By Dani Palmer
The Herald Bulletin
ELWOOD, Ind. —
The Elwood Community Schools board unanimously voted in Timothy Smith as its new superintendent Thursday evening.
Smith comes from Southside Special Services in Marion County, a special education cooperative on the south side of Indianapolis, where he’s served as assistant director for four years.
Prior to Southside, he spent 14 years in high school administration and eight years as a teacher in business, social studies and special education.
He said he saw Elwood’s “need for commitment and longtime dedication” and felt the corporation fit his skill set.
“I’m drawn to working with smaller community needs,” he said.
Smith added that the district’s initiatives are “on target” for what is best for the students and that he’s “excited to dig in and go.”
The board’s vote was held during its monthly meeting at the district’s administrative office, 1306 N. Anderson St., with about 20 in attendance.
Interim Superintendent Tom Austin, who stepped in for Glen Nelson and had served as superintendent before him, personally recommended Smith.
He came across Smith in a superintendent search for another district and said he came highly recommended. The company Austin works for, Administrator Assistance, uses a network of retired school administrators to assist school corporations through transitioning periods.
“I’m pleased for him and pleased for the district,” Austin said. “I think he’ll be a good match.”
Vice President Stephanie Hoel said the board had narrowed the search to four and that Smith fit the bill.
“He just has that drive and a fire in his belly to do good things for Elwood,” she said.
Smith will begin his new role July 1. In the personnel action that voted him in, the board also accepted Director of Special Services Jan Kaye’s retirement.
Austin said he and Kaye “go back a long time” and that it was “with a truly heavy heart” he asked the board to accept her retirement.
Elementary Principal Bev Groover also publicly announced preliminary IREAD scores. Elwood Elementary third-graders had an 86 percent pass rate with an increase of 1 percent.
The kids who didn’t pass will have a chance to retake the test in the summer. If they don’t pass that, they’ll be retained in the third grade.
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