Park Ginder appointed SACS superintendent

Park Ginder is the new superintendent of Southwest Allen County Schools. He was appointed at a special meeting June 22. Present were, from left, Ginder, school board member and board secretary Jennifer Couch, Assistant Superintendent Lynn Simmers, school board Vice President Jennifer Bennett, school board President Brad Mills, board member Tom Rhoades and board member Mark Gilpin.

Park Ginder is the new superintendent of Southwest Allen County Schools. The Homestead High School principal was confirmed June 23, in a 5-0 vote that concluded a 5-minute special meeting of the school board.

He succeeds Phil Downs, who retired in early May.

With nearly 35 years of K-12 experience, Ginder served as the principal at Dekalb High School; assistant principal at Carroll High School; and department head and art teacher at Northrop High School and Shawnee Middle School. He joined SACS as principal of Homestead High School in 2013.

“I’ve loved the place,” Ginder said of his Homestead role and the people with whom he has worked for eight years. “I loved what I was doing at the high school and never was compelled to be a superintendent; that wasn’t my goal. I’ve always wanted to be a part of high-functioning teams, whether that was coaching, teaching or administrative, so when the (superintendent) role became available I definitely wanted to be considered but also knew that I had a great position and a place that I loved.”

“SACS is a district with an outstanding reputation of education excellence and a highly supportive and engaged community,” Ginder commented. “I am honored and eager to work collaboratively with the school board, staff and parents of the SACS community to provide an exceptional education experiences for all our learners.”

“Dr. Ginder is an experienced educator with a proven track record of transformative and inspiring leadership at SACS,” said Brad Mills, SACS School Board president. “He has high expectations, a wealth of experience, and a shared vision for our students, staff and community. We are confident Dr. Ginder will continue SACS’ rich tradition of excellence preparing today’s learners for tomorrow’s opportunities.”

Ginder takes on the new role in the middle of a $169 million building project, as Homestead High School is largely rebuilt in the footprint of the existing building.

One of his first responsibilities will be to write a 2021-22 school year COVID-19 precautions policy to propose to the school board July 13.

The contract sets the superintendent’s salary at $160,000, with increases and bonuses at the board’s discretion. The initial contract extends through June 30, 2024.

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