New School City of Mishawaka superintendent discuss upcoming school year
MISHAWKA, Ind. – It’s the first day of school for students at School City of Mishawaka and new superintendent Wayne Barker.
Barker says he wants every student, teacher, and parent to feel like they belong at the district this year.
“If people can identify one thing about School City of Mishawaka, I would want them to say that we love our students,” said Barker.
While this is his first year at SCM, Barker has spent the past 31 years in public education.
He most recently served as superintendent for a small school corporation south of Fort Wayne.
Barker describes his transition to Mishawaka as smooth and welcoming.
“For me right now, it’s just trying to listen to people and be as visible as I can,” said Barker.
He officially started on July 1. He says he immediately implemented a 90 day plan he created prior to starting the job.
Barker explains he spent the first 30 days of his term getting to know the city of Mishawaka and its people. Right now, he is studying the district’s culture and evaluating its systems.
“This is a very prideful school district,” said Barker. “It’s a very prideful city, Mishawaka, the city of Mishawaka, there’s a lot of pride in everything that happens here. If you just drive through the community you can see the sense of pride and as soon as you start to meet with folks, you can feel that sense of pride.”
The final 30 days will be spent developing long-term initiatives for the district based on his findings.
“To be able to be in classrooms, see students walking the hallways, it’s just going to be a great thing for me,” said Barker. “As school starts, it will be [my goal] to be as visible as I can be, to be present in school, and to be present at out-of-school events and I think trying to continue to meet more people.”
Over the summer Barker’s team put in technology that identifies where and when a door opens within the district and notifies officials so they can check who is entering the district’s schools.
SCM is also implementing a new student information system. They also purchased 3,000 Chromebooks for middle and high school students and installed more than 100 TVs in classrooms for more class interaction.
“If I were advising students, I would say jump in with both feet,” said Barker. “Come to school as soon as you can, join as many groups, clubs, activities that you can, and become a part of what we’re doing here. There are opportunities her for everyone.