SACS superintendent marks one month on job, looks ahead to new school year

Local News

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The superintendent of Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS) has switched to focusing on new responsibilities and building new relationships after transitioning from his role as principal at Homestead High School. Park Ginder, Ph.D has also revealed his pick for his replacement at Homestead.

Ginder, who was approved by the SACS board on Tuesday, told WANE 15 that he didn’t take over the role as superintendent with plans to make ‘massive’ changes, but rather to make smaller adjustments to things around the district. The position opened after the retirement of Phil Downs, Ph.D.

“I hope they see me in the community like they did as a high school principal,” Ginder said of expectations of his new position. “I don’t think it’s a big thing to expect your superintendent and principal to be visible at events and so forth, so I think they’re going to continue to see me in places where they’ve seen me before.”

Ginder revealed Homestead Assistant Principal Susan Summers as his pick for a replacement as principal. The board will have to approve the move.

“I’m not going to know the names of kids like I have in the past,” Ginder added. “I always used to take a lot of pride in knowing between 400 and 600 kids in the high school by name. That’s going to go away quick. But I hope to replace that with different kinds of relationships with our adults across all the buildings and to get to know our parents differently.”

Ginder faces some uncertainty in what school could look like come the fall, with decisions need to be made on COVID-19 protocols.

“As we’re working through that, we’re going to do our best to keep everybody up to date and allow them to make decisions that are best for their families,” Ginder said. “We expect to have our kids all coming back to school. We do have a secondary option called eSACS virtual, students will be able to opt into, but we don’t expect that to be a big option for our community and we’ll see our kids back in the building come August.”

With nearly 35 years of K-12 experience, Dr. Ginder served as the principal at Dekalb High School; Assistant Principal at Carroll High School; and Department Head and Art Teacher at Northrop High School and Shawnee Middle School. Dr. Ginder joined SACS as principal of Homestead High School in 2013.

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