SYRACUSE — During a very brief special Wawasee school board meeting late Tuesday afternoon, June 7, in Syracuse, the board approved the resignation letter submitted by Mike Schmidt, principal of Wawasee High School. Schmidt’s resignation will be effective June 30.
Rebecca Linnemeier, school board president, noted Schmidt actually submitted his resignation May 20, but had asked it be held and not approved until after the end of the school year. She said Schmidt was concerned about his children. The last day of school for students was Tuesday, May 31, and the high school graduation was held Sunday, June 5.
After the meeting, Wawasee Community School Corp. attorney James Flecker said Schmidt cited personal reasons for his resignation, but Flecker would not give more specific details about the resignation or about the internal investigation that had been launched by the school corporation in early May. Schmidt had been placed on administrative leave when the investigation began. Flecker did say no official law enforcement investigation had ever been started concerning Schmidt.
Flecker said in Schmidt’s absence assistant principals Vince Beasley and Steve Perek provided leadership and were assisted by Kim Nguyen, director of the Wawasee Area Career and Technical Cooperative, and Steve Wiktorowski, WHS athletic director. No timeline has been set for finding a replacement for Schmidt. He had been the principal at WHS since 2013.
Several other personnel recommendations were approved by the board at Tuesday’s meeting. Christie Holst, student services coordinator for North Webster Elementary, submitted her resignation effective June 30. Beth Ward resigned effective June 3 as functional skills teacher at North Webster Elementary and will be replaced by Sarah Stoelting, formerly the special education teacher at Wawasee Middle School. Terri Blauvelt will replace Stoelting at WMS.
Tonya Haywood will transfer from teaching kindergarten at North Webster Elementary to special education teacher at Milford School. Laurie Fredericks will replace Haywood at North Webster.
Effective with the 2016-17 school year, Dr. Robert Cockburn’s title will be changed from corporation data technician to corporate data. Shawn Johnson, assistant principal at WMS, will begin working with corporation data and assessment. And Tom Dickerson will return to his former position of health and physical education teacher at WMS. He had temporarily served as student services coordinator for WMS.
The board also approved recommendations for several summer school teachers throughout the corporation. Tuesday, June 14, is the next regular monthly meeting for the school board. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Warrior Room of the high school.