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Mapes Maps Township as New Superintendent

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New Superintendent, Patrick Mapes

New Superintendent, Patrick Mapes

New Superintendent, Patrick Mapes

Jordan Robbins, Reporter

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Which high school — Perry or Southport — is best?

“Perry…” superintendent Patrick Mapes began, pausing.

“…Township Schools,” he added, several seconds later, grinning about his gag.

Named the district’s new superintendent on July 10, Mapes’ record demonstrates that he knows how to practice diplomacy. And not just the sibling rivalry between sister schools.

Mapes, 53, oversaw major district projects as an associate superintendent for nearly a year while former superintendent Thomas J. Little Jr. was on medical leave and then terminated  in May. In its on-going media investigation of the case this summer, RTV6 reported that Little filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charging he was fired from the job because of his illness.

Before Perry, Mapes held Indiana Department of Education leadership roles, first as a top official with Tony Bennett, the state’s controversial superintendent of public instruction, who angered many educators with his accountability and charter school reforms. When Bennett lost re-election, Mapes stuck with the Department of Education under superintendent Glenda Ritz, a Democrat often in dispute with then-Gov. Michael Pence and state legislators; and when she wasn’t re-elected, Mapes worked several months with a third superintendent, Jennifer McCormick, a Republican.

Ronda Meyers, Mapes’ secretary, said it’s her pleasure to work with Superintendent Mapes. This is his 29th year as an educator in Indiana.

“He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and has a clear vision for Perry Township,” she said. “Mr. Mapes truly cares about people.”

Teaching social studies for five years at Cowan (in Muncie) and Daleville High Schools, Mapes said he loved analyzing history. But he decided to focus his career on the administrative side because of the bigger impact he felt he could have on students. He became an assistant principal at Knightstown High School and then at Delta Middle School in Muncie. Ultimately, he was promoted to superintendent of Delta’s school district — Delaware Community Schools.

At the state level, Mapes was the director of licensing and assistant superintendent for public instruction for Indiana. He was also chairman of the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board.

As that chairman, he ruled on more than 170 cases to resolve teacher-and-school-district conflicts.

“It wasn’t difficult as the law outlined the process that only wage and wage-related benefits could be bargained. As every new contract came into play, we made sure that it was compliant with the law,” Mapes said.

As director of licensing, he boosted  teacher preparation guidelines by requiring aspiring teachers to take more technology classes in college. The educator also established licensing requirements that included more science and math instruction for elementary education majors, due to low student test scores in those subjects.

“There is an area in education, especially early on, in which most teachers aren’t rockstars because we ask them to teach all the subjects,” Mapes said. “So,  we thought better preparation in those subjects would make teachers feel more comfortable.”

As Perry superintendent, Mapes continues to make plans for the future, even though his day-to-day responsibilities have been demanding as he oversaw the district’s $74 million construction project, which included adding 26 classrooms, four kindergarten academies and the PM football stadium.

Mapes has to keep one eye on the future because Perry Township is the second-largest growing district in Indiana.

“With the enrollment we are seeing,” he said, “we’ll need to add classrooms and expand the two 6th grade academies and middle schools.”

Robert Bohannon, assistant superintendent for career preparation, praised Mapes’ wealth of distinctive experience.

“Mr. Mapes’ connections with the Department of Education have already opened lines of communication that will allow Perry Township to offer important input to future decision-making,” Bohannon said.

“Mr. Mapes inspires and motivates as a leader,” Bohannon added. “He is quick to celebrate success and emphasizes the positive, and he has exceeded normal expectations.”

 

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Mapes Maps Township as New Superintendent