2024 Madison Fish Fry Photo Gallery

The annual Madison Fish Fry was held May 5. See the photo gallery below.

Riley Bike-A-Thon 2022 Was a Success

On Saturday, October 1st, 2022, the bikes came out on a spectacular Fall day to raise money for a great cause.

Each year the Madison students are invited to pedal their bikes in an effort to raise money for sick and injured children who need life-saving care. 

The Madison school community began a partnership with Riley Children’s Hospital 32 years ago and has since raised over $100,000 for the organization!  

Madison pink bike

We couldn’t pull this off without the AMAZING support of our neighbors and community. Residents who live along the bike route were contacted and made aware that their mile would be closed to traffic for student safety. Volunteers were stationed at each corner to mark the miles on student pledge cards.


 Grandparents, friends, and other family members pledged cash for each mile the students rode during the three hours set aside for the event. 

We could not have raised the many tens of thousands of dollars over the years without the great dedication of the Madison community.  Thank you for your consideration and support.

Dad on Bike

Also, events like this don’t happen on their own, we want to give a HUGE shout out to the Madison PTO and long-standing Riley Bike-a-thon Chair, Annette Wisler.  Thank you for your commitment and dedication to this event!


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2019 Running is Elementary Results

There was a break in the rain on Wednesday (May 1) for the 11th annual “Running is Elementary.” The course was mostly dry, but the 4th and 5th grade runners did get a little muddy!

Click to watch the YouTube video below & then click here to see the full photo gallery on our Facebook page.

The one mile run is held at Penn’s Cross-country course, which is located behind Elm Road Elementary School. Approximately 610 students participated in Wednesday’s race. Many more students participated in the 6-week training leading up to the race, but could not participate in the rain day event held on May 1; originally the race was scheduled for Monday, April 29, but had to be rescheduled due to rain.

This annual event encourages fitness, healthy choices and wellness. Fourth and fifth graders are encouraged to sign up for the free running club. Designated coaches at each school are then tasked with training the runners for the 6-week club which then culminates with the Running is Elementary one mile race. The students are cheered on by their families, principals, teachers and running coaches; it’s amazing to see the dedication and hard work the students put in to complete the race. 

Cindy Batalis (P-H-M’s 2009 Teacher of the Year and physical education teacher at Mary Frank Elementary School) began the yearly tradition of Running Is Elementary back in 2008. Batalis’ own love for running and her desire to pass that love on to students is evident in the passion she puts into the Running is Elementary event each year. 

The top times for the 2019 Running Is Elementary Race were as follows:

5th grade Girls Winner

5th grade girls winner
BIB# 485
Time: 6:42

5th grade Boys Winner

5th grade boys winner

BIB# 431
Time: 6:11 


4th grade Girls Winner

4th grade girls winner
BIB# 522
Time: 7:21

4th grade Boys Winner

4th grade boys winner
BIB# 163
Elsie Rogers
Time: 6:15

“Running Buddies” accompany those students who may need a little extra assistance and/or encouragement. All runners are to be congratulated for their efforts and hard work!

Running buddies Running buddies

Running Buddies Running buddies

A big thank you to the P-H-M Education Foundation and Corporations for Education for sponsoring the event! After Race Snack Donations were donated by Urban Swirl.

Kids Club 2019 Summer Registration Opens April 22

Kids Club 2019 Summer Program registration opens soon! Click here for more information and registration.

Full-day childcare is offered at two locations (Prairie Vista and Walt Disney Elementary schools) for current P-H-M students in grades K-5. Children will enjoy a variety of educational and recreational activities, crafts and field trips.

Cost is $125 a week, for five days a week. All children not currently enrolled in Kids Club are required to pay a $25 registration fee along with a non-refundable $100 activity fee deposit.

Click to download a copy of the registration form.

Locations:    Prairie Vista Elementary School

                       Walt Disney Elementary School

Dates:          June 6 – August 20, 2019

                       (closed July 4)

Times:          6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Questions: If you have questions about Kids Club Summer Session,

                       please call Binti Shah at (574) 258 – 9514 or

                       Ashley Stoffl at (574) 258 – 9587

Register Now for the 2019 Silver Mile Bubble Bash on Sat., May 4!

Saturday, May 4

8:30 a.m. – Noon

Penn High School

Register online today! Early Bird Registration is available until Sunday, April 21 ($20 for adults, $10 for students)!

