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Morris returns as interim

Morris returns as interim
Morris returns as interim
Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor. Steve Morris talks with the Lanesville Community School Corp. Board of Trustees yesterday morning (Tuesday) after being hired as interim superintendent. Morris had retired as superintendent at the end of December.
By Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]

The former Lanesville Junior-Senior High School principal and superintendent joked yesterday morning (Tuesday) that it felt like the first day of school.

Steve Morris, who retired as principal at the end of the 2020-21 school year and as superintendent at the end of December, was waiting in the Carl Uesseler Administration Office lobby for the 8 a.m. special meeting of the Lanesville Community School Corp. Board of Trustees. The agenda item? To hire an interim superintendent.

School board members greeted him as they arrived, some welcoming him back although no formal action had been taken yet.

At the designated time, Morris, four board members (Jaycen Abell was absent), Dr. Ryan Apple, junior-senior high principal who succeeded Morris, and Rebecca Stilger, corporation secretary, went to the board room.

Within seconds of board president Sharon Rothrock calling the meeting to order, Ron Wolfe made a motion, seconded by Robert (Bob) Schickel, to hire Morris as the interim superintendent. The motion passed 4-0.

Morris, who earlier said he hadn’t worn a tie since his last day of school at the end of the first semester, thanked the board for the opportunity.

“Over the course of the past month, I reached an understanding that I’m not ready to get out of the arena,” Morris said, referencing President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt’s “man in the arena” saying.

He also said the move back into the workforce was a suggestion by Roth-

rock in a poem she had penned for Morris’ retirement.

Morris was first hired by Lanesville Community School Corp. more than 12 years ago as he was completing his fourth year as principal at Jeffersonville High School. He succeeded Sam Gardner, who went back to retirement, and principal Janet Page, who was hired as principal at New Albany High School.

Prior to landing at Lanesville, Morris began his career in education in 1981 as a teacher at Paoli High School. He served as assistant principal and principal at Clarksville High School from 1996 to 2006.

The interim superintendent contract, which allows for up to 186 days per school year, will run from Feb. 2 to June 30 and can be extended if both parties so desire. One stipulation of the contract is that Morris will provide professional services to transition to a new superintendent once one is hired.

Lanesville Community School Corp. has not employed a person solely as superintendent. Instead, the duties have been included with that of the junior-senior high school principal since the corporation was formed in the early 1990s, starting with the late Carl Uesseler.