About Us

We are so excited to be a part of Union Center Elementary PTO.  We hope to encourage more parents and teachers to participate in fun activities for the students of Union and hope to create more fundraising opportunities for the school.  Go Bearcats!

Elementary Classroom

Meet Your PTO

The objectives of the UCE PTO are to promote the welfare of the children and to bring into closer relationship the home, school, and community; that parents, teachers and administrators work cooperatively for the education of the students' physical, mental and social well-being.

Veronika Benedict, President

I grew up in New Castle IN. I came here to swim for VU & graduated with a degree in art.
My husband, Julian, & I have been married since 2004. We have 4 kids - Evelyn who just
finished her Sophomore at WHS and will be attending the Indiana Academy at Ball State
this fall. David is heading into 7th grade at UTMS, William into 5th & James into 1st.
Working as an UCE aide this year, I became more aware & involved with the needs of UCE & it’s community. I am excited to be a part of the PTO! I am looking forward to helping & supporting our UCE community

in all the ways we can.


Michelle Nikitaras, Vice President

We moved to Valparaiso a little over 2 years ago. We have 4 kids, although only one of them goes
to UCE. Jacque, 27, is living her best life in Ohio. Aidan,19, is starting his 2nd year at ISU in Terre Haute.
Noah is my incoming big-hearted UCE fifth grader. Gianna is 9 and my sassy little princess. She has a
condition called Trisomy 15 and because of her special needs can’t attend UCE, sadly. Instead, for the
last 2 years, she’s attended Porter Lakes Elementary as part of the PCSE co-op services. 
I work full-time as a wedding planner/florist. My company is Unveiled Weddings & Events.
My husband, George, works as Controller in Lowell & does his best to help me manage our wild family! I am looking forward to working with the UCE staff & community in helping to provide another amazing year! We a


Tammy Gabriel, Treasurer

I’ve been married to Dennis for 32 years (more years than some of you’ve had birthdays! ) We have two grown Wheeler Alumni. I am grandma to Jack, who is our newest addition, and Ryan Warren, who is now a UCE 5th grader! We’ve had the fortune of having Ryan living with us since he was born. He’s an awesome little man and keeps us youthful & involved. Both Dennis & I work full time. In my spare time, wait .... spare time?! I’m a PTO volunteer... there is no spare time! This will be my 2nd year serving as UCE Treasurer. I fully enjoyed being a helping part of bringing our UCE community together. I am excited to continue doing it for another year!


Brandi Galester, Secretary

Chris & I have only one son, Louis, who is heading into 3rd grade. He loves all things sports and is busy enough, challenging enough, & messy enough that we often feel like we have 10 kids!
We’ve been married 10 years and returned to the area after we found out we were expecting. We were living abroad at the time & wanted to be closer to family. It was a hard adjustment and took time to find our groove, so-to-speak. Professionally, my background is business. I currently work part time as an Accounting & Compliance officer. This will be my 2nd year as part of the PTO board. It was a blessing to be able to work with UCE staff & community this last year. We have so many great UCE families & staff members that it’s been easy to commit to helping them in whatever ways are necessary.