News and Tribune

July 24, 2013

Greater Clark superintendent addresses hiring questions

Melin defends integrity of assistant principal hire

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE —

One of the three building-level administrators hired at Greater Clark County Schools’ board of trustees meeting on Tuesday is a former student of Superintendent Andrew Melin . 

Melin said Brandon Winebrenner, who is moving back to Southern Indiana from Arizona to become Charlestown Middle School’s assistant principal, was a student while Melin was an assistant principal at Churubusco High School, which is northwest of Fort Wayne.

Melin said in response to various community discussions, he wanted to assure people in Greater Clark that the hire was made based on qualifications, not favoritism.

“Since I came on board, I’ve taken our hiring process very seriously,” Melin said. “We brought it about in a way that focuses on integrity. We make sure that we’re doing everything in our power to go out and search for the very best candidates.”

He said interviews were conducted with candidates from within the district, but they decided to broaden the search.

He said Winebrenner was searching for a job to come back to Indiana and found the posting on the district website. He said though he saw Melin’s name and remembered him from peer mediation training 16 years ago at Churubusco, Melin never spoke with him until Karen Wesely made the recommendation to hire him.

“I think there are some people in our community who take a more negative approach to this process,” Melin said. “I want you to know that I take pride in that I think it’s always good to go out and try to hire the very best people that you can find, and that’s our goal.”

He said though he understands some questioning, he’ll stand his ground on some issues.

“They can question your decisions, they can say they agree or disagree,” Melin said. “But when you question someone’s integrity, that’s something I’ll always stand up and go to battle on.”

The district also hired Kathy Gilland as principal of Utica Elementary School. Gilland makes the move after two years as the principal of Clarksville Elementary School.

A request for comment submitted to a representative of Clarksville Community Schools did not receive a response by press time. 

These are the first hires the district has made since deciding to remove personnel reports from public view on their public agenda website on July 9.

 

BUSES

The district  hired Jessica Broady as an assistant principal at River Valley Middle School.

The board also reviewed the results of some school bus inspections performed by Indiana State Police in April.

Gary Green, director of transportation, said while the state police’s website for bus information posts initial inspection results, some of their information is inaccurate or not updated promptly.

He said while all but one of the district’s 140 buses are in good shape, the website shows 11 buses out of service and more ordered for repair.

He said all necessary repairs have been concluded, except for one bus that needs more extensive work.

 

ALSO AT THE MEETING: 

Thomas Dykiel, chief financial officer, said the district’s projected $2.5 million budget shortfall should be closed up by December. He said they’ll have to spend some more of their Rainy Day Fund and the Capital Projects Fund will be completely depleted, but they should be in the black by the end of the year.