director of Technology Integration
Dr. Sarah Hickle, Director of Academic Innovations and Initiatives
Dr. Colleen Wruble, Director of Food Services
Sara Williams, Assistant Director of Cooperative Purchasing 
Kelsey Rodriguez, Food Service Director
Ilona Roberts, Food Service Administrative Assistant
Grace Nyhuis, Business Manager
Shannon Harman, Career and College Liaison 
Laura Unsicker, STEM Integration Specialist
Becky Richhart, Literacy Cadre TSS
Julie Monetta, Literacy Cadre TSS
Danielle Gilbert, Literacy Cadre TSS
Monique Hutchinson, Literacy Cadre TSS
Christine Gesiakowski, Literacy Cadre TSS
Kaylyn MacKillop, Contracted Dietitian
Tara White, Contracted Media Specialist
Do not hesitate to contact any of the above individuals as we are here to assist you in any way possible.

Indiana Academic Standards Support

Indiana Academic and Early Learning Standards  
brought to you by  IDOE, ESCI and Indiana Educators  
Sept 12th: Fort Wayne, IN Sept 13th: Merrillville, IN
Learn more and register today!
Engage in professional learning with other Indiana educators, instructional coaches, and school leaders to learn more about successfully implementing the streamlined and prioritized 2023 Indiana Academic Standards and Early Learning Standards through the Future-Focused Learning Series. Learn more about the available professional learning opportunities now.  Sessions include:
  • Building a Foundation: Update on Standards and Assessments
  • Redesigning Assessments with a Future-Focused Emphasis
  • Introduction to Future-Focused Early Learning Standards
  • Science of Reading Implementation: Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy
  • Change Management and Helping Teachers Translate Standards into Practice
  • Family Engagement and Communication of the 2023 IAS
  • Future-Focused STEM Education: Implementing Integrated STEM Standards at the Elementary Levels
  • Future-Focused STEM Education: Implementing Integrated STEM Standards at the Secondary Levels
  • Leveraging WIDA Standards and IAS Connections to Support English Learners
  • Integrating Computer Science as the “T” in STEM
  • Leadership, Coaching, and Effective Teaming to Support the 2023 IAS
  • Mathematics Instructional Strategies: Transforming the Student Experience
  • Meeting Students Where They Are: Data and Next Steps
  • Supporting Specific Student Populations at the Early and Elementary Levels
  • Supporting Specific Student Populations at the Secondary Levels
  • Unpacking the Early Learning Standards: Using Instructional Supports to Create Developmentally Appropriate Educational Experiences
  • Introduction to Future-Focused English/Language Arts: A New Chapter
  • Introduction to Future-Focused Science and Computer Science: An Intersection of Practices
  • Introduction to Future-Focused Social Students and Civics Integration Guidance: The People, Ideas, and Events that Shape Our World

Cooperative Purchasing

School Testimonial: K12Indiana  
K12Indiana/SpendBridge has been a great addition to building and department purchasing at Prairie Heights. Our teachers, department heads, and treasurers were still using hand written request to purchase forms in the school buildings. Now they have the freedom to search from our approved list of online vendor catalogs. The staff was hesitant at first,  but now our teachers love the fact that they have more of a hands-on role in the purchasing process. Our online approval process is seamless and was set up to fit our needs. We have also integrated SpendBridge with Komputrol’s BSF software to eliminate some of our data entry. This was a huge time saver! K12Indiana/SpendBridge has helped us to create a streamlined and efficient purchasing process and the staff at SpendBridge has been great to work with. They are very knowledgeable and quick to respond to any questions or issues we have.   
-Christine Orr, CFO, Prairie Heights School  
Contact Lisa Abell to request an account on K12Indiana/Spendbridge. 

Food Service

CNPweb Program Year (PY) 2024 is Now Open

School Nutrition Programs (SNP) PY 2024 is now open within CNPweb. Sponsors can run DC and begin the PY 2024 application. 

