INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) The Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents has named Northwest Allen County Schools Superintendent Chris Himsel the Superintendent of the Year for 2017.
Himsel became NACS superintendent in 2010 after serving in the same role at Kokomo Center Schools.
According to a news release announcing the honor, when Himsel came on board, the district faced the prospect of a $6 million deficit – or about 18 percent of the general fund budget. In the same year, Indiana’s property tax caps were fully implemented, causing the district to lose about 40 percent of its property tax operating revenue.
The district reduced staffing, implemented pay cuts, deferred building maintenance and other expenditures, and fully implemented a two-tier busing system that reduced the number of school buses and bus drivers needed to serve an increasing enrollment. With these spending cuts, recent funding increases appropriated by the state legislature, and refinancing bonds, the district has been able to restore 20 of the eliminated positions, accomplish some of the deferred capital projects and provide cost-of-living increases. Northwest Allen County Schools implemented a one-to-one computing project in the fall of 2016 to give all students in grades 6-12 access to a laptop computer.
Himsel was also instrumental in helping defeat an annexation effort by the City of Fort Wayne that would have created even more financial difficulties for NACS.
“I am proud of the work that I complete each day,” Himsel said, “but I am even more proud of the work that each of the support staff, teachers, and administrators completes throughout the school corporation each and every day. Work that is completed with a commitment to meeting the needs of our students.”
Himsel will now represent Indiana in the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year program. Himsel will be judged on the following criteria; Leadership in Learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement. The National Superintendent of the Year will be announced on March 2-4, 2017.