Retiring Southwest Allen Schools Superintendent Dr. Phil Downs takes position with Trine University

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Dr. Phil Downs, who announced his plans to retire as superintendent of Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS) in January, will be continuing his work in education at Trine University.

Downs has spent 31 years in K-12 education, including a stint as the superintendent of Southwest Allen County Schools.

Dr. Downs’ last day at SACS has not been determined. The SACS Board of Trustees is in the process of interviewing candidates for the superintendent position.

“I am so grateful for the honor of working in three outstanding school districts. I have
been blessed to learn from and work with so many great people: students, parents, and
colleagues. I am so grateful for the impact they have had on my life,” said Downs. “At
Trine, I hope to continue to support public education in a post-secondary role,
developing future leaders and administrators at a university dedicated to preparing its
students to lead, succeed and serve.”

According to a news release from Trine University, Downs will oversee development of new graduate programs within the Franks School of Education, and ensure the school meets requirements for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Specialized Professional Association (SPA) programs.

Downs was named the state of Indiana’s Superintendent of the Year in 2020.

Tony Kline, Ph.D., dean of the Franks School of Education, said Downs will lead the development of “innovative, distinct, professionally focused certificate and master’s degree programs.”

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Downs join the Franks School of Education at Trine University as we begin a new chapter by building our first graduate programs,” Kline said. “Dr. Downs has an impressive history of service to the education profession. His vision, intellect, innovative problem solving and genuine disposition have earned him the respect of so many across the state and beyond.

Downs holds a Ph.D. in education leadership from Purdue University and administrative certification, a master of science in education administration, and bachelor’s degrees in education and history from Purdue Fort Wayne.

He serves on the boards of numerous community and education associations, including the Comprehensive Center Network, Purdue University Department of Educational Studies Advisory Board, Anthony Wayne Foundation, American Association of School Administrators, Friends of the Lincoln Collection, EdLeader21, The Orthopedic Hospital. He also is District 2 chair for the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents and past president of the board for the Mike Downs Center for the Study of Indiana Politics at Purdue Fort Wayne.

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