After the community processed the reality of the imminent retirement of Dr. Rocky Killion,superintendent of West Lafayette Community School Corporation, they realized it was time to find a replacement. Since West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School ranked second in the state in 2021, according to U.S. News, this would be no easy task.
The school board hired Administrator Assistance for $10,000 to assist with the search.To assure that someone would assume the responsibilities of superintendent during the search interval, the school board appointed Ross Sloat as acting superintendent effective from July 1-31. Then, effective July 20, the school board appointed Mike Pettibone as interim superintendent The application for superintendent opened on July 23 with two rounds for reviewing candidates and the final round set to end October 1.
Due to the strong public presence of Dr. Killion, parents and community members were eager to find a candidate as admirable and well-qualified. The school board released a “Superintendent Qualities Questionnaire” on August 9 to allow for the public to submit their opinion on the qualities to seek in the next superintendent.
On September 1, the school board released the results obtained from the questionnaire and public forums. With 438 total submissions, the results were narrowed down into twelve categories: Communication, vision, experience/education, students first, open-minded, teacher/staff/administrator support, diversity/equity/inclusion, transparency, leadership, financial literacy, character traits, and community role.
The role of superintendent, so well-embodied by Dr. Killion, is to lead and manage the school district while implementing the objectives of the school board. He or she must make the day-to-day decisions about educational programs, spending, staff, and facilities. This includes ensuring curriculum meets district, state, and national standards. The primary role can easily be identified as managing the finances to develop and maintain a healthy school budget. Besides the technical work, the superintendent also becomes the face of the school district in the community—attending events, making announcements, and building relationships.
With these goals in mind, West Lafayette Community School Corporation is feeling the pressure.
By Sarah Peterson September 13, 2021
Sarah Peterson is a junior studying Professional Writing and Political Science at Purdue University. She worked on the yearbook and newspaper for her high school and is excited to get back into journalism. Originally from the Indianapolis suburbs, Sarah has grown to enjoy living in the West Lafayette area. She hopes by writing for the lafayetteindependent.org, she can learn more about the Greater Lafayette community and enhance her journalistic writing and professional skills.