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Weidners pledge $100K for School of Inquiry

November 8, 2012

Pictured (L to R): Daniel Tyree, superintendent of Plymouth Schools; Melissa Christiansen, Plymouth School Board President; Daniel Weidner; Julie Weidner; Jared Weidner; Erin McDonald; and Ken Olson, director of School of Inquiry.

PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth High’s School of Inquiry was officially renamed during the meeting of the School Board Tuesday.
The “school within a school” will now be known as the Weidner School of Inquiry. Daniel and Julie Weidner have pledged a $100,000 donation to be used for the program.
Daniel Weidner said, “We’re excited about the opportunity to contribute to a program that we believe will positively impact hundreds, if not thousands, of lives in the community for generations to come.” Weiner is the president of Plymouth-based Weidner & Company, P.C. Both Daniel and Julie Weidner are PHS graduates.
Weidner said, “As a businessman, I have no doubt that, beyond assisting the students themselves, this program will also contribute significantly to the success of businesses in the region and beyond by further preparing our future workforce through the real world insight and experience they gain through the Weidner School of Inquiry.”
Local business owner, John Oliver, Sr., echoed Weidner’s thoughts on the importance of supporting the students in the area. Responding to the philanthropic efforts of local businesses, Oliver said, “I think the Weidner gift perfectly illustrates two common threads. Much of what is given is to provide opportunities for your youth to excel and much of what is given is provided by local, family owned businesses that are invested in the community.”
Daniel Tyree, superintendent of the Plymouth Community School Corporation, said that the gift from the Weidner family will be felt immediately during the construction of the School of Inquiry’s permanent home when renovation is completed.
In the fall of 2012, the School of Inquiry opened its doors for the first time with 102 freshman enrolled. Tyree said, “The program is a unique, small learning community that utilizes project-based learning to create adaptive learners who have the necessary skills to thrive in an ever-changing global economy in which firm ground no longer exists and many jobs have yet to be invented.”
“The School’s philosophy is based on the premise that these key skills include not only content knowledge, but the ability to access and process information, to think creatively and critically, and to effectively communicate and leverage ideas to an ever-broadening personal network.” Tyree said.
Plans are to continue to enroll approximately 100 students each year until the enrollment reaches 400.
“The bond for the construction of the building did not include loose equipment, so this contribution will go toward obtaining tangible items such as furniture for the office and tangible learning spaces,” said Tyree “but it will also assist in the professional development of the teachers who are new to the program.”
Tyree commended Dan Weidner and his family for providing an attainable business model for others to follow. He said, “An overriding theme for the School of Inquiry is entrepreneurship and we are fortunate that the Weidner family will be the named donor because they have a great reputation in the area and appropriately exemplify this theme of entrepreneurship.” “They’ve demonstrated that, if you work hard and are persistent, you can build a successful business in Plymouth and make it your lifelong home.”
Oliver pointed out how the Weidner business has added to the community. He said, “It doesn’t surprise me that Dan and his family would make such an important contribution.” “Dan not only exemplifies classic entrepreneurship, but his services are largely provided to other local entrepreneurs.” said Oliver. Oliver shared some of his early recollections of Weidner. He said, “I have a vivid recollection of when Dan started his own accounting firm almost 20 years ago. In fact, I helped in a small way. He has been an integral part of much local businesses, including the several I have incorporated over the years.”
Oliver said, “Future students of the School of Inquiry will be well served to emulate his example.”
Weidner & Company, P.C. has been in business since 1990 and currently employs 16 people at its Columbus Drive office-located just east of PHS.
It is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Indiana CPA Society.

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