Do you like bubbles? Well, if you do, you’ll enjoy the Silver Mile Bubble Bash!  

Highlighted changes for this year’s event:

  • Earlier start time, 8:30 a.m.
  • 1.5 mile and 5K route options
  • Lower early bird prices:$20 for adults, $10 for students
  • The school with the most participation will win a Gaga Ball Pit or 9 Disc Golf Baskets ($2,500 value)!
  • And more bubbles!

Missed out on all the bubbly fun last year? Don't let it happen two years in a row! Watch the video and see how much fun you and your whole family will have …

The Student Talent Show starts at 9 a.m.

The Health & Fitness Expo will be in the cafeteria where everything from free health screenings by presenting sponsor Saint Joseph Health System to numerous businesses showcasing their health-related items will be offered.

And don’t forget about the Silent Auction!

The Silver Mile Run is the largest fundraiser for the P-H-M Education Foundation and all the proceeds go towards providing innovative P-H-M teaching grants, scholarships to students, staff development, and other corporation-wide initiatives.

Click here to take advantage of early bird registration and for more information on the Bubble Bash.

P-H-M Named 2019 Best Community for Music Education

With music education programs at all grade levels (K-12), Penn-Harris-Madison has been named  one of 2019 Best Communities for Music Education for its outstanding commitment to music education. P-H-M is one of only 623 districts nationwide and 12 in Indiana to receive the honor from The NAMM Foundation

The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. The BCME award acknowledges the commitment of P-H-M’s music teachers and administrators in the District’s 11 elementary, three middle schools and Penn High School.

  Grissom Middle School  Penn Orchestra students

In our elementary schools, music class is part of the regular curriculum following state standards. Students are instructed in both vocal and instrument classes. Beginning in 6th grade, P-H-M students at our three middle schools (Discovery, Schmucker and Grissom) have the opportunity to choose choir, orchestra or band as their music elective. Students at Discovery also have the option of choosing Piano Lab. 

Penn High School offers the Fine Arts & Communication Academy as part of its unique academy structure. The seven academy design provides Penn students with relevant and meaningful coursework taught in smaller, supportive environments where each student is known well by his teacher and peers. Nearly a third of Penn’s total 3,500 students are enrolled in the Fine Arts Academy with the majority being involved with music programs, either Choir, Orchestra, Band or another music program.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, P-H-M answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another study from the University, it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood.

Beyond the Northwestern research, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation serves more than 11,100 students in 11 elementary schools, three middle schools and Penn High School. The School Corporation has consistently received an “A” rating from the Indiana Department of Education since 2011. With the release of the Spring 2018 ISTEP+ results, Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation ranks in the state’s Top 5% of public school districts for grade 10 ISTEP+ results and in the Top 6% for grades 3-8. Northpoint is Indiana’s #2 public elementary school and Discovery ranks #3 out of the state’s public middle schools. Penn High School ranks in the Top 5% of all Indiana public high schools and has a 97% graduation rate, exceeding the state’s graduation rate. P-H-M’s “Triangle of Success” connects students, teachers and parents for excellence in education. 

About The NAMM Foundation: The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.

2019 PHM Elementary Spell Bowl Results

Nail biter, suspenseful … not terms you usually hear to describe a Spell Bowl, but that’s what happened at last night’s (Tuesday, March 20) 33rd annual P-H-M Elementary Spell Bowl. Click to see the photo gallery on the PHM District website (you’ll be able to view & download a high resolution jpg file from the photo gallery by simply clicking the “DOWNLOAD” button on the bottom right hand corner of the photo wile viewing it in the Photo Gallery function).

It was a packed house at Penn High School’s Center for Performing Arts filled with more than 200 third, fourth and fifth graders from all of P-H-M’s 11 elementary schools, along with their family, friends and P-H-M staff from the students’ home schools. Click to see the full list of winners listed below.

Preparation for the Spell Bowl takes weeks, as the students work with their teacher coaches. Each school has three teams (representing each grade) made up of six students, plus one alternate. Preparation includes spelling under pressure, studying word lists, learning about word sources (e.g., Latin roots) and rules such as capitalization and pluralization.

The format of P-H-M’s Spell Bowl is very much like a written test. Similar to a traditional spelling bee, the emcee reads a word aloud and then uses it in a sentence. The students then have 15 seconds to write the word on paper. The words get progressively more difficult through each round. A panel of judges reviews the answers and then posts the scores for the audience to see. 

