The Journal Gazette
Saturday, May 14, 2022 1:00 am

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A return to her roots

EDITORIAL BOARD | The Journal Gazette

Indiana's last elected state superintendent of public instruction, Jennifer McCormick, has returned to her public education roots – if only temporarily. She was approved Wednesday as interim superintendent of Oak Hill United School Corp., the Marion Chronicle-Tribune reports.

Oak Hill, a district of about 1,600 students, is located on the border of Grant and Miami counties. McCormick replaces Chad Cripe, who was hired as superintendent of Southmont Schools in Crawfordsville. She formerly was superintendent of Yorktown Community Schools in Delaware County for seven years.

McCormick served as state superintendent from 2017 to 2021. She announced in 2018 she wouldn't seek another term, citing an inordinately political and “complicated” system.

McCormick was elected as a Republican in 2017 but switched to the Democratic Party last year. Once she announced she wouldn't seek reelection, Indiana changed the office to a governor-appointed position in 2021. Katie Jenner was appointed the state's first education secretary.

During her tenure, McCormick advocated for more oversight of charter and private schools and often disagreed with the State Board of Education. She earned a reputation as a leader willing to defy party bosses and work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Oak Hill School Board President Scott Deaton told the Chronicle-Tribune the district is taking applications for its superintendent. McCormick is expected to lead its June board meeting and will likely stay on for a short period to help with the transition once a permanent replacement is named.

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