Council seeks board member



Brownstown Town Council soon will make an appointment to the Brownstown Central Community School Corp. school board.

The four-year term of trustee Scott Shade expires June 30.

Of the seven trustees, two are appointed by the town council, and the others are appointed by township trustees. In June 2015, the council reappointed school board President Mary Ann Spray to another four years.

The council plans to make its other appointment during a meeting at 5:30 p.m. May 16 at Brownstown Town Hall. Anyone living within the Brownstown school district may drop off a letter of interest at town hall or mail it to town hall before that meeting.

The council considered making the appointment at its recent meeting, but it was tabled after one of the members asked if the position had been advertised. Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said to his knowledge, the town had never advertised in the past.

Council member Bethany Brewster said someone she had talked to at one point expressed interest in serving on the school board.

“I don’t know if they are still interested,” she said. “I would at least like to make sure that if someone else wants to put in for it to have the opportunity.”

According to the Indiana School Boards Association, Indiana has 289 school corporations governed by school boards, and Brownstown is one of 12 that appoints its members, while two are hybrid, meaning some members are elected and some are appointed.

Shade began his service with the school board after former President Jack Montgomery died in January 2013. Montgomery had been appointed by the town council, but since he died before his term ended, the school board was required to appoint his replacement within 30 days. That’s the procedure when a school board member dies or leaves office before his or her term ends.

At the time, Shade and two others applied and were interviewed, and he was ultimately selected.

“I was honored to be chosen, and I’m still honored to have the opportunity to contribute to this great community,” Shade recently told the town council.

Shade is vice president of Aisin Drivetrain Inc. in Crothersville and said he comes from a family involved in the education field.

His father was a teacher at Pike High School for 37 years and coached for 25 of those years, and his mother is in her 37th year as the deputy treasurer for the Brownsburg school district. Also, his wife, Jennifer, is the varsity volleyball coach at Brownstown.

“With this background, I bring a well-rounded viewpoint that I believe is required to form a healthy blend of members to make a school board successful,” Shade said. “Additionally, my industry background allows me to see firsthand what education is needed to help children and young adults develop and contribute to the working world both as a blue-collar laborer and professional staff.”

The school corporation is a large part of what makes Brownstown successful and lures people to live in and become a contributor to the community, Shade said.

But the corporation faces a challenge since community members can attend other county schools, he said.

“The other county school leaders recognize this and are taking the lead to improve their curriculum and campus in all areas,” Shade said. “Safety, technology, classroom environment and athletic facilities are all being improved, and Brownstown will need to take quick action to compete.”

That process already has begun, Shade said.

“The current school administration and school board have created a spending path that will not increase taxes and will allow us to improve our educational abilities and campus to make them more marketable in an effort to strengthen the town of Brownstown and compete with surrounding schools,” he said.

“We’ve spent a lot of time and money this past year on security and technology, and now, we’re going to start looking at some of the facility needs and even some of the aesthetics with athletics and things like that,” he said. “With the other schools around and everything that’s going on, I think it’s important that we stay right there or try to take the lead there.”

Shade said there’s still a lot of work to do, and he wants to be a part of it.

“We’ve got a lot of things that we’re looking to do, not only with the facilities and the curriculum, but we’ve got a spending path I think that we can do a lot of good,” he said. “I’ve been involved with it, and I’d like to see it through.”

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The Brownstown Town Council will appoint someone to the Brownstown Central Community School Corp. school board during its next meeting, set for 5:30 p.m. May 16 at Brownstown Town Hall, 200 W. Walnut St.

Anyone living within the school district may apply by dropping off a letter of interest at town hall or mailing it to town hall before that meeting.

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There are 289 Indiana school corporations governed by school boards. Of the 289 school boards, 12 are appointed and two are hybrid, meaning some members are elected and some are appointed.

Brownstown Central Community School Corp. in Jackson County has an appointed school board. Two members are appointed by the town council, and seven are appointed by township trustees.

The other corporations with appointed school boards are Argos, Greencastle, Greensburg, Middlebury, North Judson-San Pierre, Northeast Dubois, Rensselaer, Speedway, Tell City-Troy Township, Valparaiso and Wabash City.

The corporations with hybrid school boards are Mishawaka and North Adams.

Source: Indiana School Boards Association


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