The 4th and 5th grade rounds had to go into “extra innings” for tiebreakers. Bittersweet and Northpoint’s 4th grade team of two students each went into the tiebreaking round with 29 points. Students had to spell appendicitis, hieroglyphic, reverberate, and Mozambique to win. Eventually Bittersweet beat out Northpoint by successfully spelling Mozambique. Click to see the full photo gallery on the PHM District website.

4th gr. tiebreaker Dr. Thacker & Bittersweet students celebrate Bittersweet students celebrate Bittersweet winning students: Collin Hickey & John Gutierrez

After that close match, it was time for the 5th grade round, which also had to be finished with an additional tiebreaker round. This time it was Walt Disney going head to head with Northpoint. Students went through all five tiebreaker words: antiperspirant, spelunking, westernization, putrefy, and Okeechobee Lake.  Judges then had to pull from their “secret bag of words,” giving the students the word affiliate to spell. Finally in the end, Walt Disney came out on top spelling affiliate correctly. 

Each first place winning team got their picture taken with their coach and P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Thacker. See the full list of winners below …

Northpoint, 2019 3rd gr. Spell Bowl winners 3rd Grade Winners:

  • 1st place – Northpoint with 26 points, Coach Deb DeLaurelle (team pictured to right)
  • 2nd place – Prairie Vista with 23 points, Coach Katie Harris
  • 3rd place – Bittersweet with 20 points, Coach Sheri Hedrick
Bittersweet 4th gr. 2019 Spell Bowl winners 4th Grade Winners:

  • 1st place – Bittersweet with 37 points, Coach Leslie Metcalf​ (team pictured to right)
  • 2nd place – Northpoint with 36 points, Coach Rosan Morehouse
  • 3rd place – Horizon with 26 points, Coach Jeanne Rehlander
Disney 5th gr 2019 winning team 5th Grade Winners:

  • 1st place – Walt Disney with 42 points, Coach Kristie Reynolds​ (team pictured to right)
  • 2nd place – Northpoint with 41 points, Coaches Jen Payne & Charity Grimes-Ford
  • 3rd place – Mary Frank with 29 points, Coach Christine Nisley

Special thanks to P-H-M’s K-5 High Ability Coordinator, Mrs. Anne-Marie Reininga, who is the Spell Bowl manager. This year’s emcee was Kate O’Brien, Penn’s Spell Bowl Coach.

Kids Club Spring Break 2019 Registration

Kids Club 2019 Spring Break registration is now open! Click here to download, complete & print the registration form.

Full-day childcare will be offered at Mary Frank Elementary School for Monday, April 1 – Friday, April 5, 2019, from 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. This service is a available for students in all P-H-M schools, families do not have to be currently enrolled in Kids Club to take advantage of this service. The cost is $25 per child per day or $100 per child if attending all 5 days. 

Children will enjoy a variety of educational and recreational activities, as well as crafts for this week.

Registration form and payment are due together no later than Tuesday, March 26.

Children need to bring their own lunch and drink (no pop please).  Morning and afternoon snacks will be provided.

Please click to download, complete and print the registration form. Please return the form send it along with your payment to your child’s school.

If you have questions, please contact Kids Club at (574) 258-9514 or at 258-9587.

*Adobe Acrobat Reader will be required to view these PDFs. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, please visit Adobe’s website at this link www.get.adobe.com/reader/ to download your free version. If you need more help accessing Kids Club information, plesae call (574) 258-9514.

Penn presents “Tuck Everlasting” March 1-3

Penn High School is bringing the famed children’s book “Tuck Everlasting” to the stage. This musical adaptation is a show that the whole family can enjoy

The Penn Fine Arts and Communications Academy is presenting, “Tuck Everlasting, the Musical” on the following dates:

  • Friday, March 1, at 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 2, 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 3, 3:00 p.m.

The showings will be held within the Center for Performing Arts (enter through Door C).

Tickets are $10 pre-sale by clicking here to access Penn Theater’s TicketTracker.com online ticket store, or $12 at the door.

“Tuck Everlasting” is about a magical spring found deep in the woods that has the power to grant immortality. To drink or not to drink is the question that each character must answer for themselves.

On a deeper level the story wrestles with is living forever as desirable as many people think it is?

So make sure you bring out the whole family, you will not regret it!