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New director of technology for GCSC

Friday, January 25, 2013

With computers increasing their role in education almost by the day, the Greencastle Community School Corporation again has someone to lead its technology department.

The school board appointed Cory Hill as the corporation's new technology director on Tuesday.

Hill replaces Jeff Sigworth, who retired from the position in October.

At that time, superintendent Lori Richmond appeared to be moving the corporation toward hiring an outside contractor to manage the school's technology needs.

However, Richmond's impending exit from the corporation brought about a change in direction.

Acting superintendent Dawn Puckett spoke to the Banner Graphic earlier this month about filling the shoes of Sigworth and Steve Ball, who will retire as computer technician on Feb. 22.

"Our goal is to have the same level of service and job performance that we have had for many, many years with Jeff and Steve," Puckett said. "We know that the best way to get that is to get high-quality employees in to fill those positions who have ownership and have a stake in the community. We opened it up for a job pool and our hope is we can find really good quality applicants we can fill those positions with."

Those quality applicants included Hill, who comes to Greencastle after serving as technology coordinator at Decatur County Schools since the fall of 2008.

The new director said he believes Greencastle is in a good place as schools move toward one-to-one technology, the idea of having electronic learning devices in the hands of every student.

"It sounds like Greencastle is in a good place for moving forward to one-to-one in the future and has high goals for student achievement and how technology will work with that," Hill said.

Besides his approval of the school's position technologically, Hill said the move from southeast Indiana was also driven by proximity to family. His wife has family in Greencastle and Brazil, while Hill's parents live in Greenwood.

"Greencastle's a nice city in between that looked like a nice place to raise our children and still be close to our families," Hill said.

Hill's hire was effective immediately, as he began work on Thursday.

The meeting also brought news of a familiar face returning to Greencastle High School, if only temporarily.

Since the departure of Jennifer Shepherd as principal, the high school has been short an administrator. Even Russ Hesler's appointment as principal and the temporary assistance of Dorothy Crawley has still left the school short-handed in the assistant principal's office.

This has put GHS behind on state-mandated teacher evalutations.

In order to catch up, the school has hired consultant Kirk Freeman to do teacher evaluations for a minimum of six days. Freeman spent three years as GCSC assistant superintendent and now owns his own education consulting service.

Once Freeman catches the school up, Hesler and the yet-to-be-named assistant principal will assume the duty.

In other business, the board:

* Appointed two local citizens to the construction committee for GCSC roofing and school facility improvement.

By law, any construction project of at least $350,000 requires a five-member committee to review the wages of the workers involved. In this case, it pertains to the upcoming roofing projects on Greencastle High School, Tzouanakis Intermediate School and Deer Meadow Primary School.

The school board must appoint two of the five members -- one corporation taxpayer and one representative of local industry.

Scott Davis was named the taxpayer representative, while Crown Equipment facilities manager Terry Nichols was named the industry representative.

Davis and Nichols join Bobby Hopper, who was named to the committee on Tuesday by the Putnam County Commissioners.

The president of the Indiana Federation of Labor and the state president of the Association of Builders and Contractors will make the remaining two appointments.

* Approved a number of other personnel moves.

Tyler Chew was hired as a math teacher at the high school for second semester. Chew replaces Michael Stephens, who resigned unexpectedly in December due to a tragedy in his family.

Tina Pitts resigned as Tzouanakis secretary, effective Jan. 25, while Jessica Denney resigned as special services secretary, effective immediately.

Arielle Brosman was hired for the Tzouanakis secretary position, while Tamila Sawyer was hired as the new special services secretary.

Austin Miller was hired as an instructional assistant at Deer Meadow.

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