NEW PALESTINE — On the same night that the New Palestine Community Schools Board of Education approved a new superintendent last week, they also approved a personnel report listing several position changes at New Palestine High School (NPHS).

Mitch Burk

The moves include promoting a popular NPHS history teacher, Mitch Burk, to assistant principal at NPHS and moving a current assistant principal, Nick Mitchaner, to a new administrative position.

Mitchaner will leave his position at NPHS effective at the end of the current school year to take another administrative position within the district at the administration building, where he will join Brian Dinwiddie as district curriculum coordinators.

Nick Mitchaner

Mitchaner will take on the secondary curriculum for

seventh through 12th grade students while Dinwiddie will handle the elementary curriculum.

“We’re starting to figure out how we will help fill in all of the gaps and the multiple duties that Miles Hercamp did,” Director of Communication and Community Outreach Craig Smith said. “All of his (Hercamp’s) other roles and responsibilities are going to be split amongst who is here now as far as I’ve been told.”

Both Mitchaner and Dinwiddie will report to Assistant Superintendent Katy Eastes who becomes the supervisor of curriculum for all students in the district.

“She’ll take on that supervision role when it comes to the curriculum with Brian and Nick working as the coordinators,” Smith said.

As for Mitchaner, he noted how honored and excited he is to be be moving on to the new position.

“I love this school district and community,” Mitchaner said. “I get to continue the work of some amazing people, from whom I have learned so much. I’m grateful that I get to support our students and staff in all of the work that they do.”

Mitchaner noted it’s going to be great to continue to be part of the team which prepares students for post-secondary success.

“I get to support our students and staff in curriculum and programming that will help students,” Mitchaner said. “I’ve been fortunate to have been part of the curriculum side of things at NPHS, and I get to continue that from a district-wide lens.”

With Mitchaner leaving, Burk, who has become one of the more popular teachers at NPHS, was promoted to assistant principal and will work under principal Jim Voelz as soon as the current school year wraps.

“I am very humbled by this opportunity to serve the students and staff of NPHS in this new role,” Burk said.

Burk said that shifting away from the classroom to an administration role is bittersweet.

“I have enjoyed getting students excited about history and current events over the past few years but have always felt my heart pulled toward building-level administration,” he said.

Burk first began working for NPHS in 2017 and said he has tried to find creative ways to energize students through some new initiatives and help grow a strong school culture.

“I believe that this move will give me opportunities to reach even more students and serve the entire New Palestine community,” Burk said. “I have also been incredibly lucky to work under the mentorship of some amazing district and building leaders. As soon as they knew I was working toward building administration, they helped provide me opportunities to learn and grow.”

Burk said the administration team will meet over the summer to discuss responsibilities for next school year, but he has already started attending trainings and shadowing Mitchaner to learn about his responsibilities overseeing school testing and the Early College program that Mitchaner handled.

The only other position that needs to be addressed has to do with the replacement of Bob Yoder, who handles finances for the district. Sarah Gizzi is the district’s business manager, but it will be left up to new superintendent Gina Pleak as to what happens with Yoder’s position.

“Mr. Yoder does not leave us until the end of August after we get the upcoming budget set, so we have some time to address that situation,” Smith said.