Southwest Allen County Schools' superintendent is the top district leader in the state, according to a professional group of educators.
Phil Downs has been named 2020 Indiana Superintendent of the Year by the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, SACS announced Wednesday.
Downs became superintendent of the district in 2014. Before that, he was the district's assistant superintendent, a position he filled starting in 2010.
The state association of superintendents will present Downs the top honor Dec. 5 at its 2019 annual conference.
Seven other superintendents who were finalists will also be honored. Downs is the District 2 Superintendent of the Year.
Noblesville Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer, a former Fort Wayne Community Schools teacher and principal at Pleasant Center Elementary, is the District 5 Superintendent of the Year.
Officials with the state association did not return a phone call Wednesday afternoon. But based on the state award, Downs' name has been forwarded to the American Association of School Administrators to represent Indiana in the National Superintendent of the Year competition, SACS said in its news release.
That competition will be in February in San Diego.