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Interim IPS Chief Is Happy To Stay Interim

Indianapolis Public Schools' Shortridge High School on north Meridian Street in Indianapolis.

The interim superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools has made it clear she doesn‘t want the job permanently. But Dr. Peggy Hinckley hopes to be more than just a placeholder for the next occupant of the central office.

“I would like my time to end certainly well before school starts next year, but I certainly don‘t want to leave them in a difficult spot, so at most, I hope that my mid-May they have identified someone, and we‘re beginning another transition,” she says.

The former superintendent of Warren Township Schools officially took over IPS on Monday, as Dr. Eugene White goes on paid leave after tomorrow until his retirement takes effect April 5th. While Hinckley is well known in education circles for her advocacy of the “eight-step process” to rebuilding school districts, she says her hope is to stabilize the school system while it is in transition.

The IPS Board issued non-renewal letters to all administrators in January for budgetary reasons – the school district faces a $30 million budget deficit. But Hinckley says that created fear and uncertainty at a critical time – just ahead of ISTEP testing and, as it turned out, a change in superintendents.

Hinckley says she hopes to rescind some of those non-renewals soon, with the understanding that some of them will have to go through in order to save money.

“Next week, I hope to be able to rescind some of those letters, so we lower the anxiety level of people in the buildings and in the central office in the key positions that we have to have,” she says.

Hinckley says she made it clear to the board that she would not be a candidate for the permanent position, adding that she hopes the process of selecting Dr. White‘s successor will lead to a new superintendent before the end of the current school year.

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