Seymour welcomes three new assistant principals

Seymour Community School Corp. has welcomed three new assistant principals aboard for the 2022-23 school year.

They are Curt Schleibaum at Margaret R. Brown Elementary School, Kelly Wilson at the Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center and Corey Zaring at Emerson Elementary School.

Margaret R. Brown Elementary School

Schleibaum, 39, grew up in Seymour and graduated from Seymour High School in 2001.

“After graduating high school, I pursued my degree in education at Ball State University, graduating in 2005, and I continued my education, returning to Ball State University to complete my master’s in technology education in 2010,” Schleibaum said. “I returned once again and completed classes and the requirements and obtained my administration license at Ball State University.”

He is married to Summer Schleibaum, who teaches mathematics at Seymour High School. They have twins, Madi and Maxx, who turned 10 in July. Both children love being involved with sports, whether playing or watching.

“I have taught at Seymour Community Schools for 17 years,” Schleibaum said. ”I have served as an educator in several different school buildings and subjects, ranging from sixth grade to senior year around the corporation. Before moving to administration, I was teaching Introduction to Manufacturing and Advanced Manufacturing, also known as OWL Manufacturing, at Seymour High School.”

Schleibaum said he has always loved #SeymOURtown and thinks it is a great place to raise a family.

“I enjoyed my time growing up and attending Seymour schools personally,” he said. “I now am honored to have had the chance to teach, coach and mentor Seymour’s future from the other side of the desk.”

Schleibaum said Brown Elementary has a fantastic staff that is hardworking and caring, and they’ve been very inviting and open, making his transition there smooth and great thus far.

“That said, I realize I have areas to grow and learn during the transition, and it’s an exciting learning curve,” Schleibaum said. “I am lucky to have Mr. Tony Hack as a great mentor to work with at Brown, and Mr. Hack has led Brown for the past 12 years as the principal and has a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

He is looking forward to being part of the Brown staff and working with elementary students again.

“Brown has an amazing staff and students, and all have been extremely welcoming, and I would say my main goal is to find the best ways I can contribute to support the staff,” Schleibaum said. “Classroom teachers have a lot on their plate to balance, and if I can help support some of the load, it allows them to focus more on why we all are here: The students.”

When asked what kind of adjustments he has had to make, moving from the high school to elementary school, he said there’s definitely a difference between the two, but starting out in elementary education, he enjoys working with the young kids.

“Come to think of it, I have enjoyed every level of education I have worked in,” Schleibaum said. “Each one comes with its own challenges and different nuances, and one of my favorite things about elementary is the fact that the kids just love to share and show you everything they are learning.”

Schleibaum serves on the Hoosier Educator Computer Coordinators technology board and is a part of the Seymour Vision 2025 committee.

He also enjoys chaperoning school events and clubs, working with students on passion projects with Google resources, piloting drones, 3D printing, coding and really just about anything nerdy, he said.

Schleibaum said he was very honored to receive the corporation’s Seymour High School 2021-22 Teacher of the Year award.

“I would say that the key factor that contributed to the award was the students,” he said. “SHS Owl Manufacturing has always been blessed with great students to build teamwork and unity by running its student enterprise business, so just maybe they should rename it to Students of the Year.”

He also was recognized as the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce’s High School Teacher of the Year in March.

Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center

Wilson, 39, is a Columbus resident who is originally from a Fredonia, small town in New York, and she attended Fredonia High School.

“I attended Medaille College for both my bachelor’s and master’s degree and went to Indiana Wesleyan for my administrative certification,” Wilson said. “I have a husband, Eric, and two children, Landon and Lucas, who are 9.”

Wilson said her whole family moved to Indiana from New York, and both of her dad’s brothers live in Columbus. She wanted her kids to grow up with their cousins, and now, they live just down the street from them.

This is Wilson’s first year working for Seymour schools, but she has been in education for 17 years.

“My first teaching job was at a school in the city of Buffalo, New York, and I was a first grade teacher,” she said. “Prior to becoming assistant principal of the Sixth Grade Center, I was an instructional coach at Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.”

