09/01/11 As expected, Dr. Terry Barker, superintendent of Union-North United School Corporation, was named to lead the School City of Mishawaka. Barker, who came to the LaVille Schools in July of 2009, was named the new Mishawaka superintendent during a special board meeting on Tuesday night. He will officially begin in his new position on October 3.
Barker will be the first permanent superintendent for the Mishawaka schools following the retirement of R. Steven Mills. Mills retired in May of 2010 on the heels of a controversy over his apparently unknown marriage to another school administrator.
Dan Towner who has filled the top job as the interim superintendent, will continue with the schools as the head of the curriculum and instruction department.
Barker has a varied background in education that should serve him well. He taught in the Muncie area before entering into an administrative position as an elementary principal in 1982 for the Shelby Eastern Schools in Shelbyville, Ind.
Other positions included serving as principal of Walt Disney Elementary School from 1989 until 1996. Walt Disney is a part of the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation. After pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership at Indiana University, he accepted a position in Illinois as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and human resources at West Chicago Schools. His internship for the degree was with the Indianapolis Public Schools.
For two years, beginning in 2000, he was the assistant superintendent for human resources at Lake Zurich Schools, also in Illinois, followed by a superintendent position in Mount Prospect, Ill. Before coming to Union-North, he held the top job at North Newton School Corporation in Morocco, Ind. from 2006-2009.
Reportedly, Barker will receive a salary of $140,044 per year.
Barker came to Union-North amidst difficult economic times for the corporation and has been credited with getting them back on solid financial ground.
Within the last few weeks, he presented the school board with a five-year plan to promote student educational growth. The plan was adopted unanimously.
Correspondent Carol Anders