The Only Student Council to Invite Candidates to an Open Forum and They Are Ours!

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Members of the Hanover Central High School Student Council greet candidates and guest on "Candidates Night." 
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Jenny Lameka (left) served as Timekeeper and Audrey Garcia (right) moderated the Candidates Night at the High School. 

It seemed appropriate that on the same night presidential candidates took to the debate stage in front of a national audience, that the Hanover Central Student Council offered local and state candidates a similar opportunity on the stage at Hanover Central High School earlier in the evening.  “Thank you to the Hanover Student Council for the foresight to do this.  There are a lot of school districts in this district (11th District) ….and you are the only Student Council that has embraced your government and gave us the opportunity to speak in front of you….nothing is more important than our young people getting a good grasp on government….I applaud you for that,” said 11th District State Representative candidate Jim Metro (D). 

 Joining Metro on stage were State Representative candidate, Michael Aylesworth (R), County Commissioner candidate, Gerry Scheub (D) and candidates for the Hanover Community School Board of Trustees; Scott Burdan (unopposed in District 2) and Mary Joan Dickson and Kelly York who are vying for the “At Large” seat.  Unable to attend the forum were Republican County Commissioner candidate Jerry Tippy and District 1 School Board candidate, Dennis Wilkening who is running unopposed. 

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Candidates begin to gather on stage at the High School to introduce themselves to Student Council Members and guests at the Candidates Night forum.  Shown are (l to r):  School Board candidate Scott Burdan, (l to r): County Commissioner candidate Garry   Scheub, and School Board candidates Mary Joan Dickson and Kelly York.

Prior to Candidate Night the Student Council spent a great deal of time researching the issues facing candidates for each office and selected the questions to ask.  Each candidate was given 90 seconds to introduce themselves and offer a brief personal bio.  Questions were posed to the candidates by Student Council Moderator, Audrey Garcia in two rounds.  Fellow Student Council member Jenny Lameka had the unenviable task of timing each candidate’s response and tactfully indicating when their time was up.  The first round offered all six candidates the opportunity to describe the three goals they would like to meet if elected to their respected offices.

The second round of questions directed three questions to the School Board candidates and offered insight into the importance of those positions to the Student Council members.  “How much time do you have to devote to this position and are you willing to read meeting packet materials, minutes, financial statements and correspondence prior to Board Meetings?  In other words, will you be prepared and engaged in the ongoing operations of the association?”  The detailed question showed a clear understanding by the students of the work involved in meeting their needs by elected school board officials.  The School Board candidates were also asked; “What encouraged you to run for the Hanover School Board, and as a member, what are 2 specific goals you have for us students?”  The final question posed to Burdan, Dickson and York proved that the students had spent considerable time discussing what they believe constitutes an effective Board.   Ms. Garcia initiated the question by saying; “We students believe a school board is effective if they have strong shared beliefs and values about students’ abilities to learn.  Have a collaborative relationship with the staff and the community.  And have aligned and sustain resources to meet district goals.  What do you think makes a school board effective?”   

The answers offered by the candidates to the question were varied and every Student Council Member in attendance was clearly listening intently.

Kelly York responded by saying in part:  “If we don’t have community involvement, if we don’t have parent involvement, if we don’t have everybody on the same page moving in the same direction, we’re going to hit a lot of bumps in the road…but we have to include everybody in the conversation.”

“As a member of the School Board you need to think of the children first…We are the policy makers, but we have to keep communication open at all levels…In my eyes it’s a triangle, we represent the students, we represent the staff and we have to think of taxpayers because they provide the funds and they want a bang for their buck,”  said incumbent candidate  Mary Joan Dickson.

Scott Burdan began his comments by saying; “For a School Board to be effective, just let people do their jobs.  Let teachers teach, let coaches coach, let the principals run their schools, and as a Board, support your Superintendent’s vision…let them do what they were hired to do and support them where they need your support.”

The Council again shared a question regarding issues facing young people when making inquiries of County Commissioner Candidate, Gerry Scheub.  Ms. Garcia cited alarming statistics about drug and alcohol abuse among high school and college students from a May, 2015 FSSA newsletter and asked; “As a County Commissioner what can you do to lower these numbers.”  Scheub responded by asking the students; “Where would you like to spend Christmas day…At home with your family or in the Lake County Juvenile Center?  That’s a decision you make, nobody can make it for you…when you leave the house you’re on your own…Everything starts with you…”  Scheub asked the student council members to be upstanding young citizens and offered them the opportunity to tour the detention center. 

