Eastern Hancock schools chief leaving for Huntington post

GREENFIELD — The Eastern Hancock Community School Corp. is poised to begin the school year without a permanent superintendent.

Superintendent Randy Harris has not made a public announcement but confirmed to the Daily Reporter this week he has received a job offer in another county and plans to resign from his position at Eastern Hancock.

Scott Hoffman, president of the Huntington County Community School Corp. Board, confirmed the school board plans to officially hire Harris at its meeting next week.

Harris, who was hired at Eastern Hancock in 2008, has yet to formally step down from his post and declined to comment on the issue further until his new contract is approved by the northeast Indiana school system.

Eastern Hancock School Board officials said Harris private-ly informed them of his plans to resign.

They’re already planning for his resignation, and the school district will have an interim superintendent when school begins next month, they said.

School board member Scott Johnson said board members have begun discussing who will fill in as the interim superintendent once Harris resigns.

“There are a lot of moving parts and pieces because (Harris’) new position has not been finalized,” Johnson said. “There will be an interim superintendent; we’ll have someone there to fill that void.”

The Huntington board met this week to approve a contract for its new superintendent. Next Wednesday, the board will sign a contract hiring Harris, Hoffman said.

The contract stipulates the new superintendent, who will oversee a school corporation with one high school, two middle schools, seven elementary schools and a prekindergarten school, will receive an annual base salary of $125,000.

In 2014, the school district had more than 5,500 students. That’s a stark contrast to the 1,177 students at Eastern Hancock, where Harris was making $106,000.

Harris said he’s excited for the opportunity to work in a larger school system.

“It’s not that I’m leaving Eastern Hancock; it’s that I’m going for a new challenge,” he said.

The new contract runs from Aug. 1 to July 31, 2018.

Hoffman said the school system is excited to welcome Harris as its new superintendent.

“Randy, first off, is an outstanding person,” he said. “When we first met him, you could just tell he was the person for the job.”

Johnson said Eastern Hancock officials are disappointed to see Harris go. They’ve been pleased with his work during the past six years, he said.

“I think Mr. Harris, and all the school board members have done really well to make Eastern Hancock a school people wanted to come to,” Johnson said. “We wish him well, and I think (Huntington) will be getting a superintendent that is ready to go to work for them.”

Harris, who lives in Muncie, began his teaching career at Monrovia Junior/Senior High School, his alma mater, in 1980 after graduating from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a bachelor’s degree.

He served as principal of three Indiana high schools after leaving Monrovia and spent several years working as a businessman before taking the job in Charlottesville.

Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.