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December 31, 2012

TOP 10: The biggest Southern Indiana news stories of 2012

Deadly tornado easily takes the No. 1 spot


Henderson didn’t confirm whether or not the officials suspected foul play, suicide or just a loss of control in the wreck, only that local investigators would stick to their normal process for determining the cause of death.

10. TIE: Greater Clark gets new superintendent; Clarksville approves New Tech school

Andrew Melin, who was the superintendent of Valparaiso Community Schools, was hired as Greater Clark County Schools’ new chief administrator on June 11, but not without some opposition.

The board of trustees voted him in 5-2, with Becka Christensen and Nancy Kraft voting against bringing him to the district.

On Dec. 6, 2011, the board voted to allow the contract of the previous superintendent, Stephen Daeschner, to expire. A news release from the district cited fundamental philosophical differences between Daeschner and the board as one of the reasons for not renewing his contract.

A superintendent search committee was formed and met March 19 after the position the top spot was advertised.

Melin said he hopes to continue Greater Clark’s success in improving academic achievement with some new techniques of his own, including a system that would put interventions for students on a tiered scale.

He also helped form a strategic planning committee with more then 90 members, to develop a long-term set of goals for the district. In a guest column, he said he hopes the committee will complete the plan by the end of March.


After years of researching, negotiating and working with the town, Clarksville Community Schools’ board of trustees unanimously voted to bring a New Tech school to their district in 2014.

The board had visited New Tech schools in Columbus and other Indiana cities to see how students and teachers interacted and what benefits the model could bring to the district. New Tech, a project-based learning model that focuses on student engagement, will cost the district a one-time fee of $463,500 to start up. The fee will likely be paid either through the district’s rainy-day or capital projects funds.

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Judy Lunsford works on a lesson plan for her students with fellow teachers, Ellen Rothstein and Adam Stephens, in her classroom at Northaven Elementary in Jeffersonville Wednesday afternoon. Lunsford, a new addition to Northaven, will be teaching second grade.

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