School starting second semester with new principal

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FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon Middle School’s new interim principal comes from a background in academia, leadership and education.

Michael Raters starts his contract at the beginning of the district’s second semester on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and will serve the remainder of the school year. He was appointed to temporarily fill the position after Benjamin Williams resigned to enter the business and consulting field.

Raters leads student affairs and athletics as an associate vice president at Scott Healy & Associates, which recruits for university leadership positions. He’s also a partner and director of education and government projects for Bridge Builder Strategies, LLC, for which he manages research, personnel and relationships with schools, governmental entities and partners.

Raters taught leadership as an adjunct professor at Butler University as well.

“I am fortunate to be joining a community of educators and staff that are exceptionally dedicated and, most importantly, student-centered,” Raters said in a news release. “I am eager to work with them to learn how I can be supportive of their efforts, help advance their teaching and further the leadership of the student body. Above all else, I am excited about engaging with the students, helping to ensure they can maximize their learning during these tough but critical times in their personal development.”

He added he plans to be a positive presence and have high expectations focusing on maximizing resources to provide a fun and successful learning environment.

“By doing that, I will prepare a path for the next principal to find quick and sustained success for MVMS,” he said.

Raters was also the dean of students at Wabash College from 2008 to 2019 and managed the college’s Student Life Division. While there, he developed the Student Engagement and Success Office as well. He was associate dean of students at the college from 2004 to 2008.

He worked at Franklin Central High School as a government team leader, teacher and coach from 1987 to 2004. His teaching career began at Scecina Memorial High School, where he taught from 1986 to 1987.

Raters has a Master of Education Administration from Butler University and Bachelor of Science from Wabash College, where he was a history major with a teacher education area of concentration.

Jack Parker, Mt. Vernon superintendent, said he chose Raters as interim principal because of his collaborative leadership approach and track record of building success in organizations he serves.

“He empowers his team to succeed individually, which furthers the sense of community and collective success,” Parker said in the news release. “We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact Mr. Raters will have with Mt. Vernon Middle School staff and students.”

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Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is seeking candidates for the middle school principal position, which will begin on June 9, 2021.

Interested applicants should visit mvcsc.k12.in.us/employment for additional details. Applications will be accepted before Feb. 19. The interview process will begin Jan. 18 with screening interviews.

Middle school parents and staff will be able to share their thoughts on desired qualities for the candidates through ThoughtExchange, a crowdsourcing platform. A committee of staff and parents will help narrow the field, along with all district principals. The final candidate will be presented to the Mt. Vernon school board for its approval at its April 19 meeting.

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