09/04/12 Administrators and staff of the Union-North United Schools are spending time each day to share ideas and learn new ways to help students learn. Superintendent Mitch Mawhorter said, “We have good people in good spots and it’s really helping.”

The enrollment is up to 1,229. According to Mawhorter, that number reflects 12 more    students from out of district.   The corporation no longer charges tuition for out of district students and provides bus transportation at designated stops as well.

The staff is concentrating on an 8-step process that includes planning and following data collected for remediation. He said they are following a model including an organized way to look at data written by Pat Davenport that is used in Texas schools. Among other data, the administrators are looking at ISTEP scores. He added, “We want to use data  to make decisions on what to teach and how to remediate.”

Mawhorter said the new principal at LaVille Jr-Sr. High School, Jeremy Hooker, and the Teacher On Assignment, Shawn Hill, meet with administrators each Monday.

There have been significant administration changes in the last several months. Mawhorter was named superintendent in January of this year after former Superintendent Dr. Terry Barker left to take a position as superintendent of the School City of Mishawaka. Chuck Phillips, former LaVille Jr.-Sr. High School Principal, accepted the newly formed position of Director of Operations. The position combines the duties of transportation and maintenance. Hooker was hired just prior to the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

Mawhorter believes professional development particularly at this time is essential. The Indiana Department of Education has now made it mandatory for teachers to be evaluated with specific criteria. Mawhorter said they have been going over the process outlined in RISE (state’s evaluation tool) with teachers and administers from every grade. He said, “I think it is unfair to teachers not to know how they are going to be evaluated.

Carol Anders Correspondent