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WCS super-intendent honored

Staff Report

Jason Callahan, superintendent of Wabash City Schools (WCS), has been named 2020 Superintendent of the Year for District III by the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents (IAPSS), according to a press release.

Winners are selected by other superintendents in their district who consider the qualifications and accomplishments of area colleagues and their instructional leadership in a time of limited resources.

Callahan has been an administrator in WCS since 2005, serving as an assistant principal and principal before becoming superintendent in 2011. WCS is a small district in an area where manufacturing jobs have been disappearing. As the area’s population declined, Wabash City Schools lost 11 percent of its general fund budget in 2011 and lost an additional $500,000 in 2015.

“I share the Wabash community’s belief that quality education and local leadership development are keys to ensuring that rural communities not only survive but thrive in the future,” stated Callahan.

Under Callahan’s leadership, Wabash City Schools has:

n Opened an early childhood center.

n Achieved an early college endorsement for Wabash High School from the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL).

n Created a new sense of pride for the “Apache Way” and changed the culture to one where educational attainment is valued.

n Reduced operating costs by closing one school building, changing health insurance companies and encouraging employee fitness.

n Used community partnerships to create a Wabash County “Begindergarten” summer program to close achievement gaps for students entering kindergarten.

n Instituted a college savings program that has now spread to 25 counties.

n Redesigned high school programs to ensure every student has the opportunity for a post-secondary experience.

n Created a partnership with Ivy Tech to allow high school graduates to simultaneously earn a Statewide Transfer General Education Core Certificate.

n Achieved a graduation rate of 90 percent or higher for eight recent years.

n Reinstated a business curriculum to allow students to study entrepreneurship.

n Increased opportunities for international travel and international experiences for students and added a Spanish dual-language immersion program.

The district has improved its cash balances and has experienced three consecutive years of increased enrollment.

Callahan has earned three degrees from Ball State University and is currently working on another post-graduate degree from Indiana State University.

Callahan currently serves as the chair of Grow Wabash County, the chief volunteer officer for Wabash County YMCA and as a board member for Parkview Wabash Hospital and Ivy Tech Northwest Indiana.

IAPSS District III includes Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Grant, Howard, Miami, Tipton, Wabash and White counties.