April 2014 IAPSS Districts VII and VIII Superintendents of the Year
The April 2014 IAPSS eNewsletter features 2014 Superintendents of the Year from Districts VII and VIII
District VII Darrel Bobe, Superintendent of North Knox School Corporation
District VIII Jim Roberts, Superintendent of Batesville Community School Corporation
District winners are selected by other superintendents in their district who consider the qualifications and accomplishments of area colleagues and their instructional leadership in a time of limited financial resources
The North Knox School Corporation faced a 15 percent deficit due to state funding cuts in 2010 when Bobe became superintendent. Since then the board, superintendent and countless others have worked to balance the district’s budget. Among other budget cuts initiated over the past three years, the district closed one of its three elementary schools and realigned grade levels in the remaining three schools. The change reduced teaching positions by 10 percent, but it also gave the teaching staff the ability to redefine their mission, address curriculum and become more innovative.
The district now operates under a balanced budget.
Simultaneous to the budget cuts, the district added positive instructional programs, increased IREAD test scores to 99.9 percent, and end-of-course assessment (ECA) test scores for high school students improved 16 percent in English and 43 percent in biology in the past year. The district also increased its graduation rate to 90 percent in 2013 — a 12% increase from the previous year.
Bobe is a graduate ofIndianaStateUniversityand earned his master’s and doctoral degrees fromOaklandCityUniversity. He formerly worked as executive director for financial services in Vincennes Community School Corporation.
He is a member of the Vincennes University Board of Trustees and formerly served as president of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce.
Like other Indiana school districts, Batesville Community School Corporation has been forced to reduce costs, but the district has kept its pledge to not cut instructional programs or reduce the size of its certified teaching staff.
Batesville Community School Corporation used its “Believe in Better” slogan to communicate a vision of becoming recognized as the best school corporation in Indiana and one of the best in theU.S.
The Batesville Community Education Foundation generated additional revenue for instructional materials, teacher grants and new classroom technology. The Foundation also enabled the district to distribute MacBook Air laptop computers to each middle and high school student. The one-to-one computer initiative is designed to be sustained without a reliance on grant dollars.
The district hired a marketing firm to create a new logo, printed materials and utilized billboards to promote the district in a competitive environment.
The corporation partnered withIvyTechCommunity Collegeto purchase a building where Batesville students earn dual credits and have dual-enrollment opportunities.
Finally, the district opened a wellness center for staff and initiated healthy eating and wellness programs for students to ensure students and staff are functioning efficiently and effectively.
Roberts has served as Batesville Community School Corporation Superintendent since 2007. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees fromIndianaUniversityand his Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University.
Roberts is a board member of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce,MargaretMaryCommunityHospital, Rural Alliance for the Arts and the Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville, and he is a founding member of Team Batesville, a community running club.