Incoming superintendents set steady course
Neither of the county’s new school superintendents have sweeping plans for changes as they enter their new roles.
Clint Corby, who was Hillsboro middle and high school principal before being promoted to superintendent, said keeping the district on the same trajectory was his immediate goal.
Corby has been with the district eight years and has been in education 20 years.
“I’m not coming in and looking at the need to make changes,” he said. “I’m not needing to do that.”
Much of what he plans is holding the line and working with what is available.
“Something I want to do is make sure our focus is on learning,” Corby said.
Making certain the district remains great instead of slipping into complacency is important, he said.
He wants to make sure staff members have the tools and training they need to impact kids.
It’s also important to make sure safety plans and facility plans are up to date, he said.
He also said he wanted to keep communications between himself, staff members, students, and school board members tiptop.
“We want to make sure we’re aware of any problems,” Corby said.
That includes keeping school board members aware of what’s going on.
“I need to make sure the school board has all the information they need to make decisions,” Corby said.
Communication is key to every aspect of running the district, he said. That makes it important for him to be easy to communicate with.
“It’s everything from being someone they feel they can talk to if there’s a problem they’re having, or something great they’re doing,” he said. “One thing we can always do better is communicate as well as possible. With that, it’s never been bad, but we can’t over-communicate.”
He and school board members last week discussed school safety plans to ensure they were up to date. He will make sure the district is in contact with law enforcement so all are on the same page if a situation arises.
“I don’t know that I have any new policies. I just want to be transparent about why we do what we do,” Corby said.
Lee Leiker, who retired as superintendent for Marion schools and is returning as interim superintendent after Aaron Homburg was let go, said his first months at the district would be spent catching up on current happenings since his departure five years ago.
“First thing I want to do is become familiar with all the current happenings of the district and rely on staff to provide input,” Leiker said. “Their input will be critical as we put together a plan to provide excellence as we move forward this year.”
One of his priorities will be to recognize the efforts of staff members and students to build on the district’s success, he said.
Until school gets started, he wants to visit staff members and parents to understand where things are with the district.
The district budget is important to him as well.
“I want to really stay on top of what we need financially,” Leiker said. “That’s where I’ll start anyway.”
He has no new programs he wants to jump into yet.
“I want to get into the start of the school before I decide those programs we’re going to start,” he said. “To me, it’s important to get the input of the students and staff before we decide on direction.”
Many staff members were with Marion schools when he left five years ago, and that will make things easier, he said.
“One of the strengths remains its staff members,” Leiker said. “One of the strengths of the district is to continue to hire and retain quality staff.”
Leiker said community support for the school district was wonderful and always had been important for the district to do what it is able to do.
Last modified July 14, 2022