SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The search for South Bend Community School Corporation Superintendent is getting closer to an end. The school board has two candidates who are Carole Schmidt and Robert Haworth.
The two candidates are each getting a day to plead their case. During that time they will meet with seven different focus groups.
These break down to a citizens advisory committee, support staff representatives, parents, business and political leaders, higher learning and community outreach, high school students and teachers.
Then their night ends with the School Board interview.
Wednesday was current interim South Bend Superintendent Carole Schmidt’s turn.
Schmidt called the process “grueling” but not in a negative way.
“It causes one to think clearly about what the vision is for this district to think very clearly and talk articulately about what a two to three, to four year plan would look like,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt said her background is in urban education and that draws her to the area.
When asked what Schmidt she has done during her time as interim to prove her capability she said two things: starting a conversation about student learning and being transparent as a district.
"Not only are we talking about the things that we do really well, but the things that we need to do to improve,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt talked about the voucher program that she said has pulled over 300 students out of South Bend schools. She said this is a time where you have to be competitive for students and the corporation is trying to figure out what’s motivating students to come or go.
"We're doing exit interviews with our families. We're doing interviews with families who come back because we want to know why, we've never done that in the past,” said Schmidt.
When asked how long Schmidt would want to sign on for, she replied, "You don't make change in a year.”
On Thursday, the second candidate, Robert Haworth will go through the same process.
The executive school board is scheduled to meet early Friday morning, and a recommendation could come as early as then for the position.