News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

June 19, 2012

Transfers dominate VCSC action

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County School Board during a meeting Monday approved several administrative changes affecting various schools.

Several of the changes involve principals and assistant principals.

Also, Kenny Pearson, who has been a physical education teacher at Rio Grande and West Vigo Elementary schools, will serve as the new athletic director at West Vigo High School, effective July 30. He replaces Michael Miller, who has retired.

Pearson is the husband of Vigo County School Board member Tammy Pearson, who abstained when the board acted on the personnel report.

The administrative changes are as follows:

• Susan Cobb, who has been principal at Honey Creek Middle School, will become the new principal at Ouabache Elementary, effective July 30.

• Nolan Michael Cox, who had been the Honey Creek assistant principal, will serve as the new Honey Creek principal, effective July 30.

• Tammy Rowshandel, who has been principal at Ouabache Elementary, will become the new principal at Otter Creek Middle School, effective July 30.

• Scott Moore, who has been the Otter Creek Middle School principal, will become assistant principal at Terre Haute North Vigo High School July 1. He replaces Robin Smith, who will serve as North’s new principal (approved earlier this year).

• Julie Lautenschlager, who had been assistant principal at McLean Education Center and West Vigo High School, will become the new principal at West Vigo Middle School, effective July 30. She replaces Tim Vislosky.

• Mark Schimmel, who has been assistant principal at Chauncey Rose and Sarah Scott middle schools, will become assistant principal at Honey Creek Middle School, effective July 30.

• Karen Andrews, principal at Booker T. Washington High School, will take on the added duties of nursery school director. Sheri Montgomery retired this year as the nursery school director.

• Tim Vislosky, who has been the principal at West Vigo Middle School, will become assistant principal at West Vigo High School and Terre Town Elementary, effective July 1.

In making the changes, the intent is to match up people’s strengths where there are vacancies or where there is a better fit for their leadership style, officials say.

The goal is “to maximize people’s talents” and assign them “where they would have the biggest impact on positive student growth,” John Orr, director of human resources, said after the meeting.

On Pearson’s selection as West Vigo athletic director, Superintendent Dan Tanoos said that there were four candidates for the job and Pearson “was the most qualified person.”

Orr said that Pearson has been a coach and is “very familiar with the coaching of students and management of teams.” In the past, Pearson has been an assistant baseball coach at West Vigo High School. He and his wife also have been active in the West Vigo booster club.

Tammy Pearson said after the meeting that her husband was already a teacher in the school system — and aspired to be athletic director — before she ran for School Board. “It’s something he has wanted for quite some time,” she said.

She said she was not involved in the selection process.

She also said she ran for school board to make a difference and to help the school corporation, “not for anything that had to do with him.”

At the same time, in running for school board, she didn’t want to keep him from his career aspirations.

They each have their separate careers, she said. What she does and he does “are two separate things” and would not influence her decision-making on the board, she said. Nor has it influenced her decisions, she said.

As a school board member, she said, “I represent students first and the school corporation. What he does is his own business, and I’ll have my priorities with the school board.”

The district did obtain a legal opinion to make sure that in appointing Ken Pearson to the position, there was no conflict of interest as far as the law.

Also in the personnel report, the board reassigned several teachers who had been employed at Chauncey Rose Middle School, which closed at the end of the school year.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or

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