Wilson said she accepted the position with Seymour because she was looking for a corporation that had the same mission and vision as her.

“When I read the mission of the Sixth Grade Center, I knew this was the place for me, and I have had a very easy transition,” she said. “The school year has started off great. I love the Sixth Grade Center, and I think Loriann (Wessel) and I were meant to work together with our very similar personalities. We’ve just meshed really well, and it has been great.”

She said she was blessed to work with leaders who saw her potential and allowed her to grow in her prior role as an instructional coach, and being able to build that confidence and having their trust allowed this to be very seamless for her.

“I am excited to have this school year off and running, and I am working hard to build relationships with not only students but the staff, as well,” Wilson said. “I came from a pre-K through sixth grade building, so I was fairly comfortable coming into this school year.”

Outside of school, she enjoys reading, but her boys keep her extremely busy.

Emerson Elementary School

Zaring, 34, said this is his 11th year in education, all at Seymour.

“My first (and only prior) teaching job was at Seymour High School teaching geography and world history,” he said.

Zaring grew up in Seymour, where he currently resides, but attended Brownstown Central High School.

“I attended Indiana University Bloomington, majoring in secondary English education,” he said. “I received my master’s from American College of Education in Educational Leadership.”

He is married to Alex Zaring, also a teacher in Seymour, and they have three boys, Charlie, Cooper and Carter.

“I have been at SHS for the last 10 years teaching a combination of English and social studies classes, mostly to the freshman and sophomore levels,” Zaring said. “I coached football for several years and basketball and track for one year each. I have coached my son’s youth soccer team, as well.”

He also is heavily involved in their church, Immanuel Lutheran, where he serves as an elder and a few other roles.

“I chose to work at Seymour Community Schools because it’s a fantastic place to grow and work,” he said. “My wife and I are both from here and want to be a part of making our community a great place for kids to learn and grow into strong adults.”

He said being in education allows him to assist in the positive growth of the community and make the schools a place where kids are excited to be.

“The transition from my last job to assistant principal has been an absolute blast,” Zaring said. “It is a whirlwind of information that all has to be consumed at once, but it is going so well.”

He had a lot of great mentors at SHS who helped prepare him for leadership, and Emerson Principal Julie Kelly is absolutely amazing, he said.

“This is a special building with wonderful teachers, and Mrs. Kelly has been so great at explaining all of the various duties, programs and skills necessary to be a successful administrator here,” Zaring said. “I cannot thank her and the staff enough for helping me in this transition.”

He said he’s looking forward to learning what elementary school looks like.

“I have not been in an elementary school since I was an elementary student, so I am looking forward to learning what this system looks like, how it operates, etc.,” Zaring said. “I am looking forward to learning how to run a building from the perspective of curriculum development, budget constraints, operations improvements and all of the other factors that go into it.”

He said they also are working on upgrading the interior of the building and exterior safety measures that are going to be visually pleasing and increase the safety of the building.

As for what adjustments he has made coming into an elementary setting, he said, “I have been around kids that are basically my size for the last 10 years, so seeing all of the little desks and chairs was a real shock, and I have had to soften my speech a little bit, as well. I have a deep voice, so I have to consciously make sure I am not scaring our little ones when I don’t mean to. I also have had to get used to all of the hugs.”

He said elementary students love to come up and give hugs at random times, which is a huge change from where he was before.

“Next year, I will be at the Fifth and Sixth Grade Center as an assistant principal there, as well,” Zaring said. “I am not exactly sure what that will look like as far as a day-to-day role, but I am excited for the opportunity.”

As for outside interests, he is a family guy and loves hanging out with his boys and experiencing all of the joys and challenges that come with three boys ages 6 and under.

“I love camping with the family, being outside in our pool, taking Jeep rides and watching sports,” he said.

With his new job, he said, “I am extremely thankful and excited for the opportunity I have been given in this position. I have loved every minute so far and am excited for the school year to come.”