The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

April 30, 2013

With changes, ACS board has broader superintendent options

Chow plans to focus on student achievement in last year

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Anderson Community Schools board hasn’t had the chance to discuss the future when it comes to the next superintendent yet, but it may possibly have a larger pool of candidates to choose from with a new piece of legislation.

Passed in the Indiana General Assembly, House Bill 1357 removes the requirement for superintendents to have an educator’s license, allowing a school corporation to hire a superintendent with any kind of background so long as he or she has a master’s degree.

“There’s a lot of things to sit down and go over,” board member Tim Long said.

Currently, it’s hard to tell whether the change will affect ACS’s search for a successor to Felix Chow, who announced his plans to leave at the end of his contract in 2014. It’s difficult to find someone with the experience needed, period.

During the superintendent search after Mickey Lowe resigned in 2009, Long said, two-thirds of applicants didn’t even qualify and that Chow was “head and shoulders” above the rest.

“Finding a new superintendent quickly is not easy,” Long said.

Having the chance to hire a superintendent without a license means the board has more options, Chow said, but there are legal requirements and the reality that whoever steps in may not understand the issues and challenges of a school system.

It can be done, he said, but transferable skills are needed. Having an understanding of the field is just as important as having the leadership ability, according to Chow.

He gave an example of successful Pepsi CEO John Sculley, who took over for Apple in 1983 and wasn’t as successful.

Long said the board still needs to meet with the district’s attorney and the Indiana School Board Association to go over options and state changes.

In the meantime, Chow still has another year ahead of him. His contract doesn’t expire until June 30, 2014.

Under his leadership, The Crossing alternative school will open for struggling students this fall along with Southview Center, 4500 Main St., a centralized location to handle all of ACS’s preschool students.

Chow doesn’t foresee any other big changes.

“The community wants some level of stability, so we try to keep everything the same,” he said.

The focus will remain on the eight-step process, used to assess students’ strengths and weaknesses, to increase student performance and IREAD, he added.

While the school board hasn’t set up a timeline for the search to begin and a new superintendent to be found, it did receive Chow’s notice of non-renewal a year in advance, accepted April 9, giving it more time than usual to find a replacement.

If the board wants him, Chow will be there to consult on the search. And depending on his successor’s experience, he added, he’d be willing to do some mentoring.

“I’m flexible,” he said. “The whole point is to have a very smooth transition and find the best person (the school district) can.”

Of the possible challenges his successor could face, Chow noted the danger of enrollment fluctuations.

This year, ACS lost about 100 students. The year prior, it lost about 1,000.

He said it’s hard to know what to expect, but important to have the ability to make adjustments quickly, like opening a building if necessary.

“That kind of challenge is always there,” he said.

Whatever direction the board takes, state law requires a school district to disclose the proposed contract, including salary and benefits, to the public.

Much like the process the board held during talks about extending Chow’s contract in October, Long said, a public forum must be conducted on the proposed contract with a superintendent candidate seven days before it can be finalized.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • NWS-HB0726-Blighted.jpg State provides money to take bite out of blight

    The worst-of-the-worst abandoned and uninhabitable residential houses in Anderson, Alexandria and Elwood will soon start tumbling down, say officials in all three cities. Demolition of the houses is being made possible through a federal loan initiative administered by the state called the Blight Elimination Program.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Elwood schools seek election change Elwood Community Schools is seeking to change the process for the way that members of the school board will be elected starting with the November election.

    July 25, 2014

  • NWS - HB0726 - fabricating bill Company not charged for electricity for five months Ever since CB Fabricating moved into a new addition at their business, there has been a problem with electric bills received from the city of Anderson. The company received no bill for electricity usage from the Anderson utility office for five months, despite numerous attempts they say they made to correct the problem.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0726 - Colts Camp day two 349 Enjoy football, save lives Nine Indianapolis Colts fans attending practice at Anderson University saved 27 lives on Friday. That's good, of course, but if 15 more fans had taken a few minutes out of their afternoon to donate blood, 72 lives could have been saved, said Julie Gordon of the Indiana Blood Center.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • County doctor arrested on drug charges

    A Fishers doctor with ties to Pendleton was arrested Friday in a Drug Enforcement Administration raid of numerous doctor’s office in central Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • Local Briefs: July 26 A compilation of news items of local and statewide interest as published in the Saturday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 25, 2014

  • Arrest Log: July 26 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Thursday and Friday based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • Arrest Log: July 25 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Wednesday and Thursday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • DSC_8125.JPG Auction teaches in business, farming

    After 10 years of 4-H, saying goodbye to his animals has become a simple matter for McKennon Heald. But he said he wouldn't be surprised to see some tears from some of the younger participants. He's been there.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anderson, Alexandria and Elwood receive grants to tear down abandoned houses Three Madison County cities — Anderson, Alexandria and Elwood — received state grants that will be used to tear down abandoned, dilapidated houses.

    July 25, 2014

July Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook