East Allen has a new superintendent

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

The East Allen County Schools board approved the district’s new superintendent without debate or discussion Tuesday, officially filling a vacancy that almost went to someone else.

Marilyn Hissong’s son and daughter were in the audience for the unanimous vote on her contract, which included a base salary of $140,000 in the first year and the potential of a $3,000 raise to the base salary in the last two years, depending on acceptable performance as determined by the board. The contract runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020.

Board member Paulette Nellems was absent.

“I’m elated, humbled and certainly honored to be chosen as the next superintendent,” Hissong said in a statement.

“I’ve wanted this all my life and I’ve worked hard to get to this point. We will work together as a team to provide the best education and opportunities for all students!”

Hissong served as acting superintendent since mid-July, when the board announced at a news conference that the first candidate offered the job, Doug Hicks, would not advance to the central office post. Board President Bob Nelson had said the East Allen University principal decided to remain in that role.

In Hissong, EACS is getting a leader born and raised in the district; she graduated from Woodlan High School in 1988.

Her education includes two degrees from Ball State University – a teaching degree in 1992, and an educational specialist degree in the superintendency in 2002. She also earned her school administration degree at IPFW in 1998.

She has been a teacher, principal, curriculum director and, most recently, assistant superintendent of elementary education.

Internal candidate Teresa Knoblauch will now serve in the latter role, as approved by the board Tuesday. However, her former position – Title III director – must now be filled.

In other news, the board awarded a nearly $24 million bid for the New Haven Intermediate School construction project to Fetters Construction, the lowest of four bidders.

The $23,784,000 price tag combined a $23,683,000 base bid with five alternates totaling $101,000.

EACS plans to build a new facility for the school, which will serve third through sixth grades, on a site north of Indiana 930 west of New Haven High School. The project will include demolishing two buildings, the Park Hill Learning Center and the 64 building.

Nelson said the new site will be more centrally located and, with the high school nearby, should be more convenient for parents with older children in the district.

The existing intermediate school will house vocational and alternative programs, he said.

The new school is expected to be ready for the 2019-20 academic year, the same target completion date for the work at New Haven High School, Chief Financial Officer Kirby Stahly said.

The board last month approved a $29.2 million contract with Hagerman Construction for the expansion and renovation of New Haven High. The project includes the addition of a seventh- and eighth-grade wing.

EACS’ various construction sites might soon be marked with thank you signs, Nelson said, welcoming feedback on a mock-up.

“We can’t thank our community enough,” he said, “so let’s do that.”



Statement from the East Allen County School Board on Ken Folks

On behalf of the board of School Trustees, we would like to publicly thank Dr. Ken Folks for his service to East Allen County Schools and wish him the best of luck on his retirement.  Ken, through his leadership, enthusiasm, and energy has returned EACS to a level of distinction that has not been achieved for some time.  This Board would also like to thank Ken for being our friend and for always administering an open door policy.  Thank you.

Dr. Ken Folks

The Board takes the process of placing a new superintendent very seriously and is committed to conducting a search that is as open and transparent as possible.  The Board will not rush this process as we strive to find the best candidate to lead the school district.  Rather than adhering to a strict timeline, we have set timeframes for reasonable objectives we would like to see materialize.

EACS has an exceptional and dedicated staff in place and we are very confident in its ability to lead us through this process until another superintendent is named.  This Board will conduct a search both internally and externally in an effort to secure the very best leader for EACS.  The Board of Trustees, along with the administration team, will continue to work closely with Dr. Folks for the duration of his service.

Thank you to every member of the East Allen County school family.  Through your professionalism, you have made EACS a sought-after school system.


POSTED: 12/29/17 at 10:34 am. FILED UNDER: News, Schools