Litwiller interim label is dropped

    Scott Litwiller will no longer be the acting superintendent of South Adams Schools.
    At their meeting on Tuesday, school board members (except for Steve Dobler, who was absent) unanimously approved Litwiller for a four-year contract as superintendent, effective July 1, 2011.
    In August of 2010, Litwiller was named as acting superintendent until June 30, 2011. According to board president Arlene Amstutz, that designation was made to give board members more time to decide the best direction for South Adams after the resignation of former superintendent Cathy Egolf. 
    Amstutz addressed Litwiller, saying, "You have done an outstanding job, and we welcome you for another four years."
    After the meeting, Litwiller said, "I'm excited to continue working with the students of the South Adams community."
    Litwiller, who has been in education for more than 20 years, has a master's degree in education administration with an emphasis in elementary education. He is currently working toward upgrading his temporary superintendent's license to a permanent one.
    In other news, junior JD Tarr and senior Gabbie Sindone were welcomed to the school board as student body representatives.
    According to Litwiller, the purpose of having the students on the board as non-voting members is to keep the board informed about student concerns/interests; to receive direct student input about agenda items; and to be a reminder that the school serves the best interests of the students.
    Tarr and Sindone did give input at Tuesday's meeting, when the issue of the random drug testing policy was revisited.
    Sindone said, "I think it's something that needs to be done." Tarr agreed.
    Litwiller explained that a committee is currently being formed, and the plan is to have the committee meet in the next few weeks.
    Also at the meeting, South Adams High School Principal Trent Lehman recommended that the high school student handbook be amended to reflect the Indiana Department of Education Core 40 diploma requirements. The board approved this recommendation and it will be effective immediately, allowing students to graduate with 40 credits. An academic or technical honors diploma, however, will still require 47 credits.
    Lehman addressed the concern that some students will view this amendment as a way to graduate in three years, especially given the fact that the state of Indiana is considering passing legislation that will offer a $4,500 scholarship to students who graduate from high school early and then attend college.
    Lehman said that South Adams offers between 30 and 60 college credits "at a smidgen of the cost of a college campus." He added, "I don't see it as beneficial for South Adams students to graduate in three years. It's not that good of a deal."