Huntingburg- Timothy LaGrange, Former superintendent of Southwest Dubois County School Corporation, has been named 2024 Superintendent of the Year for District VII by the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents (IAPSS).
Winners are selected by other superintendents in their district who consider the qualifications and accomplishments of area colleagues and their instructional leadership in a time of scarce resources.
LaGrange cites two primary ways the district has improved instruction in a time of limited resources:
- Making the most of what it already has, and
- Making grant writing and partnerships a priority
The district created two new positions, a director of curriculum and a director of community engagement, who are gifted grant writers and visionary educators. Their work allowed the district to secure more than $2 million in competitive grants since the 2019–2020 school year.
The district then maximized the effect of the $2 million by applying the funds to:
- Begin to double the number of students who will be biliterate (reading, writing and speaking in two or more languages), a highly marketable and global skill, by 2025.
- Adopt Franklin Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” for all staff members. The district is now teaching leadership and employability skills to all students.
- Participate in the Toyota 4T Academy to connect juniors and seniors with career opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
- Use a Rural Implementation Grant to receive training and coaching on Universal Design for Learning. (UDL) and to financially support two special education teachers so they could earn a master's degree in intense intervention, and strengthen the district’s K-12 implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
- Join with three other Dubois County school corporations to earn a Ready Schools grant to create a county-wide hub to support robotics programs, purchase 3-D printers and Makerspace equipment, provide stipends to 15 teachers trained in project-based learning and hire a career coach.
- Create a high-quality program offering tutoring and enrichment opportunities before and after school, during the summer and all breaks. Enrichment opportunities for K-5 students include piano, violin, guitar, drums, drama, robotics, fitness club, painting and ceramics.
LaGrange is a graduate of Indiana State University, Oakland University and Indiana University.