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Jim Schwarzkopf has been hired as the interim assistant South Adams Elementary School principal for the remainder of the school year. According to Superintendent Scott Litwiller, his main responsibility will be the supervision of elementary students and staff. The decision was made unanimously by school board members at a special meeting on Tuesday (Tony Mellencamp was absent).
Schwarzkopf, who was in attendance at the meeting, said that since he retired seven years ago, he has done substitute teaching at Huntington North, Norwell, Southern Wells, Blackford and Eastbrook schools. He also served as the interim principal at Crestview Middle School. Schwarzkopf was the high school principal at Southern Wells for 30 years.
"Jeff Rich will remain as the interim elementary school principal, mainly because Jim has a secondary administrative license," said Litwiller. Litwiller added that the situation works out well because "Jeff has been around for a while and that helps provide some consistency for the elementary staff."
Rich remains in his position as the middle school principal.
Litwiller suggested a timeline for hiring a new elementary school principal. He said he would like to advertise the open position the week of Jan. 7; think about making Feb. 22 the deadline to submit applications; start screening the written applications the week of Feb. 25; and start interviews before spring break. Litwiller added that he would like to do second-round interviews the first week of April and bring a recommendation to the board at the April 9 meeting.
Litwiller noted that the timeline is "not set in stone," but board members agreed it was a good guideline.
Schwarzkopf has been hired to assist Rich due to the recent resignation of former elementary school principal, Brian Strauss. Strauss resigned from the position Oct. 3, because he was "under investigation in relation to his previous employment in another county." Strauss is now facing a number of charges in connection with allegations of improper conduct with a student at South Central Elementary School, LaPorte County, where he taught before coming to Adams County.
Also at the meeting, retired South Adams Title I Director Carol Cummings was hired as a secondary evaluator of teachers, primarily for the elementary school.
"She's basically being hired as a consultant," said Litwiller.
In other business, board members approved the first reading of several revised school board policies.