Kara Bonin presently resides in Crown Point, IN with her husband, Leo. She has two children, Blake, 13, and Bryce, 11. She is a Merrillville High School graduate and received her undergraduate degree at Purdue Calumet. Following her graduation, she began her career in education at Jonas E. Salk Elementary School in Merrillville. In 2001, she attended Indiana University Northwest, where she earned her Masters of Science in Education: Administration and Supervision. She taught in the Merrillville Community Schools for 12 years before becoming the principal at Jonas E. Salk Elementary school in 2003.
In the past seven years as principal, Mrs. Bonin has accomplished many things. Jonas E. Salk has met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) every year. Her school has led the district in moving towards a Balanced Literacy Framework as the adopted curriculum framework for Merrillville Community Schools. In 2010, over 90% and 87% of her students passed the ELA on ISTEP+. Her school has become a Professional Development Schools partner with Purdue Calumet with a focus on special education and reading. Numerous teachers in her school are moving toward Inquiry Math. Eight teachers have had the privilege and honor to work with Dr. Diana Underwood and Dr. Erna Yackel in this endeavor. Mrs. Bonin is a graduate of the Indiana Principal Leadership Academy, a Ruby Payne certified trainer, 6+1 trainer for the Merrillville Community Schools, and continues to model professional growth in all aspects of the educational field.
Kara’s most valued Purdue Calumet experience:
“ As a young person, I always knew that I wanted to be an educator. However, after going away to school in Tennessee, I learned that I had much to learn about life in order to become educator. Coming to Purdue Calumet, I encountered professors that challenged me to grow both as a human being and future educator. There were many professors that taught me how to appreciate differences, the importance of putting children first, and always challenging yourself to grow to be the best educator possible. I will always be appreciative to the Purdue Calumet staff for helping me mature and develop into the professional that I am today.”
Advice for success to current Purdue Calumet students?
“ Be passionate about the career that you choose. If you choose education, remember to put “kids first” in every decision you make. You are the key to student learning and achievement. You have the power to turn dreams into reality. You are the key to the future.”