AP NEWS

NACS in search of elementary principal

June 19, 2018

Northwest Allen County Schools today begins the search for a new elementary school principal due to changes in the special education department.

At the school board meeting Monday, Superintendent Chris Himsel announced Kim Lochmueller is transferring from principal at Cedar Canyon Elementary School to assistant director of special education.

If all goes well, Himsel said, Lochmueller will take over for special education director Jada Conner, who submitted her resignation at the previous board meeting. It is effective next spring.

With such a complex role, he said, it’s important to have a transition year.

The special education department isn’t overstaffed with the addition of Lochmueller, Himsel said. Rather, he said, the extra personnel is about 10 years overdue.

The special education population in NACS has grown from about 700 students in 2008-09 to more than 900 in 2017-18, according to the Indiana Department of Education.

The job posting at Cedar Canyon will go up today, Himsel said. The school had nearly 600 students last year, according to the state.

In other business, the board welcomed a presentation from Eric Doden, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

As a school district, it’s important to stay up to date on factors driving growth in Fort Wayne so it can best serve families and prepare students for the local workforce, Himsel said.

Anecdotally, he said, parents want their children to remain close after graduation. A move measured by a five-hour flight is drastically different than one measured by a drive across town, he said.

Doden agreed. He wants Fort Wayne to be a legitimate workplace option for his children.

Monday’s agenda did not include any items related to the successful May referendum, which allows the district to build another elementary. Himsel couldn’t say when details about the location will be released.

The $33.98 million ballot measure also included safety and efficiency improvements districtwide. That work is dependent on other factors, Himsel said.

The district is “trying to get things done as soon as possible,” he said, but those projects won’t begin this summer.

asloboda@jg.net