SNP Application

Sponsors should start with the Sponsor and Site Information sheets prior to moving to the Checklist tab. Complete instructions for the application can be found on the CNPweb announcement page and under the Help tab across the top purple ribbon. Some important reminders/changes:

All sponsors must update the permanent agreement. The agreement must be reviewed and signed by the sponsor’s Executive Contact (listed on the Sponsor Info Sheet in CNPweb). A digital signature can be accepted for the agreement. The school-appointed food service director may not sign this document. Sponsors will be required to meet the annual training requirement for Civil Rights and Ethics. Please review those training modules in Moodle. Each sponsor’s school-appointed Food Service Director must take the Ethics course for the new school year and upload the newest certificate into the CNPweb checklist. If your school charges students for meals and the paid lunch price is less than $3.56, you must have completed the Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Tool or have been approved for a PLE Exemption.

Errors in the system currently undergoing fixes include: Date Food Service Director obtained Food Safety Certification under the FSMC/Vendor/Food Service Contractor section will error, even if the sponsor selected they do not have a FSMC or Vended Meals Contract. Enter the same date that was entered in the Food Service Director - hired by the SFA section. Sponsors that are not audited by the Indiana State Board of Accounts and expended more than $750,000 in the last complete fiscal year should be seeing a new section between OMB Single Audit Compliance and Certification Statement. This is not currently populated. These sponsors should continue with the application process and wait until a fix has been implemented to finalize the Sponsor Info Sheet. 

Sponsors will continue to be updated on any issues or changes to the CNPweb system. If you have any questions please submit within the CNPweb Help Form.

Direct Certification

Ensure the browser pop-up blocker is turned off. The DC spreadsheets will not populate if the blocker is on. If you receive an error message when downloading under Review New Matches, go to DC Download History, sort by All Sites, and download all of the files labeled All Sites. For updated instructions related to DC, review the DC webpage, review modules on Moodle, or attend an upcoming DC webinar. Issues with DC can be submitted to the DC Help Form

Technology Integration


2023-2024 Digital Learning Parent and Family Support Grant

The IDOE has announced grant support for school districts ready to design a plan that support parents with topics related to educational technology and blended/virtual learning environments. The grant application window closes Friday, September 15, at 5 p.m. ET. See this memo for additional information and to apply.

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is partnering with the Educational Service Centers (ESCs) of Indiana to provide support for both currently licensed teachers in non-STEM areas, and prospective teachers who are not licensed and hold a bachelor’s degree, to become licensed to teach a STEM subject. The IDOE has identified eligible STEM content areas as life science, chemistry, earth/space science, physics, physical science, computer science, technology education, and mathematics.
Click here to learn more

Professional Learning

Click to Check Out the Full Connect the Dots Newsletter Here
Here we Grow Again!
Dr. Sarah Hickle has joined the professional development team as the Director of Academic Innovations and Initiatives. Having Dr. Hickle on board will greatly expand the support offered to member schools.  Moving forward, Sarah will co-write the Connect-the-Dots Newsletter. 
Welcome, Sarah!

Member Spotlight

Brian Smith
Brian Smith is the superintendent at School Town of Highland. He is starting his eleventh year in the position. 
In the last year, Brian and his team have been working really hard on the learning loss that stemmed from the COVID pandemic. He is proud to say that Highland's graduation rates topped out at almost 97% this past year.
Brian loves being able to work with a collaborative team to help make a positive impact on all the students at Highland. Giving each and every student an opportunity to learn at their highest levels is extremely important to him.
We asked Brian what some of his future goals and dreams for the corporation are. He shared that he would love to pass a school referendum so that they can compete with other school districts across the area to attract and retain the best educators. 
In his spare time, Brian really enjoys spending time with his wife and two grown daughters who both live in Indianapolis. He also plays a little golf and enjoys reading. He and his wife also enjoy watching the Cubs play other teams in their stadiums. They have been to ten MLB stadiums and cannot wait to check off more on the list. 

Northwest Indiana Education Service Center
56535 Magnetic Drive
Mishawaka, IN 46545

219-926-5555 | nwiesc.k12.in.us


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