Posted on

Pope named assistant principal at CCHS

Pope named assistant principal at CCHS
Pope named assistant principal at CCHS
Gary Pope

Corydon educator Gary Pope, the “teacher of record” at the South Harrison Alternative School since 1998, was approved last Tuesday as assistant principal of Corydon Central High School. The vote by the South Harrison Community School Corp. board of trustees was 7-0.
Pope, a teacher and school administrator for 26 years, said one reason he agreed to be assistant principal was to work with Carole Shields, the new principal at CCHS.
“Carole is great to work with,” he said. “I had worked with Carole the last two years, because as assistant principal she was the principal of the Alternative School, and I knew we shared the same vision for the school and education. I already knew that we could work together as a team.
“Carole recommended me for this job along with Wayne Apple (Shield’s predecessor at CCHS), and both have supported me and helped me with the state rules and regulations.”
Two areas he will be responsible for are attendance and discipline. “I want to be pro-active in these areas and help set the kids up for success,” Pope said. “I want to help the kids be responsible for attending school just like they’d be responsible for attendance at a job.
“This is where we can use programs like Renaissance, of which I am co-sponsor, to help us achieve our goal.”
Pope taught in Catholic schools for 20 years: eight in New Albany and 12 years at St. Joseph School in Corydon, from 1984 to 1996. He was an administrator as well as a teacher for eight years at St. Joseph. “I was the last teaching principal there.”
“I enjoyed teaching in Catholic schools because the low student population there, 150 to 160 students, allowed me the chance to get to know the students personally,” Pope said. “Getting to know the students personally will be a lot harder to do in a school with 750 students.”
Pope had several temporary positions at South Harrison schools before going to the Alternative School.
“The Alternative School here is not for kids with behavior problems but for kids who have trouble learning in a regular classroom setting and need to catch up,” Pope said. “While most of the learning there is done on computers, I still had to be able to help with all subjects.”
Pope has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Indiana University Southeast and a specialist’s degree in school administration from Spalding University. He also has an elementary education license.
In addition to his new duties, Pope will co-chair South Harrison’s Professional Development Committee, which helps teachers improve their teaching skills.
“Education is changing and teachers have to be aware that different students have different learning styles,” Pope said. “We help teachers employ different teaching techniques within the design qualities of their lesson plans to reach more students.”
Pope and his wife, Theresa, have four children. He is the organist at Old Capitol United Methodist Church.