The Superintendent’s job is the greatest job in the world. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of your role in your district and your community. The membership of IAPSS is providing incredible leadership across Indiana. And, with several of our partners, we are leveraging that leadership to ensure the very best opportunities for our scholars, educators, and communities. I could not be more proud of the IAPSS Superintendents with whom I have witnessed personally making a difference over the past month. While too numerous to mention individually, I want to say thank you to you all!!
During the month of August, IAPSS members were invited to partner with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Members served on one of five Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Groups to make recommendations to the IDOE on Indiana’s ESSA plan. The ESSA plan is the most significant opportunity we have to impact how we educate our scholars, measure that learning, and communicate what we do to our publics. Additionally, IAPSS members have been actively engaged with the IDOE in providing feedback and guidance with strategic planning as the IDOE works to best serve Indiana’s children.
In early September, we had the pleasure to welcome a room full of leaders aspiring to become Superintendents. These future Superintendent’s heard from our members about working with their school board, understanding school financing and budgeting, search for that perfect fit, negotiating the first contract, and heard reflections of our colleagues’ experiences during the first several years.
Also in early September, IAPSS and IASBO were asked by the State Board of Accounts (SBOA) to provide feedback during their annual conference about the field audits. Several members provided feedback that I was able to share with the SBOA field auditors. The field auditors received the feedback very well and appreciated the opportunity to hear directly from our members in an effort to provide better services to school districts.
In late August and early September, Superintendents in each of the congressional districts welcomed Indiana’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Jennifer McCormick, to share updates regarding the Indiana ESSA plan. During that same time, Dr. J.T. Coopman, IAPSS Executive Director, and over a dozen Superintendents have actively participated in the State Board of Education’s Graduation Pathways Panel. Even though the panel does not include any active public school Superintendents, the voice of IAPSS members is being heard and we are making sure we are engaged in this process. This is critically important as we consider that these graduation pathways will impact the scholars well beyond many of our careers. If you have not yet signed up to testify and still want to have your voice heard at an upcoming panel meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact me. There are still several opportunities for us to provide feedback and potentially impact the panel’s recommendation to the SBOE in December.
Our partnership with Butler University to offer Educators Preparing Inspired Change (EPIC) through the College of Education and the Lacy School of Business has been amazing. Our first cohort of IAPSS Superintendents have experienced powerful sessions already and have just a few left before concluding their experience. We are now accepting applications for the next cohort of EPIC Superintendents. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to further explore and develop your executive leadership with a business twist.
We welcome the new ISBA Executive Director, Terry Spradlin, and thank Dr. Smith for his leadership during the past several years. In partnership with ISBA, IAPSS has put together a terrific Fall Conference. The ISBA/IAPSS Fall Conference provides a great opportunity for Superintendents and their Board of Education to participate in professional development collaboratively. I look forward to seeing you at the Indiana Convention Center on October 2nd and 3rd.
And, I have only scratched the surface of all the opportunities we have. As I indicated last month, I continue to challenge each one of us to work together to take down the walls that have been built to quiet our collective voice by separating our districts based on demographic make-up. Indiana’s scholars deserve the very best we have to offer and collectively we can offer more that we can divided.
Jeffrey K. Butts, Ph.D.
M.S.D. of Wayne Township Superintendent
2017-18 IAPSS President