In the third year of Principal Randy Corn's tenure at Greencastle High School, the school appears to be doing good things, heading in a positive direction.
All this made the board's acceptance of Corn's resignation at Wednesday's meeting a bit unexpected.
Corn will serve out the remainder of his contract, which is up in June. The principal spoke with the Banner Graphic on Thursday regarding GHS and his time at the school.
"I think Greencastle High School is a great school with great teachers. They're doing good things," he said. "The teachers have the students' interest first. I think we're making great headway here."
Corn highlighted the addition of new courses at GHS in recent years. Among these were Advanced Placement courses in Latin, government and language and composition, as well as a music course the principal believes has been beneficial to the GHS band.
"We added a percussion class, so that Mr. (Bob) Hedge teaches two classes here, which I believe has resulted in our band being better," Corn said. "I think we have the best pep band in the conference, and I think that's part of the reason."
Corn also plans to recommend a course for next year that helps prepare students for college.
"That is to help them take the SAT and ACT as well as to get their applications turned in and be able to decide which colleges to attend," he said. "I think that's going to go a long way to improve the SAT and ACT scores but it's also going to really help kids to see the benefit of going to college.
"I'd like to see more kids going to college."
He added that teachers have spearheaded some other positive additions to the GHS curriculum.
"One of the things a good principal does is see when people want to do something and then gets out of their way and helps them to make it happen," Corn said.
This approach has benefited some of Greencastle's extracurricular activities as well. Corn pointed out the Future Broadcasters Initiative, sponsored by English teacher Tracie Speakman and led by a group of energetic students.
"One of the clubs has been the Future Broadcasters Initiative, which works closely with the Banner Graphic to broadcast games here. That's grown into a really impressive group of students who are really driving themselves toward being professionals in that field," Corn said.
He also praised the leadership qualities promoted by another GHS club, saying it has helped promote the student voice at the school.
"The Key Club has become, as far as I'm concerned, one of the premiere clubs in this school because the students make the decisions as to what they want to do and they make it happen," Corn said. "The leader, Candy Fiscus, has done a good job with them."
Other additions have included Greencastle taking on the alternative school when the one at Area 30 closed, as well as the night school program to help students at risk of dropping out.
"This was in connection with the Knoy Learning Center's grant. I was a part of the dropout (prevention) group here in the county, which looked at ways we can curtail the dropouts. We came up with the idea of a night school," Corn said.
He praised Cloverdale High School Principal Sonny Stoltz in securing the grant that made the night school possible.
"The benefit of that is we had a graduation rate of 86.39 for 2011," Corn said. "That is up five percentage points from when I came here. Before I came here it was 81.3. Last year it was 83.9. It's the highest it's been in several years. That is a testimony to a lot of the good work we're doing here at Greencastle High School -- not just me but teachers and everybody that's here."
While Corn would not specifically comment on the reason for his resignation, he spoke like a man not necessarily ready to leave what he has started.
"I'm certainly not using the job here at Greencastle to elevate myself to a higher position," Corn said. "What I will be looking for is another principalship in another school district where I can continue the work that I have begun here.
"I want to work toward transforming schools."