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Mr. Brian Carden

I graduated from Indiana State University in 1996 with a degree in Speical Education and started my Special Education Teaching career in Astoria, OR in 1995 where I worked in an Emotionally Handicap classroom with 10 Students. From there I moved back to Indiana where I was a Special Education teacher at Fremont High School for 3 year. I was the Fremont Eagles Head track and Cross Country coach. From there we moved up to Madison, WI where I was a mild-disability teacher at Oregon High School for two years. Our first son was born in Madison and although we liked living there, decided to move back to Northwest Indiana to be closer to family. I worked for a moving company that summer while I put out applications into local school districts. Porter County Educastional Services hired me to be an Emotionally Handicape classroom teacher at Chesterton Middle School where I worked for three year until I moved to Chesterton High School where I have been for the past 17 year. While at CHSI was the Head Girls Cross Country coach for 12 seasons and assistant coach Track and Field coach for 13 seasons.

Classes Taught: Special Education

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Mrs. Poppy Carden

Special Education Department Chair

I have been part of the Special Education department here at CHS since 2008. I earned my Bachelor's in Psychology from the Purdue part of IPFW in Fort Wayne, and earned my Master's in Special Education and teaching licensure from IUN. In my spare time, I love spending time with my boys, cooking, reading by the fire, running half marathons, and going out to eat with my hubby.

Classes Taught: I have taught and co-taught many subjects including: algebra 1, analytical algebra 2, geometry, English 11, geography, government, economics, reading, biology, health, and basic skills development.

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Mr. Mark Coleman

Teaching is my second career. My first was as an illustrator in the advertising field. I still create art as often as possible and encourage students to develop their artistic abilities as much as possible too. I also like to run and use running as a form of meditation. It helps relieve stress by keeping body, mind and soul in balance.

Classes Taught: Co teaching geometry and algebra and environmental science

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Mrs. Heather Eschbach

I graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Special Education and Art. I taught at Berrien Springs in Middle and High Schools as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing teacher and as an Art teacher in elementary. After some time off, I returned to teaching in South Bend. I worked at the middle school for four years started teaching at the High School in 2022. I have three boys, one at Purdue, and two who attend Duneland schools. I love camping, hiking, and being outdoors. When I get a chance, I love reading and doing anything creative. We also have a family farm.

Classes Taught: English 10 and Geography

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Mrs. Jamie Evans

I graduated from PNW in 2019 with a dual degree in elementary and special education. Throughout college I worked at CHS as a para professional. I was lucky enough to come back to CHS to teach after graduating. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two daughters, being outside, and exploring new places.

Classes Taught: Special Education, Applied Skills/English 9-12

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Mrs. Jessica Evans

I graduated from Ball State University in 2010 with a degree in Special Education with Intense/Severe Interventions K-12, and Mild Interventions K-6. I taught elementary special education in Portage for 4 years before coming to Duneland in 2014. At CHS, I teach students with special needs in the Applied Skills classroom. I also oversee the Peer Tutoring class.

I married my high school sweetheart in 2010 and we have 2 children who attend Duneland Schools. When we are not busy at a baseball or soccer practice, we enjoy spending our time outdoors. We love to fish, camp, and explore new restaurants in the area.

Classes Taught: Special Education, Applied Skills

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Mr. George Fox

I graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1995 with a degree in Radio and Television Communications and then graduated from Utah State in 2000, with a degree in Special Education. I began working at CHS in 2000. Outside of school, my interests include spending time with family, going to concerts and outdoor activities such as hiking and gardening.

Classes Taught: Algebra 1 Intensive, Integrated Chemistry Physics

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Mrs. Patrina Franceschi

I began teaching at Chesterton High School in 2022. I was previously at South Central High School in Union Mills, IN. I believe each student is unique, can learn, and thrive. It is my job to meet them where they are and support them as they reach their full academic potential. Teaching is my second career. I retired from the United States Air Force after serving 21 years.


Only three of my five children are still in school. A daughter who is a senior at IUSB and twin boys in middle school. As a family, we do a lot of camping, hiking, and being outdoors. In my downtime, I enjoy music and reading suspense novels.

Classes Taught: Special Education , English 10 and English 12

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Mrs. Deanna Leffert

I graduated from Indiana University in 1996, with a degree in Public Health Administration. I worked as a Health Facility Administrator in nursing homes and assisted living for 17 years. I began working at CHS in 2017 as the PASS Para. In 2019, I received an emergency permit to teach Special Education. Since then, I have been working through the licensure program at IUN, co-teaching algebra and geometry, and teaching direct geometry. I look forward to adding Analytical Algebra 2 and Basic Skills to that list next year. Outside of school, my interests include crafting, reading, traveling to see my sisters, and spending time with my husband, kids, grandkids, and dogs.

Classes Taught: Special Education - Math

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Therese Manta

I graduated from Purdue, with a Masters in Special Education. I previously worked for the School Town of Munster and began working at CHS in 2021 teaching English.

Classes Taught: Elementary - General Education and Special Education; High School - Special Education and English

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Mrs. Jeanne Morgan

I began my career as an English teacher in 1990. Upon moving to Indiana, I received my special education license through Ball State University and have been a special education teacher since 2012. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, working out, relaxing poolside, lakeside, or oceanside, and playing games with my family.

Classes Taught: English, Special Education Reading, Elementary Emotional Disabilities, Middle School Emotional Disabilities, Developmental Preschool, Basic Skills Development

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Melissa Mundell

I grew up in South Haven, Indiana and graduated from Portage High School in 1997. I received my Bachelors Degree in Deaf Education in 2001 from Ball State University. I received my Masters in Secondary Special Education from Indiana University Northwest in August 2012. I have five children and many interests outside of teaching. I sing, crochet, run, play piano, and draw for fun. I also enjoy playing video games with my kids.

Classes Taught: American Sign Language 1 - 4

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Miss Jennifer Schafer

This is my second year at Chesterton High School. I graduated in 2019 from Indiana University with a degree in Art History and Comparative literature. I have been working in Porter County District high schools for 14 years. Education was a career change for me. In 2020. I started Graduate School at IUN for my master’s in special education. I have spent my career working in Advertising doing graphic design and Photography. I have taught art at Portage High School and Wheeler High School. I sponsored Art Club, Anime club, and Empty Bowls with members of the Art Department for 10 years. We have a Starlight Blue Mini Cooper and enjoy traveling across the country. I also enjoy photography, knitting, doggos, and shenanigans.

Classes Taught: Biology, Geography, Earth Science, ICP, Environmental Science, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytic Algebra 2 and Special Education Biology

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Mrs. Mary Skube

I consider myself a learning styles specialist, currently focusing on students in grades 9-12. I am privileged to co-teach with the best content specialists at Chesterton High School, specifically in English and Biology departments, and it is our responsibility to work together to differentiate instruction while embracing the Universal Design of Learning framework. It is my job to assist in delivering a multi-modal approach tailored to individual learning styles while meeting all federal guidelines of Article 7.

Classes Taught: English 9; Biology

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Paraprofessionals

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Fatima Chavez

Paraprofessional

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Heather Manoski

Paraprofessional

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Ashley Roof

Paraprofessional

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Leeann Stoehr

Paraprofessional