Todd Hitchcock was familiar with Shelby Eastern Schools when he applied for the superintendent job earlier this year.
He was particularly familiar with Morristown, having coached basketball at the junior high level at New Palestine.
Now, the current assistant superintendent at Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools in southern Indiana will be returning to the area after being hired as Shelby Eastern’s superintendent.
His start date is Jan. 2, 2020, after interim Superintendent Dr. Michele Moore finishes out the semester.
He said he enjoys rural school settings and Shelby Eastern’s size was appealing when he found the job opening through the Indiana School Boards Association website.
“I have a little bit of familiarity with (Shelby Eastern) schools,” he said. “As assistant superintendent, I desired to be a superintendent so that was appealing.”
Hitchcock, now in his 15th year in education, started his career teaching in New Palestine at Doe Creek Middle School, where he also coached basketball for five years. One of his team’s opponents was Morristown each year.
From New Palestine, he became an assistant principal at Paoli Jr./Sr. High School. He was the assistant principal for three years before being promoted to principal for another three years.
He moved into the assistant superintendent role in Jasper, where he’s worked for the last 3-1/2 years.
Hitchcock will be spending a couple days in both November and December at Shelby Eastern schools, which includes Morristown High School and Waldron High School, to begin familiarizing himself with the
communities and faculty. He also plans to take a look at the corporation’s finances and student achievement data.
When he arrives in January, Hitchcock said he wants to evaluate the corporation to see what programs are having the greatest impact on student achievement, and what measures can be taken to increase that impact.
“We’re kind of in a day and age where we’re always evaluating things we do to make sure we’re having an impact on student learning,” he said.
He said he wants to create a vision to continually improve the four schools.
“The job is never done,” he said, adding he will work with teachers and stakeholders to find what areas need to be improved upon. “There are always areas, whether it’s as a teacher or principal or superintendent, there are always areas you can improve upon.”
He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Purdue University/IUPUI, his master’s degree, administrative license and Education Specialist degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University.
He hopes to accentuate the positives about Shelby Eastern and create a positive environment for students.
“If we can get kids to go home at the end of the day and parents don’t have to prod them to tell about their day, (telling parents, ‘guess what I did,” I think we’re doing our job,” he said.
He and his wife, Trisha, have four children, Elias (12), Adeline (10), Emery (8) and Easton (1).