Portage Township Schools’ home-school advisors honored

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on May 02, 2012 with No Comments

The Portage Exchange Club honored the Home-School Advisors of the Portage Township Schools at its breakfast meeting at Topperz Restaurant on April 25.  The advisors were recognized for the outstanding work they do for the students of the school system.

Project chairperson Peggy Berbesque presented the advisors with a letter of recognition and some small gifts, including a coupon for a Topperz dessert and a magnet reading, “Children become what you believe them to be.”  She referred to the advisors as the unsung heroes of the school system and thanked them for supporting the Exchange Club’s Christmas Clothing for Kids project.

Tim Kunstek, one of Portage High School’s home-school advisors, acted as spokesperson for the advisors, thanking the Exchange Club for honoring them.  He gave some background on the position.

“[Retiring Superintendent of Schools] Michael Berta was the one who wrote the grant that provided money for the first advisors.  He was a principal at that time and saw the need for someone like this at the elementary school level.  We started with four people who served the eight schools,” Kunstek said.  “Now there is a home-school advisor at each elementary school and on up through the high school.  We are on the front line.  We bridge the gap between the schools and the home.  We act as social workers, substance abuse counselors, sexual abuse counselors, mediators between students and many other roles.”

Jennifer Abbott, Exchange Club member and representative from the Villages, an adoption, foster care and family services agency, gave a presentation on Darkness to Light.  She explained that Darkness to Light seeks to education adults in recognizing, dealing with and preventing child abuse.  It provides training that empowers adults to better protect children.

PHS Home School Advisor Tim Kunstek discusses the role of the home school advisor, as Exchange Club President Joan Hasse-Rodriguez and project chair Peggy Berbesque look on.

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Pictured from left to right,  Judy Shrader (Willowcreek), Jennifer Riley (PHS),  Kelly Smith (Willowcreek), Connie Melton (South Haven), Rachel Murray (Myers), Shannon Johnson (PHS), Kelly Bishop-Bohren (Fegely), Pam Carpenter (Jones), Kim Milner (Fegely), Lois Felten (Crisman), Tim Kunstek (PHS) and Portage Exchange Club President Joan Hasse-Rodriguez.  Nicole Slack (Central), Stacy Kinsey (Kyle), Karen Kinsey (Saylor) and Angela Wyatt (Ayleworth) were unable to attend. According to hollinger, the school’s principal, the daily repetition of this sharing builds a history of shared experiences

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