The final question went to State Representative Candidates Aylesworth and Metro, and again addressed the importance of education to the Student Council members.  Referring to a recent story in the Indianapolis Star, Ms. Garcia asked about solutions to the teacher shortage, mandated standardized testing and other issues that discourage education as a career.   “That’s a daunting question…It’s not just an Indiana issue, it’s a national issue,” said Aylesworth.  “Our goal is to make teaching a more attractive profession. We wish we could make it a profession where pay is comparable to doctors and lawyers, but that is never going to happen, but we do need to have salaries raised a little bit and local School Boards can do that,” he added. “Hopefully we can get them a little more money.”

Jim Metro took the stage for the final answer of the evening.  “Who’s leading our students, who’s teaching in our classrooms?  The state doesn’t take the problem seriously enough,” said Metro who also offered a copy of a report card of current State Legislators prepared by the State Teachers Association that assigns many Legislators a grade of “D”.  “We keep kicking the problem around and we need to find new people to solve the problem.” 

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Student Council Sponsor Tracy Haskel (right) and Student Council Member and moderator, Audrey Garcia spend a minute with County Commissioner candidate Gerry Scheub at Candidate's Night. 
Student Council Sponsor, Tracy Haskell ended the formal part of the forum by thanking Hanover High School Principal, Mary Ann West and Dean of Students, Lori Bathurst for their support of the Council’s efforts and invited all those in attendance to a meet and greet in the cafeteria where students and audience members had the opportunity to approach the candidates on a personal level.  It was an impressive evening with impressive questions by a Student Council that continues to inspire.     


Getting To Know Principal West


Just prior to coming to Hanover Central High School as Assistant Principal in 2013, Mary Ann West served as the Assistant Principal at Christ The King College Preparatory High School on the west side of Chicago.  In 2014, Ms. West began serving as Principal of HCHS.  She is a graduate of Crete-Monee High School, earned a B.A. in History from Northern Illinois University as well as Master’s degrees in Secondary Education and Education Administration from Governor’s State University.  Ms. West is currently working on her doctorate in Executive Organizational Leadership & Policy at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.   Ms. West, an educator since 1995, is certified in both Indiana and Illinois, and has served as a Teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal and Middle School Principal in both parochial and public schools. 

As the parent of a college graduate daughter, Principal West is well aware of the challenges faced by students today that didn’t even exist a generation ago.  “The influence of social media takes the innocence of childhood away too soon.  Kids are bombarded by so many issues and topics they shouldn’t have to deal with or be exposed to.  It makes it very challenging at times for them to even concentrate in school,” she said. 

Ms. West believes bringing structure, school pride, and expanding school programs are some her greatest accomplishments.  “I’m clear about expectations for students.  I look at each student as an individual.  I’ve always been consistent in issuing discipline.  Whether it’s the homecoming queen or the class clown, students know the same consequence is given.  I let them find their way, within parameters, and in a secure environment I build relationships.  I believe it’s important for our students to know and continue school traditions—this builds school pride and a love for their high school.  Lastly, I believe in our school mission of “striving to create a positive environment where all are challenged to achieve their potential”.  Annually, we strive to expand our class programming to meet all student needs—the college-bound to the career-ready graduate”.

The most important message a child can hear from an educator says West is, “We are concerned about their total well-being and success, not just academically.  Everything that goes into making them who they are-- we care about.” 

 Hanover Community School Corporation Mission, Vision, and Beliefs 


Making a difference…realizing potential


 Hanover Community School Corporation realizes the individuality of each student and is committed to providing a safe and positive atmosphere for learning. The collaboration of dedicated staff and the community allows Hanover Community School Corporation to create a literacy-rich environment and facilitate high quality instruction for all students. A challenging curriculum, well-equipped facilities and relevant technology optimize achievement, empowering all students to realize their potential for success in a global society.


1.       Every student has the capacity to learn and grow academically with involvement and support from the school system, the community, and parents/guardians. 

2.       Students are best served by creating multiple pathways leading to a successful transition to postsecondary education or employment opportunities. 

3.       Consistent parent/teacher communication and involvement creates a collaborative relationship that supports the child’s social and academic growth. 

4.       Teaching should have clear goals focused on learning. 

5.      Learning is enhanced by the development of life skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and peer collaboration. 

6.       A strong school staff is reflective and honest, holding each other accountable and supporting one another. 

7.       Staff members, as valuable contributors to the school community, must model ethical behavior, exhibit a strong work ethic, and perform at high levels. 

8.       The community is a core component of a successful school system and respects the dignity, worth, and opinions of every individual in the community. 

