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Highlights from PHMEF 2023 Superintendent's Breakfast

P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker

The P-H-M Education Foundation hosted Dr. Jerry Thacker’s Superintendent’s Breakfast today (Wednesday, May 10). More than 200 community leaders, business partners, P-H-M parents, and P-H-M staff attended the event held at St. Joe Farm to hear Dr. Thacker give his “State of the District” address. 


WSBT morning anchor and P-H-M parent Bob Montgomery emceed the Breakfast. Pastor Michael Cramer of New Life Church gave the invocation. Attendees included State Senator Linda Rogers (R-11), Ivy Tech Community College (South Bend-Elkhart) Chancellor Dr. Tia Robinson-Cooper, P-H-M Board of School Trustees members President Chris Riley, Secretary Clare Roach, Matt Chaffee, Jim Garrett, Dana Sullivan, former P-H-M and Mishawaka Superintendent Dr. Dean Speicher, and representatives from Teachers Credit Union (TCU)—the event’s presenting sponsor. Click to see the full photo gallery below. 


State Sen. Linda Rogers & Mrs. Donna Thacker Ivy Tech Chancellor Dr. Tia Robinson-Cooper and Mrs. Donna Thacker The Speichers, the Blakes, and the Thackers Board Pres. Chris Riley with PHM principals Dr. Thacker & Board Member Matt Chaffee WSBT Anchor Bob Montgomery


Dr. Thacker, in his 17th year as superintendent of Penn-Harris-Madison Schools, updated the community on the district’s past and recent points of excellence which included, some not all, of the accomplishments below: 

  • P-H-M is in the Top 3.67%, #11 out of Indiana’s public school districts (299) 

  • Ranking of Indiana public schools that passed both ELA and Math:

    • Northpoint Elementary School is #1

    • Prairie Vista Elementary School is #2

    • Discovery Middle School is #2

  • Penn High School graduation rate of 98%
  • Penn’s Early College Academy is #1 in Indiana for earning college credits
  • Penn’s Class of 2023, so far, has earned about $11 million in scholarships


Click to review Dr. Thacker’s entire presentation. 


All of this was accomplished with not only having the lowest school corporation tax rate in the area at $.09275, as well as having the lowest basic state tuition support in the area (P-H-M receives $6,524 per student). Click here to view these slides in Dr. Thacker’s presentation.


P-H-M Education Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Turnblom also spoke highlighting how community donations and support has helped fund nearly $850,000 classroom grants in P-H-M’s 15 schools, impacting more than 10,000 students! Turnblom recognized some of the teacher grant recipients, along with P-H-M’s 2023 Elementary Teacher of the Year Robi Davidson (Walt Disney Elementary School) and Secondary Teacher of the Year Eric Bowers (Penn High School)Click here to review PHMEF’s past grant recipients. The Foundation’s mission is to support excellence in education P-H-M schools. Since its inception in 1996, the non-profit organization has provided nearly $1.6 million in teacher classroom grants.


Other event highlights included, Penn’s Kingsmen Quartet performance and centerpieces handmade by Penn ceramics art students which were available for a donation.


A special thank you to P-H-M Education Foundation Board Members, Event Planning Committee members, Amy Chrise (PHMEF Office Manager), and student intern Ella Smoker.

Breakfast sponsors included …

  • Presenting Sponsor: TCU
  • Contributing Sponsors:
    • Church, Church, Hittle & Atrim Attorneys at Law
    • ProShow
  • Patrons:
    • Cressy Commercial Real Estate
    • Holladay Properties

    • Schmidt and Associates

    • SmokerCraft