Jason Chew approved as NPHS principal

Thursday, October 24, 2013

BAINBRIDGE -- North Putnam High School will have a new principal in now-assistant principal Jason Chew. Chew was approved as the new principal for the 2014-2015 school year. Along with this change Bainbridge Elementary will also be looking for a new principal for the 2014-2015 school year.

The North Putnam Community School board approved a contract making Chew the new principal at the high school at Wednesday night's meeting. After, now principal, Alan Zerkel put in his retirement papers in for the end of the school year the board decided to look internally for a replacement for Zerkel.

"We had two applicants, Terry Tippin (North Putnam Middle School Principal) and Jason Chew," Superintendent Dan Noel said. "They were both highly qualified... It was a very tough decision."

Chew received the job offer over the fall break and said that he was excited by the opportunity to lead the school.

"I'm honored to be named principal," Chew stated.

He also expressed his gratitude to all that were involved in the process and the community. He looks forward to continuing the work that he and Zerkel have been doing at the high school the last several years. The position for assistant principal at the high school will be discussed at a future school board meeting.

In addition to Chew's hiring, the retirement of another principal was approved by the board.

Jo Ellen Cook, principal at Bainbridge Elementary, was approved for retirement at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. More of Cook's teaching career and time at Bainbridge will appear in a later issue of the Banner Graphic.

With Cook's retirement the board decided that the position would be an open application. Noel hopes to have the new principal for next school year at Bainbridge Elementary lined up by the end of November.

Like many of the area schools, North Putnam School Corporation was approached about joining in the lawsuit that is trying to gain some wiggle room with the Affordable Care Act.

The firm Bose, McKinney and Evans has brought the suit to the Putnam County school corporations and to other corporations throughout the state.

Noel stated that attorney Jim Hamilton, who is part of the firm that is heading up the suit and who also represents the Wabash Valley and West Central Insurance trust that North Putnam Schools is a part of, believed that the fines that could be levied on the corporations is against the tenth amendment.

The school board believed that becoming part of the lawsuit would be in the best interest of the corporation. The board approved a resolution to become a part of the suit as long as there would be no cost to the corporation.

Hamilton told Noel that those participating in the lawsuit would have to pay nothing to be a part of it.

With no cost to them in the lawsuit, the board also looked at the timeline for the energy projects at the schools.

The board was given a tentative timeline on when different energy projects for the schools would need to start. The first project would be at Roachdale Elementary and be paid by GO bonds. These energy projects will be done to update different systems in the schools. More information will be available on these projects in the future.

North Putnam School Board will meet again for a special session on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Administration Office and for a regular session on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.

In other business:

-At a special session earlier this month the school board approved the 2014 budget.

- The board also approved the hiring of several employees; Cheryl Crosby as a teacher at Bainbridge Elementary; Charles Beaumont, Joseph Conniff and Ron Richardson as bus drivers; Kevin Lutes as a volunteers assistant girls basketball coach at the high school; Scott Spencer as the high ability coordinator for the next school year; Dan McMurtry as the spell bowl sponsor at Roachdale Elementary; Shawn Tennis as the seventh grade boys basketball coach and Pat Gottschalk as a temporary Spanish teacher at the high school.

- Jan Pennington was approved for retirement at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

-Two hires, Don Simpson and Jeff Rudes, were tabled until further information was gathered.

- The resignations of Jennifer Conley and Teona Sawyer were also approved at last weeks special session.

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