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This & that: TSC teacher in Top 3. Goodbye, Columbus Day in WL? Boosters ready at health department
A little of this, a little of that in a rare Monday evening edition of Based in Lafayette …
IN THE TOP THREE, TSC’S TEACHER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE: Big news Monday, when state education at Tippecanoe School Corp. leaders popped into engineering and technology teacher Sharita Ware’s classroom at East Tipp Middle School to let her know she’s among three finalists for 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year. Ware was named to the Top 10 finalists in August. Ware, in her 10th year of teaching and her sixth at East Tipp, was one of two teachers chosen to represent TSC in the annual selection process. At the time, Ware told me: “There are so many deserving teachers, but since I have been selected, I want to represent my school and district well. … It certainly does not change who I am as an educator, or a person, or my desire to still serve my community. In fact, it makes me want to work even harder to be the best educator I can be … to live up to the honor.” Among those on hand during the surprise visit were TSC Superintendent Scott Hanback, East Tipp Principal Shaad Buss and Kathy Nimmer, who was the 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year from Harrison High School.
GOODBYE, COLUMBUS DAY IN WEST LAFAYETTE?: Two West Lafayette City Council members have proposed to ditch city references to Columbus Day on the second Monday of October in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day the same day.
“Columbus Day celebrates a man who not only didn’t ‘discover’ America – since people were already here – but it honors a man who committed genocide,” Kathy Parker, a West Lafayette City Council member, said.
Parker and council member Shannon Kang, both Democrats, will introduce the measure at the council’s next meeting on Oct. 4. The resolution calls on other organizations to follow suit. Across the country, a handful of states and more than 100 cities have made similar moves. Earlier this year, Gary, Indiana, changed Columbus Day to recognize the city’s late former mayor, Richard Gordon Hatcher.
“History has been thoroughly whitewashed, and the only way to rectify it is to correct the lies that have been told for generations,” Parker said. “This is one way. … I wanted to see this done before another ‘Columbus Day’ came and went.”
West Lafayette is closed Oct. 11 for the federal holiday. But the city’s calendar doesn’t designate the holiday as Columbus Day. Indiana state offices close for Columbus Day. Purdue is off on Oct. 11-12, but the academic calendar simply refers to it as October break.
Tippecanoe County offices are scheduled to be closed for Columbus Day, though the county’s online calendar includes this disclaimer: “Columbus Day, which is on the second Monday of October, remembers Christopher Columbus' arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492. This holiday is controversial because the European settlement in the Americas led to the demise of the history and culture of the indigenous peoples.”
Lafayette city offices will be open Oct. 11, reserving the holiday for Friday, Dec. 23, the last weekday before Christmas.
IF YOU GO: The West Lafayette City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4. City meetings are being held virtually. For details about how to attend and give public comment, go to: https://www.westlafayette.in.gov/boards/
COVID BOOSTERS AVAILABLE: With the state go-ahead late last week, the Tippecanoe County Health Department started offering booster shots for those who received two doses of the Pfizer COVID shot. Here were the guidelines: It’s only for those who received the Pfizer shot. (Moderna and Johnson and Johnson versions of the vaccines have not been approved for boosters, yet.) And those people need to be six months out from their second dose, meaning late-March, at this point.
According to the health department, those eligible are:
65 and older or long-term care facility residents.
50 to 64 years old with underlying health conditions.
And those 18 to 64 at increased risk of exposure and transmission due to their occupation.
Where to get it: The health department is taking walk-ins at its COVID vaccination clinic at 2557 Maple Point Drive (near Pay Less Super Market, across from the Tippecanoe Mall). On Thursday, the clinic will move to 1950 S. 18th St. at the former YMCA, recently renovated for county offices.
When: The vaccine clinic is open for boosters and for first-time shots 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays; noon-5 p.m. Thursdays; and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays.
NINTH AND KOSSUTH ALERT: The promised work on one of the key exits/entrances to – and through – downtown Lafayette – started Monday at Ninth and Kossuth streets. The city is working on drainage issues there for the next 30 days. Have fun.
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