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Capelle’s contract at SH extended

By a majority vote of the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees on Aug. 6 at the Edmund (Ed) F. Schneider Administration Building, Corydon Central High School Principal Jennie Capelle had her contract extended 261 days to June 30, 2015.
Capelle, who has climbed the ranks at South Harrison having served as kindergarten teacher at Corydon Elementary, assistant principal in 2007 at South Central Junior-Senior High School, co-principal at CCHS in 2008 and CCHS principal in 2011, had a contract renewal pulled in the March meeting of the trustees. In the February meeting, an extension was defeated by a 3-2-2 vote, with trustees Joyce Bliss and Karen Lopp voting against and Shelly Romero and Capelle’s mother, Vickie Engleman, abstaining.
At a later meeting, South Harrison’s legal counsel informed the board that by the letter, Engleman was not required to abstain as she had been informed at the February meeting.
In last week’s vote, Bliss and Lopp again voted against the extension, which passed 4-2 (Romero was absent due to illness).
In another matter, the board agreed to enter into a partnership with a group of collegiate administrators to help with the search for a superintendent after Dr. Neyland Clark steps down at the end of this school year.
The service helps screen applicants both in and out of state to aid in the search for suitable candidates.
Board president Mary Mathes said ‘head hunters’ who work for pay had already been in contact with the corporation.
After the vote, Clark expressed his pleasure with the board’s action.
‘You were wise not to spend $25,000 or $30,000’ to pay for a search committee, Clark said. ‘This organization is used throughout the state, and I am very confident in them.’
The board heard a brief presentation from Clark regarding class sizes at each of the corporation’s elementary schools. Clark said the corporation tries to keep as many elementary classes as possible close to 20 students. There are a few anomalies, he pointed out, including one class at Heth-Washington (28 students) and one class at New Middletown (24 students). The highest number of students at Corydon Elementary is 22 (in two classes) and 21 in a class at South Central Elementary.
Clark also said that the corporation is in discussion with the Harrison County Community Foundation to expand the preschool program to full day. The countywide measure, he said, would be extended to preschool students on free or reduced lunches as a way to build students’ educational foundation.
‘We want to pump as many resources as we can into students as young as we can,’ Clark said.
If HCCF decides to help fund the program, it could serve as a model to school districts throughout the state.
‘These kids would get a second-to-none experience,’ Clark said.
Clark noted that 70 percent of students at HWES and 60 percent of students at NMES are on free or reduced lunches.