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Southwestern school system hires new principal

John Tindall has been provided with ample warning.

The new Southwestern Junior/Senior High School principal better shelve all his blue and white school-colored clothing, especially when Shelby County tournaments roll around.

The 2009 Waldron High School graduate was approved at Wednesday’s Southwestern Consolidated Schools board meeting to replace Curtis Chase, who will become the school system’s superintendent.

Tindall, a 2013 Purdue University graduate, has taught eighth grade U.S. History at Greensburg Junior High School in Greensburg, Indiana, for the last seven years. He has no specific administrative experience but that did not concern Chase.

“He is a good fit for us,” said Chase. “At the junior/senior high school, we have a great staff. We’ve got things set in place ... a way we do things. (John) studied our school improvement plan. He knew what we were about and brought a new perspective to our plan.”

The Southwestern administrative team has been together for more than half a decade now. Chase is anxious to bring in Tindall to see how he can enhance their programs and policies.

“I am excited that someone is coming in with a new lens,” said Chase. “I want to see what he sees.”

Chase has been principal at Southwestern for eight years. He has used this final semester as a transition period to replace superintendent Dr. Paula Maurer, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Southwestern’s school board had a strong candidate pool to select from, according to Chase. The list of applicants was trimmed to seven and sent to a teacher committee, who whittled the list down to three candidates. The administration team and a school board member then met with the candidates and selected Tindall.

“He beat out some really good candidates,” said Chase, who was given a strong recommendation for Tindall from Greensburg Junior High School principal Matt Clifford. “We were very happy with the qualified candidates that applied.”

Tindall delivered a message to the Southwestern community that appeared on Southwestern’s Facebook page.

“I am honored to be the new principal at Southwestern Jr.-Sr. High School,” said Tindall. “My parents instilled in me community values that have led me to where I am today. My mom has always pushed my brother and I to participate in community service projects through 4-H, Junior Leaders, SCUFFY and the Salvation Army. She has always led by example in giving back to the community. With my brother having just opened up the restaurant “Munchies” on the circle in Shelbyville, I think our parents’ unrelenting belief in community values has served us well. I am grateful and excited to be able to continue and expand my involvement in the Shelby County community by serving as principal of Southwestern Jr.-Sr. High School.”

Tindall’s brother, Adam, is co-owner of Munchies in downtown Shelbyville.

In other school board business Wednesday:

Approved a $29,000 expense to purchase 100 HP Chromebooks including warranties from Riverside Technologies, Inc.

Chase informed the board the school system will be sending out a letter to all parents and teachers asking for feedback on how eLearning went over the final two months of the school year. “We want to provide the best possible lessons,” said Chase. “We need parent feedback. Our community has done a good job of getting assignments in. We don’t know yet how the fall will start so we have a couple of months to come up with a plan.”

The board received an update on the first construction phase of the new fieldhouse being built at the high school. Interior work at the school has started and a fenceline now surrounds the project area on the north side of the school. The project is ahead of schedule right now, according to Chase. The original completion date for the fieldhouse, which will alleviate spacing concerns for athletic and educational groups in the school system, is April 21, 2021. S&B Construction, of Indianapolis, is handling the build.

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