After much discussion and pushback from some community members, the Anderson Community Schools board stuck with its first choice for superintendent, Joe Cronk, who now faces the challenge of proving his critics wrong.
Several community activists urged the all-white school board to consider candidates of color and also raised concerns about Cronk’s qualifications. Cronk has more than 30 years of working for the school district in an administrative capacity and does not have a background in education.
According to Public School Review, the ACS student body is 45% non-white, which is a greater percentage than the Indiana public school average of being 32% non-white. With this in mind, it is important to ensure that a superintendent understands the needs and concerns of minority students.
We wish Joe Cronk all the best in his new position, and he should now make it his mission to demonstrate that he is the right person for the job. This includes ensuring that he is a superintendent who cares for issues that impact all demographics in the Anderson school district.
In the months of discussion leading up to his hiring, Cronk has had the privilege to hear the concerns of his critics, and he would do well to take them to heart.
Looking ahead to the next school year, Cronk has his work cut out for him. Top priorities should include diversifying the ACS staff and community outreach, particularly focusing on Black and Hispanic families.
The ball is now in his court to do the job to the best of his ability.