EPIC Program Boosts Superintendents' Business Acumen

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A new program aims to give school superintendents a leg-up on the business side of the job. Educators Preparing Inspired Change, or EPIC, is a partnership among Butler University’s Executive Education program, the Butler College of Education and the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents. Fifteen superintendents took part in the inaugural session in late January and will meet again every other month through the end of the year.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Television, Butler Executive Education Executive Director William Gulley said it's important superintendents have business acumen, because they are "running multi-million dollar businesses." He added "They're acting as the CEO of that school district and they need all of those skills from developing high-performing teams to understanding how to set a strategy to board relations to community relations." Gulley, who also said student academic achievement is still the primary focus, but business sills are so important in the success of a district.

IAPSS Executive Director J.T. Coopman, a former superintendent, says superintendents come into the job well-prepared for the academic challenges, but the same can't always be said about business skill development. "Looking at the skills sets that they need in this new reform movement of schools," Coopman said, "especially when it comes to strategic plans and referendum planning. That way, when they have to go out and talk with community leaders, politicians, businesses, they have a better understanding on that return on investment like a businessperson would have."

The inaugural participants are:

  • Peter Morikis, Griffith Public Schools
  • Robert Evans, Shelby Eastern Schools
  • Deborah Howell, Franklin County Community School Corp.
  • Jim White, Bremen Public Schools
  • Thomas Hunter, Greensburg Community Schools
  • Scott Deetz, Madison-Grant United School Corp.
  • Ginger Bolinger, Madison Consolidated Schools
  • Gregory Walker, Brownstown Central Community Schools
  • Steve Baule, Muncie Community Schools
  • Jana Vance, Rochester Community School Corp.
  • Matthew Prusiecki, Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township
  • Lisa Lantrip, Southern Hancock Schools
  • Scott Olinger, Plainfield Community School Corp.
  • Sam Watkins, Peru Community Schools
  • A.J. Gappa, Knox Community School Corp.

You can connect to more about the EPIC program by clicking here.

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