The March 2014 IAPSS eNewsletter features 2014 Superintendents of the Year from Districts IV and VI
District IV Dan Sichting, Superintendent of Bloomfield School District
District VI Phil Stevenson, Superintendent Centerville-Abington Community Schools
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 Bloomfield School District serves a diverse population of 950 rural and urban students. Enrollment in the district has recently declined, reducing tuition support funding by $850,000 since 2009. Sichting and school board members found creative ways for the district to survive and ensure academic excellence. The district has reduced staffing through attrition and hiring practices. Sichting saved the district over $200,000 when employee consensus resulted in a switch from private health insurance to the Hoosier Heartland Health Insurance Trust.
In 2012BloomfieldElementary Schooland the district received an “A” letter grade, and Bloomfield Junior/Senior High School received a “B” from the Indiana Department of Education. Students have access to multiple dual-college credits throughIvyTechCommunity CollegeandVincennesUniversity. The district’s 2011 valedictorian entered college with 70 college credits earned while a student in theBloomfielddistrict.
Sichting has beenBloomfieldsuperintendent since 2006. He previously served as an administrator atWesternWayneSchoolsand the MSD of Martinsville.
Sichting is a board member of the Greene County Foundation and a member of the Bloomfield Rotary. He is also a member of the Bloomfield Apple Festival planning committee. He received a B.A. fromFranklinCollegeand earned his master’s degree and educational specialist degree fromIndianaStateUniversity.
Centerville-Abington Community Schools is among 16 school corporations statewide to receive a letter grade of “A” for each of its school buildings in the school district from the Indiana Department of Education.
When Stevenson became superintendent in 2005 the district faced massive financial problems due to reductions in state support and declining enrollment. Stevenson established a steady line of communication with parents, teachers, community organizations and other key stakeholders about financial issues, using newsletters, community meetings and regular board meetings. After three years of budget cuts and retirements still left the district with a $350,000 annual shortfall, the district restructured its two elementary schools, producing both economic and academic improvements.
“We were able to eliminate the competition between the two elementary buildings and coordinate and articulate curriculum more efficiently,” said Stevenson. “As a result, test scores began to rise and morale improved.”
Stevenson has been an administrator in Centerville-Abington Community Schools since 1985, previously serving as principal and assistant principal inCentervilleSenior High School.
He attendedBallStateUniversitywhere he received his B.S. two master’s degrees and an Ed.S. degree.
Stevenson has served as board chair ofUnited WayofWhitewaterValleyand is a member of Centerville Lions Club and Historic Centerville, Inc. He received an Outstanding Alumni Award fromBallStatein 1983 and a Distinguished Hoosier Award from the Indiana General Assembly in 1998 for his leadership of the Eastern Indiana Model Legislature program for students in five area schools.