Brownstown graduate named principal in Greensburg

Grant Peters graduated from the University of Indianapolis in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and landed a job in sales.

But a year later, the Brownstown native was feeling unsatisfied.

“Really, I think, the quality of jobs at the time in the business area was not great for a new graduate,” Peters said.

After thinking about what he really wanted to do in life, he chose teaching and coaching. He went back to UIndy to pursue his master’s degree and became licensed to teach in 2005.

“I played basketball at Brownstown and went on and played at UIndy,” he said.

“I wanted to coach, and I also wanted to have a career where I made a difference. That kind of prompted me to go into education.”

He then was a teacher and coach at one school and athletics director at another before earning his administrator license from Ball State University in 2013.

On Jan. 31, 2014, Peters became the assistant principal at Greensburg Community High School. Then upon Principal Phil Chapple announcing his retirement this year before becoming ill, Peters filled that position.

“My initial reaction was grateful and excited about the challenge,” Peters said. “I also reflected upon the things that I invested personally and the things that I worked hard at to get to this point. This position is very special to me, and I’m looking forward to doing a great job for the kids at Greensburg.”

Peters’ first teaching job was at Shelbyville High School. He filled in for a teacher on maternity leave in January 2005, and that turned into long-term employment through July 2012.

He was a business teacher and served as a junior varsity and varsity assistant boys basketball coach for six years, junior high golf coach for five years and junior high girls basketball coach for a year.

While teaching at Shelbyville, he also had one-year stints as varsity girls golf coach at Lutheran High School and varsity assistant boys basketball coach at Roncalli High School, both in Indianapolis.

Peters then decided to work toward becoming an administrator. He was still coaching basketball at the time and had aspirations to be a head coach or an athletics director — whichever opportunity came first.

Right before he received his administrator license, he was named athletics director at South Vermillion Community Schools. He and his family moved to western Indiana and lived there from August 2012 to January 2014.

Then came the opening at Greensburg. Peters began as assistant principal, and his wife, Katrina, took a teaching position at the junior high.

Peters said taking over for Chapple was bittersweet because Chapple had announced his retirement prior to becoming ill.

“As we move through the transition of leadership here at Greensburg Community High School, we would all like to express our concern and hope for Mr. Phil Chapple that he has a successful and speedy recovery,” Peters said. “He is a fabulous person.”

Peters said he learned a lot when he was assistant principal that will help him in his new role.

“No. 1, I learned the routines and the rhythm here at Greensburg Community High School,” he said.

“I not only developed relationships but learned the history of what happened here.

“I learned that leadership is pretty similar no matter if you’re leading coaches or teachers. They are all kind of the same,” he said. “And I have found that having an impact on students’ academics is very rewarding and very powerful.”

Peters’ background as a teacher and coach helped, too.

“I found through my experiences both in teaching and in coaching, it lent itself for me to become a better administrator,” he said. “Those experiences set me up well to be a better leader, be a better decision-maker. We’re in the business to do what’s best for kids.”

Peters is now filling staff vacancies and preparing for his first school year as principal. Another big project is the one-to-one integration movement, which will provide every student with a laptop. Peters said the junior high started that this past school year, and the elementary and high school will be on board in the coming school year.

One of his goals is to develop leaders in the building and improve instruction. That’s something he said he started working on as assistant principal.

“I want to develop relationships with the educators in our building and also those stakeholders in the community that could have an influence on our students,” he said.

“I want to continue to cultivate those relationships.”

Peters said he will oversee more than 700 students at the high school.

“I want to be a positive instructional leader,” he said. “I want to, of course, take care of the basic needs of students with safety and providing top-of-the-line resources for our kids. But I also want to influence the instruction that is happening here in the building so our students are prepared to be productive citizens.”

As he begins this new journey in life, Peters said he is excited to work with students and staff as a team to make things better.

“I want to be able to look back on my tenure at any point and know that I had a significant and positive impact on what has happened here through my leadership,” he said.

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Name: Grant Peters

Age: 35

Hometown: Brownstown

Residence: Greensburg

Education: Brownstown Central High School (1998); University of Indianapolis (bachelor’s degree in marketing, 2002; master’s degree in teaching, 2005); Ball State University (administrator license, 2013)

Occupation: Named principal at Greensburg Community High School earlier this year

Family: Wife, Katrina Peters; daughter, Kahlen, 5; parents, Robert and Joyce Peters; siblings, Tiffini Noble, Tonya Carr and Greg Peters