Carole Schmidt named SBCSC's permanent superintendent
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – On Friday, the long search for a new superintendent of South Bend Community School Corporation came to an end. The Board of Trustees named Carole Schmidt as the new head of South Bend schools.
"When I walked in the room downstairs, people clapped,” Schmidt described. “That's pretty cool!"
Schmidt has served as Interim Superintendent since June, after previous Superintendent James Kapsa retired.
“It really has been an opportunity for me to get to know and understand the South Bend community,” Schmidt described her experience as interim superintendent. “To get more familiar with the work and to get an insight in to the kind of challenges that we face.”
Her experience as interim superintendent isn’t the only reason she believed the board found her qualified. She also credited her years of experience in urban school districts and her background in instruction. Instruction is one of area she plans to focus on to improve schools.
"Our focus is going to be on learning, student learning and whatever it takes for all of our children to have high levels of learning every day, every single day," she explained. “We’ve already begun an initiative on focusing on instruction with a review of the instrument that will be using to do teacher and administrator evaluations.”
The corporation, she said, is working on finding a new definition for quality teacher instruction. But, that’s only one of her goals.
"The two most important pieces we know, that make a difference in a child's learning, are number one: the teacher and number two: parent involvement,” she explained.
Schmidt said she’s already reached out to parent groups to assist schools in reaching out and increasing parent involvement.
“Now we can really begin the organizational piece with that parent group to define, from them, what they see as ways we can connect in different and more ways with our parents," she described.
Though she said that everyone one wants the same successful outcomes in every school in the corporation, there won’t be one solution that fits for every school.
"Because some parents will want and need different things than other parents in other schools so we have to address the individual needs of every school," she explained.
Despite whatever goals she wants to reach, she explained that her, and the corporation’s, biggest focus will always be on the students.
"That's all we have in mind, that's all I have in mind, is providing a quality learning experience for every child every day," she described.
Before serving as interim superintendent in South Bend, Schmidt also served as superintendent in Muncie, St. Joseph and Benton Harbor.