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No Decision on Union North Bus Driver

October 14, 2011
By

10/17/11 Even after the Union-North United School Board met in executive/ open session for well over an hour and one-half on Thursday night, it appears that they could not reach a decision over the possible cancellation of a bus driver contract.

During the regular meeting following the executive session, they voted unanimously to table the matter.

Former Superintendent Dr. Terry Barker had asked the board on September 21 to consider canceling the contract of bus driver Kellie Carrico for what he termed her refusal to transport a student on her bus.

Although the child Carrico is declining to pick up on her route was not named at the special meeting on September 21, testimony indicated that he is six- years-old and enrolled in kindergarten at LaVille Elementary. According to information read from the child’s physician’s submission, the student is allergic to any type of peanut product and the condition could be life-threatening. The child does have 504 plan that protects his rights under federal laws  and qualifies him for special services.

Reportedly, Carrico did transport the child on her bus for approximately two weeks, but by September 7, quit picking him up.

Appearing with Carrico at the September special meeting and on Thursday night was her attorney, Vincent Campiti.

Carrico and Campiti contend that she does not and cannot obtain adequate liability insurance because it is not offered to cover her if a problem was to arise concerning the child and his particular condition.

The board did open portions of the deliberation to speak with Carrico, Attorney Campiti,  members of Carrico’s family and others in an effort to reach a compromise. The board is being represented by Mark Scudder if Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

Board President Mark Dixon said they expect to have a decision by the next regularly scheduled board meeting on October 27,if not before. The board could call a special session if a decision the matter is reached.

Barker  left the employment of Union-North and assumed his new duties as Superintendent of School City of Mishawaka about two weeks ago. Julie Louck was then hired to assume the position on an interim basis. Dixonsaid the board is now seeking community input as to what attributes they would want in the next superintendent. The board is asking that comment or suggestions be made no late than October 31. There is a link on the corporation’s website that will allow comments or suggestions. Comments can also be forwarded via email at suggestions@unorth.K12.in.us.

  The board also heard a technology report by two students ofLaVilleJr.-Sr.High School. The corporation, under the guidance of Technology Director Mike Sumpter, has been adding computers and other advanced technology for teacher and student use. Speaking to the board were sophomore Austin Wilson and senior Anna Khan. Khan is a Russian exchange student fromSiberia.

Wilson said he favors the use of computers since the internet provides more resources, promotes organization, and is less baggage to carry around than books.

Khan said, “It was really surprising that there were computers when I came here.” She said in her home country there are a limited number of computers that are kept in a technology room and that students are only able to use about two times a week. Khan said, “We also do not have any lockers, so we have to take all of our books everywhere.”

She said with the computers , she is able to keep the history of her reports.

Using the computer, she is able to speak wither mother using Skype, translate face book entries and find other ways to keep in touch. She also uses the translation component to help her with her everyday studies.

Sumpter said, “It’s (computers) been a positive growth along the way.”

 Picture #1 Kellie Carrico, bus driver for Union-North United School Corporation, waits with her attorney, Vincent Campiti , for a decision from the school board on the possible cancellation of her driver contract.

Picture #2 Russian foreign exchange student at LaVille Jr.-Sr. high School , Anna Khan ,and Technology Director Mike Sumpter review notes for Khan’s presentation to the school board on October 13.

Carol Anders Correspondent

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