Wayne Barker to become next School City of Mishawaka superintendent

NOW: Wayne Barker to become next School City of Mishawaka superintendent

MISHAWAKA, Ind. —- It’s a done deal, Wayne Barker will head the School City of Mishawaka starting in July.

On Wednesday, the school board unanimously voted to approve Barker’s superintendent contract. The details of the contract include the following:

  1.  A three-year contract from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022.

  2.  An annual salary of at least One Hundred Seventy Thousand ($170,000)Dollars between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2022.

  3.  Performance Incentive Pay of Ten Thousand ($10,000) Dollars based on the following metrics in the following areas.

        1) Evaluation - Highly Effective - (Indiana School Board Association Evaluation Tool - 45%;

        2) School Corporation Grade from Indiana Department of Education Metrics - A - Highly Effective or B - Effective - 10%

        3) Board of School Trustees Goals and Metrics Mutually Agreed Upon by the Board and the Superintendent - 45%

Click here for the full contract.

On Wednesday, ABC 57 News learned Barker turned down the school district when they first asked him to consider the position. But he said when they came back he couldn’t say no, because of the quality of the people asking him which included current School City of Mishawaka Superintendent Dean Speicher.

“I wanted to know more I wanted to learn more and the more I learned the more I wanted the job,” said Wayne Barker, incoming School City of Mishawaka superintendent.

Barker is the current superintendent for eastern Indiana’s Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan Schools.

“He’s good at building champions, he’s a champion,” said Richard Currey, School City of Mishawaka Board of Trustees president. “He can recognize championships and he can cultivate them.”

In March, the SCM said it had three strong candidates. In the end, the district said Barker came out on top by meeting the districts desired traits in its new superintendent.

“It was a targeted search, we knew exactly the type of person that we wanted, the type of background that we wanted and we went out and recruited him,” said Currey.

Current said they were looking for someone with a proven track record of success.

According to Indiana Department of Education data, under Barker’s tenure, Bluffton-Harrison Metro schools have increased enrollment since 2005 and received a ‘B’ state accountability grade for the 2017-2018 school year.

But Barker said he will face a professional challenge coming to Mishawaka schools.

“But the challenge of coming here and taking the leadership that I have and trying to put that in place in a different setting is certainly something that is very intriguing about this possibility for me,” said Barker.

Bluffton Harrison Metro Schools is made up of 3 schools with 1,632 students. In the School City of Mishawaka, there are 9 schools with 5,423 students.

Currey said there’s a possibility of adding another middle school to meet increasing enrollment needs. Enrollment for the district increased by 43 students this past fall.

52 more students were counted the year before that and an additional 192 students were counted in 2016.

Barker said his plan is to continue what is already happening in the district and try to find a way to add his influence.

“I feel so confident in the people that are here that’ll be able to help me with that transition,” Barker said.

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