After 18 years of serving as an administrator for Seymour Community School Corp., Seymour High School Assistant Principal Talmadge Reasoner is moving up in the ranks.
Last week, the school board named Reasoner the district’s new assistant superintendent of operations.
The new job will have him working closely with several departments, including safety, transportation, technology, food service, buildings and grounds and finance.
“Each of those areas, in addition to the educational experiences, play a vital role in the campus life of our students,” he said.
Reasoner will finish out the school year in his current role and officially begin his new duties July 1 working alongside Superintendent Brandon Harpe and Assistant Superintendent Lisa Ferguson.
Harpe said there were about 30 applications for the job but not much internal interest. The position hasn’t been filled since Harpe held the title from 2016 to January 2019 when he became interim superintendent after the retirement of Rob Hooker. In May 2019, Harpe was named superintendent.
Reasoner is excited about his new role and looks forward to being able to impact Seymour students by working to improve the daily student experience.
“From the moment a student leaves home to the moment they return, we want to work to improve every facet of their day,” he said.
Besides serving as assistant principal at SHS since 2010, Reasoner also has been a school safety specialist for the corporation for the past seven years and chairman of the Jackson County School Safety Commission. Before coming to the high school, he served as principal of Emerson Elementary School for seven years.
Becoming an assistant superintendent seemed like the next logical step in his career.
“It was an obvious natural progression to extend my current work serving the students of SHS to serving the students of SCSC,” he said.
Reasoner’s background in school safety was a major selling point because it is one of the priorities of his new position, Harpe said.
“He has an excellent understanding of our internal systems and a good plan to help us update them as we continually look for ways to be more progressive,” Harpe said.
But walking away from the daily interactions with the students, teachers and families of SHS isn’t going to be easy. By fully immersing himself in the high school community, he has had many opportunities to renew and reinvigorate his passion for educational leadership.
“There is nothing more satisfying than receiving a high five from a student who is having a great day, celebrating a game-winning shot, enjoying a gold medal performance or calling out the name of a recent graduate,” he said. “I draw a great deal of energy from those experiences and will have to find creative ways to make certain I stay immersed.”
But going from a school community of one campus to an entire school system, Reasoner knows he will have ample opportunities to do just that.
From his time at SHS working with Principal Greg Prange, he said he is most proud of the relationships he has been able to build both within the school and the community.
“Mr. Prange has served as an excellent mentor, colleague and friend. His leadership style allowed me to take on many responsibilities that provided me the necessary experiences to even be considered for a position such as this,” Reasoner said.
The two share a friendship that carries beyond school walls, and it will be difficult to find someone as good at the job as Reasoner has been, Prange said.
“He makes everyone — parents, students, staff and community members — very comfortable as he is extremely approachable,” Prange said. “My circle of trust is very small. He stands in the center. Very little gets done at SHS that doesn’t have his fingerprint on it.”
Prange said he has no doubt Reasoner will serve the corporation in the same manner.
“Talmadge is an incredible school administrator. He makes everyone around him better,” Prange said. “His personality, intelligence and experiences are phenomenal.”
Even though Reasoner won’t be at the high school on a day-to-day basis, Prange said he is looking forward to continuing to work with him in a different capacity.
“He will make a great impact on the entire school corporation, and I will rely on his involvement with our construction project and beyond,” Prange said.
In the next few years, there are major construction projects at the high school and sixth grade center and a lot of retirements.
“Talmadge will be instrumental in adding stability within our district as we navigate these changes,” Harpe said. “He is student-centered and a familiar face in our community who relates well to people.”
During his time as a building administrator, Reasoner has demonstrated a talent for team building, planning and setting goals and working tirelessly to achieve those goals.
“I believe that skill, coupled with the experiences I have gained and the relationships I have built, will be my main ingredients in the recipe to success for this position,” he said.
As a corporation administrator, Reasoner wants Seymour Community School Corp. to be the most efficient and effective at educating students and providing the best “customer service” to families and the community, he said.
Just as the entire Disney World staff works to make the Disney experience magical, Reasoner said it is his goal to make the Seymour Community Schools experience “spectacular.”
“I want to impact the daily experience of our students, staff and community in a positive way so that we are Soaring to Excellence, Every One, Every Day,” he said.
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Name: Talmadge Reasoner
Occupation: New assistant superintendent of operations for Seymour Community School Corp.
Previous experience: 11 years as assistant principal at Seymour High School and seven years as principal of Emerson Elementary School; also seven years as a school safety specialist for SCSC and chairman of the Jackson County School Safety Commission
Family: Wife, Kelly Reasoner; sons, Payton, 20, Luke, 17 and Eli, 13