FORTVILLE — A Mt. Vernon alumnus made sure Jack Parker had an appropriate neck tie for the night he signed his contract as the district’s new superintendent.
A fellow Center Grove schools administrator provided him with the black-and-gold tie, he told those gathered at a reception in his honor; it turned out his new team at MV had a similar idea, presenting him with a basket full of treats and Marauders athletics apparel.
It turns out a lot of people are excited to bring Parker on the team.
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More than 50 people attended the reception in honor of the new Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation superintendent, held Monday just minutes after the longtime Center Grove teacher and administrator signed his contract to begin leading Mt. Vernon on Jan. 7.
“We are grateful to have you be a part of this family,” said Shannon Walls, president of the Mt. Vernon School Board. “We truly are a community and a family here, and we hope you feel the same way.”
Parker said he’s excited to start his new position and plans to ride a Mt. Vernon school bus and visit each school in the district on his first day.
“I wish I could start tomorrow,” he told the gathered crowd. “What a wonderful welcome, not only from the board, but from members of the community as well.”
Walls said the board looks forward to seeing his leadership ability in action, knowing the administrator comes very highly recommended from Center Grove schools.
Parker was hired after a six-month search following the departure of former Superintendent Shane Robbins, who resigned in May after accepting a superintendent position in South Carolina. Robbins had served in the position since July 2015. Heather Noesges, the director of elementary education; and Chris Smedley, chief financial officer, have served as interim co-superintendents since June.
Parker, 52, began his education career as a band teacher in 1989, then took a two-year break in 1997 to become the associate director of the Indiana Principal Leadership Academy.
He also taught curriculum and school improvement as an adjunct professor at the University of Indianapolis for its masters program, according to a news release. He earned a master’s degree in education administration from Butler University and a Ph.D in education administration from Indiana State University.
Most recently, he served as the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning in the Center Grove schools central office.
Renee Oldham, executive director of the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation, said the nonprofit is thrilled to have someone with his level of expertise and ability to mentor other educators joining the district.
“It’s an opportunity for us both,” Oldham said. “It’s Christmas come early.”