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Soaring Like the Wind

With the wind blowing plastic hats and hair around with total abandon, and heavy equipment moving in the distance, the Hanover Community School Corporation once again paused.  It was not a pause created by a pandemic, but a pause created by hope and happiness.  Members of the Hanover Community School Corporation Board of Trustees (past and present), administration staff, school staff, members of the referendum committee, town and community leaders and 13 excited first graders from Jane Ball and Lincoln Elementary Schools paused from their everyday tasks to play in the dirt on the site of the new upper elementary school. 

students with hard hats by a big maching

Joined by their Princpals, Frank Zaremba and Ryan Eckart, 13 students from Jane Ball Elementary and Lincoln Elementary wait patiently to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Upper Elementary School.  Shown are (in random order) from Lincoln:  Joel Wright, Penelope Knudsen, Carmen Kurz, Braydon DeYoung, Jaxson Spindler, Olivia Lucido and Khloe Minth.  Representing Jane Ball are:  Samuel Jaimes, Mia Spolar, Gia Tsiggos, Harrison Sterley, Delaney Speichert and Cain Tristan.

  After a few brief comments from Superintendent Mary Tracy-MacAulay who recognized that the moment at hand “would not have been possible without the help of every single person present and many more in the Hanover Community,” she was given a plaque to commemorate the groundbreaking by Dion Katsouros, from the Skillman Corporation.  


woman looking at plaque

Superintendent Mary Tracy-MacAulay received a plaque commemorating the groundbreaking ceremony.  

Mrs. MacAulay called the first graders forward to remind them that they, as students, are at the forefront of every decision made by Hanover.  The visual reminder may have been lost on the young students, but their smiling and happy faces confirmed that they recognized they were a part of something big and important.  The students present were given brightly colored child sized shovels and hard hats and helped Mrs. MacAulay ‘break ground’ on the building that will open in the fall of 2022.  The current first graders will be among the first to cross the threshold of the new state-of-the art facility, that will house 750 students in grades 3 through 5. 

kids and school superintendent with shovels

Students take the first shovels full of dirt from the site of their new school.

boy with shovel

Not even a hat blown off his head could deter Jane Ball first grader Samuel Jaimes from taking his shoveling duties seriously.  

adults donning hard hats

Hanover Community School Corporation Board Members and staff queue up to take their turn during this historic moment.  

adults with hard hats and shovels

Pictured ready to break ground are (l to r):  Assistant Superintendent, Deborah Snedden, Director of Operations, Steve Goff, former Board Member, Dennis Wilkening, Board Members, James Sakelaris, Tracy Haskell, Tara Beilke, Director of Business Services, Adam Minth, Superintendent, Mary Tracy-MacAulay, Board Members, Connie Sterkowitz, Scott Burdan and former Board Member, Chuck Kouder.  Both Mr. Wilkening and Kouder were on the Board of Trustees when the Upper Elementary School project began.  

In addition to moving fifth grade back to an elementary environment and freeing up space in the currently crowded middle and elementary schools, the design inside of the school will encourage collaboration and student leadership opportunities in preparation for the sometimes-challenging move to middle school.

A district Resource Center will also be constructed to house the administrative staff that is now spread out through multiple facilities within the district.  The consolidation of services for such departments as transportation, technology, nutrition, etc. will allow for a more efficient and cohesive administration of services as well as freeing up space throughout the Corporation that will, in some cases, be utilized for additional classroom space. 

While the symbolic dirt shoveled by students and adults was limited to a few feet, the 20-acre site on the campus of Hanover Central Middle School is a glimpse at a growing future that will always put students first and that will strive to continue its family friendly feel.  That tradition of family inclusion is evident by the Hanover Community School Corporation’s providing a step by step look at the process through a “Building Project” tab at the top of our website at  “We want our community to be able to witness our work and understand that it is their contributions and willingness to support the students of Hanover that has made this possible,” explained Mrs. MacAulay. 

lots of people with shovels

As the ceremonty came to a close, community leaders joined the Hanover officials and personnel for a final photo opportunity.  

Perhaps, like the wind, the ceremony was proof that as a school district Hanover will continue to soar through difficult times and always celebrate together its accomplishments.