Tim Taylor went from being an administrator to going back into the classroom for the 2018-19 school year.
In the upcoming school year, he will be back in a leadership position.
On Tuesday night, the Brownstown Central Community School Corp. board of trustees unanimously approved the contract for Taylor to be the next superintendent.
Taylor had been assistant principal and principal at Jennings County High School and superintendent of Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corp. before spending the past school year teaching chemistry and biology at Southwestern High School in Hanover.
“I think it probably will make me a better superintendent than I was because I’m 20 years away from the classroom, and to step back in and be around students again and to see everything through the students’ eyes and through the teachers’ perspective again I think will allow me to better lead Brownstown Central,” the 53-year-old said.
Soon after the 2018-19 school year started, Greg Walker submitted his resignation from Brownstown to become superintendent of Paoli Community School Corp., and the corporation’s business manager, Jade Peters, was named interim superintendent.
Taylor said when he heard about Walker leaving, he immediately expressed interest in the position.
“I’ve always had knowledge of Brownstown. I’ve always held Brownstown in a high regard — the community and the schools,” he said. “It seems like it’s a community in which people have a lot of community pride, they have a lot of school pride, they do a lot of good things, and I think it’s a good fit with my background.”
Taylor went through the interview process before accepting the job in early March.
“The whole application process can be tedious, but when the board chooses someone, they are putting a multimillion-dollar budget and the well-being of not only the children but the community, as well, into someone’s hands, and they need to cross every T and dot every I and uncover every stone,” he said. “The board did a great job. I commend them for the way they handled the whole process.”
For Taylor, being offered the job “means everything.”
“I’ve devoted my life to education, and to be able to go in and work with a great group of board members and teachers and this community and lead them into the future, it’s just really exciting,” he said. “Since knowing in March this was going to happen, I’ve really been very eager to get to this point.”
Taylor’s contract starts July 1 and runs through June 30, 2022. His annual base salary will be $112,500. Thereafter, the board may adjust the salary at the end of each year of employment if his annual performance evaluation is rated as effective or highly effective. Increases in annual salary may be granted up to $2,500 per year.
Taylor also will receive 20 paid vacation days, 14 sick days, 10 paid holidays and five personal days for each contract year. Plus, he will receive a deposit to his 401(a) plan account at the end of each contract year.
In the event he was chosen as superintendent, Taylor submitted an entry plan laying out his first 100 days on the job to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
He said his top priority is to build relationships, develop trust and get a general feel for the district.
“I plan to accomplish this by scheduling opportunities to meet with board members, district personnel, principals, teachers, support staff, parents, community members and key business leaders early in my tenure,” Taylor wrote in the entry plan.
“The purpose of these meetings would be to forge relationships, to share ideas, to create open lines of communication and to develop trust and transparency,” he said.
The plan will include but is not limited to individual and group meetings with the school board members, central office staff and principals. That includes Peters, who will remain on staff as the corporation’s business manager.
Taylor also will have an introductory meeting with staff members at each building and then be available for teachers to chat with him. He also will meet with custodial, maintenance and cafeteria staff members, teaching assistants and bus drivers and have meetings with focus groups of students.
He also plans to reach out to local civic organizations and ask to attend their meetings to introduce himself; contact local business leaders to schedule meetings to develop support and possible internship and co-op partnerships; and meet with religious leaders to develop relationships.
In town hall meetings in the schools and community, Taylor said he wants to invite parents to discuss their thoughts about the corporation.
“I want to find out what they want through a series of meetings just to kind of find out what we do well, what we should be doing that we’re not, what we do that we’re most proud of, even what we do that maybe we shouldn’t be doing,” he said. “Because if you’re going to do anything different, you can’t just keep piling on teachers’ plates and people’s plates. You need to look at it from that aspect.”
Taylor also said he will seek anonymous input from stakeholders through online surveys accessible through the corporation website. Surveys would be specific to parents/community members, staff and students.
“I believe that is important to gather information from all of the school corporation’s stakeholders to get an accurate picture of its accomplishments and areas of needed improvement,” he said. “These conversations also promote ownership and a sense of transparency.”
Additionally, he is researching the use of Six Sigma and Baldrige Improvement Tools to evaluate school programming and systems.
“Traditionally, schools have not done an effective job of this, and I believe borrowing some ideas from the business sector might be a step in the right direction,” Taylor said.
The North Vernon native and his wife, Susan, have purchased a home in Brownstown and are in the process of relocating from his hometown.
“We are excited about our move and becoming a part of the Brownstown and BCCSC communities,” he said. “The superintendent embedding himself in the community is crucial to the success of the corporation.”
Taylor is ready to settle into his new role.
“When you do something new, it’s always exciting. This is especially exciting,” he said. “I think this is a really great community, and I think it’s a great job, and I’m looking forward to just working cooperatively with the board and the teachers and the principals and being innovative and getting us to the top.”
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Taylor file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
Name: Tim Taylor
Hometown: North Vernon
Residence: In the process of moving from North Vernon to Brownstown
Education: Jennings County High School (1984); University of Evansville (bachelor’s degree, 1988); Indiana University Southeast (master’s degree and principal’s license, 2001); Indiana State University (education specialist and superintendent’s license, 2013)
Administrative experience: Assistant principal at Jennings County High School (July 1, 2000, to June 30, 2008); administrator coach for the Indiana Principal Leadership Academy (July 1, 2005, to May 31, 2008); principal at Jennings County High School (July 1, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2014); mentor for the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute (July 1, 2014 to present); superintendent of Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corp. (Jan. 1, 2015, to June 30, 2018)
Occupation: New superintendent of Brownstown Central Community School Corp.
Family: Wife, Susan Taylor; children, Jake Taylor, Sydney Taylor and Lydia Borgman