FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS) has announced who will lead the district.
The school board selected Dr. Park Ginder, the current principal of Homestead High School.
“I’m excited,” Dr. Park Ginder said. “This was never a career goal. I was happy teaching art and coaching baseball 19 years ago. But it was because of leaders who saw something in me started me down the path in administration and ended up here.”
Ginder has nearly 35 years in K-12 experience, according to the district. He served as Principal at DeKalb High School, Assistant Principal at Carroll High School as well as Department Head and Art Teacher of Northrop High School and Shawnee Middle School. He joined SACS as Principal of Homestead High School in 2013.
“Selecting the superintendent is one of the most critical decisions a school board will ever make,” said Bradley Mills, SACS School Board President. “Dr. Ginder is an experienced district leader with a proven track record of supporting students, staff and our community. He has the experience, skills, knowledge, and organization capability to continue SACS’ rich tradition of education excellence and opportunity.”
Ginder will take over for former Superintendent Dr. Phil Downs, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Downs accepted a position at Trine University.
During the summer he will be focused on the district’s virtual learning. Moving forward he also wants to focus on developing the school’s brand and what the district will look like once the pandemic ends.
“For me, I’m not so concerned about learning loss but rather learning stamina,” Dr. Ginder said. “We have changed the way our kids have been exposed to education and for some of them it’s been a really good thing and for others, it’s been a struggle. So I think we get back to a different form of excellence, a different kind of pushing or leading with our students and that’s going to be key going forward.”
Tuesday nights were the first step for making Ginder the new superintendent. On June 15 the board will hold a public meeting to review and share the superintendent contract. The meeting will be held in the Administrative Conference Room at 4824 Homestead Road.
Then on June 22 at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Conference Room, the board will officially vote and announce Ginder as the new superintendent.
According to the SACS website, the base salary for the new superintendent will be $160,000 annually with a transportation allowance of $10,000 annually. The initial term for the contract will run until June 30, 2024, which may be extended by an additional year to five years beyond the initial term depending on the Superintendent’s performance.