Meet Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation’s New Superintendent, Dr. Jack Parker
The definitions of “collaboration” and “team player” have been elevated to a new level at the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (MVCSC) with the selection of Dr. Jack Parker as the new Superintendent. He previously worked at Center Grove Schools as the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. His robust track record of accomplishments include a list of accolades that he humbly attributes to his team. MVCSC is fortunate to have such an experienced, strategic and humble visionary to lead the Mt. Vernon community through its imminent growth.
Dr. Parker plans to sign the Superintendent contract at the MVCSC School Board of Trustees meeting on December 17, 2018, and his contract will begin on January 7, 2019. After the board meeting, there will be a reception for the community to meet and welcome Dr. Parker to Mt. Vernon. The reception will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. on December 17 in the Alumni Center at the MVCSC Administrative Service Center, (1806 W. State Road 234, Fortville, IN 46040.)
Dr. Parker was named the 2013 and 2009 District 9 Middle School Principal of the Year. He also led Center Grove Schools’ strategic planning and involved over 400 community stakeholders throughout the process. Dr. Parker was tasked to develop seven new goals, which ultimately impacted student achievement dramatically. A constant theme throughout Dr. Parker’s leadership is collaboration with the staff and community.
His achievements are also measurable; he led the district’s ISTEP growth, originally ranking #40 in the state (2014) and grew to #11 (2017). Dr. Parker’s middle school was also the first in the state to receive the “Highly Functional” rating on all seven standards assessed by AdvancED. Another notable accomplishment during Dr. Parker’s tenure at Center Grove was when his school received a National Blue Ribbon nomination.
When Dr. Parker was asked what his biggest achievement is, he humbly shared, “The best part of any of my achievements is that they have been a team effort. I’ve never done anything of significance alone. I believe in bringing people together and working toward a common goal.”
Dr. Parker is in his sixth year of central office experience at Center Grove Schools as Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. He previously held the role of Assistant Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Special Education. Through his fourteen years as Assistant Principal and then Principal of Center Grove Middle School Central, he significantly improved performance for all students, including special education students.
He shared, “District level leadership is quite different, as you have to develop different systems and be more purposeful. I substitute taught in a first-grade classroom this semester, and thoroughly enjoyed the perspective of a teacher’s experience again.”
He continued, “You have to develop a system to regularly visit teachers, students, and administrators. It’s more and more important at a district level to develop a system of touches and work to keep everyone on the same page. We ask ‘why’ a lot and are very purpose-driven. When everyone is on the same page with the ‘why,’ the ‘what’ and ‘how’ are easier.”
Prior to his experience in administration, Dr. Parker began his career as a band teacher. He stated, “I am a teacher at heart. I was put on this earth to help others grow, and I grow with them. I am focused on high levels of learning for others. Collaboration is really important to achieve the highest level of success.”
He took a two-year break from his teaching career to become the Associate Director of the Indiana Principal Leadership Academy. He has also taught curriculum and school improvement as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Indianapolis for their master’s program. Dr. Parker shared that he enjoyed fostering his students’ love of learning through this program. Dr. Parker earned a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Butler University and a Ph.D. in Education Administration from Indiana State University.
He has served as a mentor for group one and five of the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute. He enjoys presenting and has shared his knowledge with a long list of organizations, including the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents and the AASA School Superintendents Association.
Dr. Parker is also a frequent presenter through the “Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals” at his alma mater, Butler University. He also recently helped with the strategic planning of the Indiana School Boards Association as a co-facilitator and consultant.
Strategic Vision to Lead Growth
Dr. Parker has shared that starting at MVCSC mid-year is a blessing, as he has the opportunity to learn and develop great relationships. He intends for his first six months to be about learning, connecting and communicating with the Mt. Vernon staff and community.
He stated, “Mt. Vernon is a great school district with a very engaging community. My charge from the board was to develop a collaborative plan for growth that includes facilities and staffing. I want to engage the community to provide input during this process.”
The MVCSC School Board of Trustees President, Shannon Walls, shared, “Dr. Parker is a visionary leader and his collaborative expertise will ensure that Mt. Vernon’s growth will be handled in a way that benefits the whole community. Mt. Vernon is fortunate to have a candidate with his experience and collaborative nature to continue our academic excellence.”
Dr. Parker has been married to his wife, Pam, for 31 years. They have a 21-year-old son, Wyatt, who is a student at the University of Southern Indiana majoring in sociology. Dr. Parker loves music and is an avid Elvis Presley fan. He plays the soprano saxophone and was his church’s orchestra director for many years.
His family enjoys traveling, as they recently returned from a trip to Ireland. Dr. Parker said he doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that the same day he kissed the Blarney Stone was the same day he received the Superintendency offer from Mrs. Walls.
Another unique pastime for Dr. Parker is spent as a state advisor for a Scholastic Action Shooting Program. He has coached a club team called the “Hoosier Daddy Rifle Pistol Team” which has won a national championship and five national medals. The team competes by shooting stages of steel targets for time and speed.
Dr. Parker and his wife currently live in Greenwood but plan to move in the community soon.
Please join the MVCSC School Board at Dr. Parker’s welcome reception on December 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alumni Center of the Administrative Service Center (1806 W. State Road 234, Fortville, IN 46040.) Staff, parents, students and the community are welcome to attend. Cake and beverages will be served.