9.       Financial expenditures are aligned with the goals of this district. 

10.   Fiscal responsibility is essential to meet and sustain the educational needs of students. 

11.   Students and staff benefit from a safe, orderly and well-maintained learning environment. 

12.   Future facility needs are based on the corporation’s long-range plan. 

13.   Appropriate integration of technology into the curriculum is essential in preparing students to be competitive in a global society. 

14.   Extra-curricular activities are important in providing opportunities for social growth and personal achievement beyond the classroom.  


If you need assistance in other areas,below are some names of staff members that are here and ready to help you:


Principal: Ms. Mary Ann West, mwest@hanover.k12.in.us

Principal's Secretary/Main Office Manager: Pam Gentz - pgentz@hanover.k12.in.us
Assistant Principal/Athletic Director: Kevin Bachinski - kbachinski@hanover.k12.in.us 

Dean of Students: Lori Bathurst - lbathurst@hanover.k12.in.us

School Resource Officer: Lane Linder - llinder@hanover.k12.in.us

Bookkeeper: Diane Kickert - dkickert@hanover.k12.in.us 

Guidance Counselor (Grade 11-12) : Miss Monica Kazda - mkazda@hanover.k12.in.us
Guidance Counselor (Grade 9-10):   Mr. Ryan Adamski - radamski@hanover.k12.in.us

Health Services Coordinator: Stephanie Owen - sowen@hanover.k12.in.us 
Attendance Clerk: Mrs. Lynn Almaguer - lalmaguer@hanover.k12.in.us 

Guidance Assistant:  Mrs. Diana Furman - dfurman@hanover.k12.in.us




  • October Dates to Remember

    Beginning October 3rd - Play Practice will take place everyday @ 3:30 p.m.

    October 6th - College Night @ 6:30 p.m. (For parents/guardians of 11th & 12th graders)

    October 7th - Marching Band Banquet @ 4:00-8:00 p.m. in Cafeteria

    October 12th  - Band Concert @ 6:30 p.m. (Auditorium)

    October 12th -  PTSO meeting @ 6:30 p.m.

    October 14th - Hanover Central Wildcats vs. North Newton football game Riley's Fundraiser - See Below

    October 18th - Fall Choir Concert @ 6:30 p.m.

    October 19th - Candidates Night @ 6:30 p.m. 

    October 19th - PSAT/NMQST Test (for 10th and 11th grade only)  Freshman and Seniors have other activites.

    October 19th - Senior Class Visit to IUN.  Seniors can attend the IUN visit, another college or their choice, or complete a worrkplace shadow visit (Documentation is required for the absence to be excused.)  Otherwise seniors must be in school.  Freshman will engage in Junior Achievement for the day and adult volunteers are needed from 8:00 a.m. until Noon.

    October 20 & 21 - Fall Break/NO SCHOOL

    October 25th - Club Photo Picture Day

    October 27th -  College Financial Aid Night @ 6:30 p.m.

    October 28th - High School Picture retake day.

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    Riley Shirts  

    The Hanover Central  Athletic Department and Student Council in cooperation with North Newton FCCLA  are joining forces to help fight childhood cancer. Our final regular season varsity football game will be played at North Newton on October 14th.  We would like to show support for this cause by having our fans from both schools purchase and wear supportive T-shirts to the game.  Hanover Central Student Council members will be selling shirts at all lunches next Tuesday-Thursday.  T-shirts will also be available for purchase at the ticket gates at North Newton

    All proceeds collected from the sale of these shirts will be taken to the student council state conference and donated to Riley's Children's hospital.  If you are interested in purchasing a shirt, they can be purchased for $12 each.


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  • Course Book Information

    The current Course Book has been posted to this website.  Please select the "Students" tab above.  

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  • Be sure to follow and like our new page on FACEBOOK at Hanover Central High School. 

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  • Athletics Calendar

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  • Reminder Regarding Dress Code

    Leggings As a reminder to all Parents and Students. It was required in the beginning of the school year to read and sign the Student Handbook. This is the section from the Student Handbook about tight-fitting pants, shorts, and shirts.

    Student Handbook Dress Code Reference

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  • Transcript Requests 

    If you are unable to use the Docufide transcript delivery system (on the guidance website) and would like to request a paper transcript. Please make your requests in person during office hours or to Diana Furman at dfurman@hanover.k12.in.us or 374-3800 x3822.  Please allow 24 hours  for your transcript to be ready. 

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  • Work Permit 
    We can issue them during office hours.  Please bring your "Intent to Employ" form (found at www.in.gov/dol/2400.htm) and report card. 
    There are many learning opportunities at Hanover Central, including Advanced Placement (the success of whose students is showcased above), dual credit, and career pathway courses.  We also have courses that prepare students for many of the professions and industries that are available to young people in Northwest Indiana.

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