New BCSC faculty profiled

Debbie Blank | The Herald-TribuneAt the Aug. 18 Batesville Community School Corp. meeting, Batesville Middle School principal Dave Strouse (from left) welcomes new staff members, including sixth-grade language arts and reading teacher Malena Smith, seventh-grade math teacher Chase Mears, instructional aide Brenda Coleman and seventh-grade art teacher Andrew Craddock.

Fourteen teachers and an athletic director have joined the Batesville Community School Corp.

Batesville Primary School second-grade teacher Kera Davis grew up between St. Maurice and New Point and graduated from North Decatur High School in 2008. She attended Ball State University and majored in elementary education with a concentration in kindergarten/primary education. While at BSU, she was a member of College Mentors for Kids and Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Davis student taught in a Sutton Elementary School, Muncie, kindergarten classroom. 

After graduation, she started working at Greensburg Elementary School as a kindergarten interventionist, working with small groups of children on reading skills. She then had the opportunity to teach second grade at BPS for a full-year maternity leave before joining the staff permanently.

Batesville Intermediate School third-grade teacher Alex Evans graduated from Batesville High School in 2009. While at Indiana State University, he studied elementary education and student taught in kindergarten and fifth grade classrooms at BPS and BIS. 

Upon graduating in December 2013, Evans substitute taught at Batesville schools and worked as a BPS Title I interventionist. He has also worked at the Southeastern Indiana YMCA Learning Center. A

BIS art teacher Olivia Harms is from Rockford, Illinois. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in art education from Indiana Wesleyan University in spring 2014. Harms worked at the Beard Art Gallery from 2010-14. She completed her student teaching at Southwood Elementary School, Wabash, and the International School of Wuxi New District, Wuxi, China. 

Harms specializes in metalsmithing and stained glass work, and also enjoys painting, traveling and reading.

BIS special education teacher Jennifer Meyer graduated from BHS in 2007. She continued her education at Ball State University, receiving a special education degree. 

The educator then worked as a child-specific aide at Batesville Middle School and then went on to teach in a developmental preschool in Corydon. After a year there, Meyer moved back home to Batesville to continue her career here.

BIS fourth-grade teacher Mary Miller is from Angola, where she graduated from high school in 2007.  Miller received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Purdue University in 2011 and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Marian University in 2013.  

Then the teacher became a substitute and maternity leave teacher at BPS and BIS. In her spare time, Miller enjoys running outdoors, reading and going to movies with her fiancé.

BIS fourth-grade teacher Brittany Nuhring graduated from Lawrenceburg High School in 2008. She then attended Ivy Tech Community College, receiving an associate degree in elementary education.  Nuhring then went to Northern Kentucky University to earn a bachelor’s degree in the subject. She holds an Indiana teaching license in elementary education. Last year Nuhring was a Lawrenceburg Primary School special education aide.

She resides in Batesville with husband Jake. In her spare time Brittany likes to be outside, read, draw, scrapbook and cheer on the Cincinnati Reds.

Batesville Middle School art teacher Andrew Craddock graduated from East Central High School in 2007. While at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis, he studied fine arts and art education, then student taught at Allisonville Elementary School and Franklin Township Middle School-West in the Indianapolis area.

Craddock first taught for two years at North Dearborn Elementary School, and worked after school at the Southeastern Indiana YMCA Learning Center.

Chase Mears is the new seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher at BMS. He and his wife, Chelsea, are originally from the Brookville area and are Franklin County High School graduates.

Mears graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and middle school mathematics. He is working toward his master’s degree in middle school mathematics education at BSU.  

The educator began his career in Wayne Township at Chapel Hill Seventh and Eighth Grade Center, followed by four years at Zionsville Middle School, and one year at Greensburg Middle School. He is also the coach of the seventh-grade football team, and will coach the BMS golf team with his wife this spring. Mears enjoys snow skiing, racing in triathlons, camping and hiking. He can also be found cheering on his two nephews, Zachary and Logan Mears, at Batesville High School sporting events.

