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Kenneth Spells accepts South Bend Community Schools superintendent position

The ink on the contract is dry.

A new leader of South Bend Schools will head the corporation starting next month.

Incoming superintendent Kenneth Spells is looking at an annual salary of $190,000 plus benefits.

He could see even more if enrollment numbers improve, but he tells me his main priority will be closing the achievement gap for students.

“Its going to take a total team effort working with our students to make sure that we improve student achievement,” he said.

Tuesday the school board and the community let former Alton schools superintendent know they’re on his team.

“I’m happy that we got Mr. Spells on board, I’m looking forward,” said parent Sam Brown.

Brown sat in on all three interviews during the search, but to him Spells was a stand out.

“He’s been battle-tested, this community, we have issues in this community, we need someone that’s been battle-tested,” said Brown.

Spells says being battle-tested was the prep he needed to help with the district’s turnaround efforts.

“We’re going to hit the ground running on day one and you’re going to see some changes on day one, that doesn’t mean things are going to happen overnight but you’re definitely going to see some changes,” said Spells.

 Changes this board is looking for.

Some members have been through several superintendent administrations and they’re hoping this one will be long term.

“With Dr. Spells, I’m even more excited that he’ll interact with the board, the staff and the community.”

Spells has a challenge ahead of him but it won’t be his alone.

“Being a part of this process, being a part of this community, I’m just very excited about getting started,” said Spells.

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