CSCSHC honored to welcome administrators from China to NPHS

New Palestine High School was honored to welcome administrators from China on Friday.

The group was part of the Chinese Education Connection, which allows educators from China to visit schools in the the United States and vice versa. Indiana has a sister state partnership with Zhejiang Province in eastern China. Teachers and administrators come to Indiana about six times each year. They tour schools to learn about education in America and present lectures about how schools operate in China.

NPHS Principal Keith Fessler gave a presentation about programs that make New Palestine unique, including the Early College program, Project Lead the Way, and many of the extra-curricular programs the school offers.

NPHS Principal Keith Fessler presents to administrators from China
NPHS Principal Keith Fessler makes a presentation to administrators from China.

NPHS Senior Ellie Roudebush presented an example of a Senior Exit Interview, where seniors must demonstrate, with specific examples, skills and concepts they learned during their four years at NPHS. Ellie’s exit interview included a hands-on demonstration for the guests on how to clog dance.

NPHS Senior Ellie Roudebush teaches administrators from eastern China how to clog dance.

Students from Mr. Large’s Advanced Business Management class also gave the group a tour of the building. They were then treated to a traditional school lunch.


Earlier in the week, the administrators met with IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox to discuss amateur athletics. The group will stay in New Palestine for the weekend before going to back to China.

New Palestine Band to commission and perform new arrangement of Star Spangled Banner at Veterans Memorial dedication

The New Palestine Band has been selected by Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre to commission and perform his new arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner in May of 2018 at the dedication of the Sugar Creek Veterans Memorial in New Palestine.

Whitacre’s concert music has been performed throughout the world by millions of amateur and professional musicians, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 110 different countries.

Grammy Award-winning composer Eric Whitacre (Photo: / Marc Royce)

In order to obtain the rights to perform this new arrangement, the band needs to raise $5,000 by Friday, December 1st. As Lead Commissioner of the arrangement, the band’s name will be displayed on all publications of the score worldwide. The original handwritten copy of the musical score will be put on display at New Palestine High School, and the NPHS Band students will get to participate a Skype session with Eric Whitacre in preparation for this performance.

Any additional funds raised for this project beyond the goal will be used to purchase new uniforms for the marching band. The band has an estimated need of 50 new uniforms next semester.

For more information on the project or to donate, click here for the band’s GoFundMe page. Donations may also be made by check. Please address them to New Palestine Band Boosters at PO Box 600, New Palestine, IN 46163.

NPHS Principal Keith Fessler Named 2017 Indiana HS Principal of the Year

New Palestine High School Principal Keith Fessler was honored Sunday, Nov. 20 with the prestigious High School Principal of the Year Award from the Indiana Association of School Principals.

Fessler was selected from a group of 12 high school principals representing each district across the state. The IASP gives the award to principals that “reflect the values and commitment essential to the performance of students and growth of our schools across the state of Indiana.” Winners are recognized for leadership in their building, school district, and community.


“This is a great honor and I owe it to the people I work with every day. They are a great group of people. I’m lucky to have them as colleagues,” Fessler said in his acceptance speech.

Fessler has brought a number of successful programs to New Palestine, including several created for students with disabilities. An Essential Skills class helps students with severe disabilities by allowing them to work with other students towards accomplishing goals while learning new tasks.

“Mr. Fessler is all about the kids,” said New Palestine Elementary Principal Katy Eastes. “He puts his entire self into being the principal at New Palestine High School.”

Through a partnership with Easter Seals Crossroads, he started Camp Ability, which New Palestine High School hosts each year. Camp Ability allows students that may not be able to attend a traditional summer camp to spend the day with the New Palestine football team, learning about the game from Dragon football players. The camp enables the kids to interact with others in an environment where they feel encouraged to be themselves.

Fessler brought the Early College program to New Palestine as part of a partnership with Vincennes University. His students have the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree from Vincennes while still in high school.FesslerAppleTrophy2

“Keith creates extraordinary opportunities for the students and staff each day,” said Dr. Lisa Lantrip, Southern Hancock Schools Superintendent. “His dedication to students, staff, and community are evident in the programs he has implemented and his vision for the future. Keith is very deserving of this recognition.”

Fessler has been the principal at NPHS since 2011. He previously served as the school’s assistant principal. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, a Master’s Degree from Ball State University, and an Education Specialist degree from Indiana State University.

Thirty-six elementary, middle, and high school principals were recognized at the event. Three were chosen as State Principals of the Year. Two years ago, New Palestine Junior High School Principal James Voelz won the Middle School Principal of the Year Award.


Board members discuss school naming

IMG_8717-2Tonight, members of the board of Southern Hancock Schools discussed the opening of the Intermediate School next year. As planning for the new school begins, many facets of the process are being discussed. One of those is the naming of the new school. Currently board members are discussing whether to stay with the original plan which would be to call the new school Brier Creek Intermediate School and keep the middle school as Doe Creek Middle School or to review the plan and consider aligning school names to New Palestine Intermediate School and New Palestine Junior High School. Board members have opened the discussion and will continue that discussion next month. Our goal is to keep the community informed of the process and decisions involved in the opening of the new building.

Elementary Summer School Enrichment Programs

summer school medium

The deadline to sign up for elementary summer school enrichment classes is rapidly approaching. If you haven’t already signed your student up for a class, be sure to explore what is being offered this summer. We hope you will join us for a summer of enrichment for our young learners! Registration and Payment Options are available on the district home page under News and Announcements. Sign up today!

Elementary Summer School Enrichment Programs