Malena Smith, the BMS sixth-grade language arts teacher, graduated from South Ripley High School in 1992. She attended ISU, where she earned her B.S. degree in elementary education, then returned to Versailles to teach special education and first, sixth and third grades. Smith also taught fourth grade at BIS for two years. She resigned from teaching in 2004 to be a stay-at-home mom. While at home, Smith coached the BMS cheerleaders for seven years. She returned to work in 2012 as a Title I teacher.

The teacher resides in Batesville with her husband, 10-year-old son, and 7-year-old daughter. She loves to run and has participated in a few half marathons and several 5Ks. She also enjoys reading and watching sports, especially basketball and football. The Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals and Indiana Hoosiers are her favorite teams. 

Tony Gausman teaches introduction to engineering design and introduction to construction at BHS. He graduated from there and went on to get his mechanical engineering degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He worked as a project engineer in Terre Haute before moving to Indianapolis with his wife, Lisa. 

There he worked as a graphic designer and became a stay-at-home dad to his children, Noah, Kelsey, Emma and Seth. After moving back to Batesville, Gausman has taught at Oldenburg Academy and coached BMS football.  He has also coached youth league baseball, basketball and even soccer since he has moved back home.

Katie Hartman, a BHS science teacher, graduated from BHS in 2005. While at Franklin College, she studied secondary education/life science and then student taught at Whiteland Community High School. Upon graduation, she began teaching full time at there. From 2009-14, Hartman taught a variety of science classes, including biology, human anatomy and physiology, genetics and AP environmental science. She also took two student groups in the summers of 2011 and 2014 on the same Hawaii marine science trip that is available at BHS.

She completed a master’s degree in education at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012. During her time at WCHS, Katie was also the girls’ varsity soccer head coach. She has played since she was 6, including four years at Franklin College. She is continuing her involvement in the sport as an assistant coach for the BHS girls’ varsity team.

BHS family and consumer sciences teacher Lauren Siefert graduated from BHS in 2009. After high school, she attended BSU, where she studied vocational family and consumer sciences education. She completed her student teaching at Anderson Highland Junior High, where she taught seventh-grade FACS.

Upon graduation in 2013, Siefert started working at Milan Junior/Senior High School as the FACS teacher.  

BHS Spanish teacher Deana Stephens graduated from Lake Central High School, St. John, Indiana, in 2003. She then went to college at Indiana University Purdue University-Columbus and earned a degree in elementary education with a dual in English as the next language. She also had the opportunity to work as a translator in Costa Rica and has studied Spanish all through high school and college.

Stephens resides in Westport, with her husband, Greg, and two children, Kendell, 3, and Scott, 4 months. She enjoys fishing, hiking, dance of all types and, of course, world languages.

As a teacher, she believes that learning a language provides opportunities for students to see the world from a different perspective. 

BHS Spanish teacher Laura Tucker attended East Central High School and then Butler University, graduating in 2009. During high school she traveled to Mexico with the IU Honors Program and then studied abroad in Spain through Butler. These travel experiences led to her desire to teach Spanish language and culture. 

After college, she returned home to West Harrison and taught at ECHS for five years. She still resides there with her husband and dog. Tucker will help sponsor the newly-formed International Club.

BCSC athletic director Bryan Helvie graduated from Carroll High School, Flora, in 1984. After graduating from BSU with a major in physical education and a minor in business, Helvie joined The Herald-Tribune in sales and later became the managing editor. He spent over 20 years at the newspaper while coaching boys’ basketball at BCSC for 20-plus years. His coaching experience at BCSC also includes girls’ varsity tennis as well as assistant positions for boys’ tennis and golf.

The Batesville resident is married to BPS teacher Luann Helvie. They have one daughter, who is a sophomore at Franklin College.