It is with mixed emotions that I will be leaving my position as superintendent of Hamilton Southeastern Schools to become the executive director of the Indiana School Boards Association. As often happens with career opportunities, more than one factor influenced the timing of this decision. First, the opening at ISBA is not one that occurs very often. Since 1975, only two people have directed ISBA in that capacity. Having served Indiana education for over 45 years in various capacities and in many different areas of the state, I believe this a rare opportunity to be a voice for Indiana public education on a statewide basis. In addition, recent changes in the state teachers’ retirement fund have prompted many long-time, seasoned educators, to consider retiring early. This combination of circumstances led me to conclude that this was the right time for me to make this career change.
I have been honored to serve HSE. Working with the students, teachers, administrators, school board, support staff, parents, community members, and the Town of Fishers has been an exceptional experience; and I have been privileged to be part of a community where a world-class education is an expectation.
Together, we’ve experienced countless successes. Our successes have come even though we have faced numerous funding challenges. Nevertheless, we have been able to develop effective strategies to allow us to continue to provide an outstanding educational program for all of our students.
Through the HSE 21 Initiative, our engaged educators are learning more about teaching our students critical thinking and problem solving skills using innovative methods and collaborative activities that will prepare them to enter careers and professions and will serve them throughout their lifetimes.
Our long-term educational plan also addresses our ability to sustain academic excellence. We’re expanding building capacity in a district that now educates over 21,000 students each year – a number that rivals many colleges and universities. With the completion of our senior academies and updates to state legislation allowing more autonomy for high performing schools, HSE students will have the capability to easily substitute college classes for high school classes and complete up to two years of college credits prior to graduation.
My hope is to be able to one day reflect on the challenges we have faced and know that they were well managed and educationally transcendent for our students, parents and community. I am truly honored and privileged to have been able to serve Hamilton Southeastern Schools and become a part of Fishers, Indiana, where my wife and I will continue to live even as I take on a new position
In the meantime, I look forward to opening another school year and will remain with Hamilton Southeastern Schools through September 1, 2014. During that time, I will be working with the school board to ensure a smooth transition in new leadership for HSE.