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Gary Schools roundup: exciting happenings across the District

A TEACHER POSES with students at the Banneker at Marquette Elementary School Sneaker Ball.

The Gary Community School Corporation has kicked off 2023 with an ever-growing list of activities, events and accomplishments. Listed below is a roundup of recent successes:

The District is celebrating the return of its basketball program for elementary and middle schools. The season launched in mid-January with competitions taking place every Saturday in the gymnasium at West Side Leadership Academy.

Eager student athletes and their families pack the gym regularly to cheer on the Cougars at every grade level. Elementary games begin at 12:00 p.m., with championship play taking place February 25, 2023. The full athletic schedule for all the games and sports is available at

Students from West Side Leadership Academy (WSLA) recently participated in the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) competition and brought home a series of wins.

Under the leadership of band director DeAndre Teamer, Sr., the Solo and Ensemble competition results are as follows:

Trombones: 3/3 Gold

Trumpets: 3/3 Gold

Saxophone: 1/1 Silver

Clarinets: 2/2 Gold

Snare drum: 1/1 Gold

Gold medal winners were Regan Bandy, TyLeah Boyd, Joseph Coburn, Tristian Cody, Dante Dorsey, Jomar Henderson, Anthony Johnson and Jessica James. Josiah Wright earned a silver medal.

Recently students from WSLA participated in the JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) Regional Career Development Conference. Scholars took home three 1st place trophies competing against students from 12 other schools in the region. The winners, listed below, will advance to the state competition in the spring.

The winners are as follows:

Halle Bradley – 1st Pace, Career Presentation

Joseph Coburn – 1st Place, Public Speaking

Mariah Swain – 1st Place, Entrepreneurship Plan

“Our students took the initiative to prepare and practice for this high-profile competition,” said Kerchell Hopson, Director of Secondary Education.

“Based on the results, it’s clear that from academics, to the arts to athletics, we are competing and achieving.”

Lastly, Banneker at Marquette Elementary School recently held its first Sneaker Ball. This trendy event of wearing athletic shoes with dressy attire is all the rage in schools across the country. Organizers wanted to ensure that students had sneakers and made an ask of the school community. To their surprise, the support rolled in in a big way, with new shoes being donated for every student in attendance.

“We would like to thank everyone who contributed to ensure that our students had an unforgettable experience,” said Chaitra Wade, principal at Banneker at Marquette Elementary.

“Some of the dresses were donated as well, allowing all of our students to participate without placing a financial strain on families.”

Upcoming District events include Black History Month programs, Honor Society inductions, wrestling regionals and more. For the latest District news and event schedules, visit

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