Highland hires away North Newton superintendent

2013-06-10T20:15:00Z 2013-06-11T12:30:04Z Highland hires away North Newton superintendentBy Carmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337 nwitimes.com

HIGHLAND | The School Town of Highland Board of School Trustees approved a three-year contract for Brian Smith as superintendent of schools in a special meeting Monday.

Smith, who has been the superintendent of the North Newton School Corp. for the last four years, will begin his duties in Highland on July 1.

All of the Highland School board members welcomed Smith to the community and school district.

School Board member Larry Vassar told Smith that he would enjoy the Highland community and he had a "big pair of shoes to fill" in following Highland Superintendent Michael Boskovich, who retires effective June 30.

Boskovich told Smith he would do a great job in Highland.

"You're a good man. You're not afraid to say things to the big boys. You'll fit right in," Boskovich said.

Smith, who plans to move to Highland with his wife and two daughters, said he's excited about relocating to the town.

"Despite increases in poverty, the scores continue to be strong. Public education has a target on its back, that's my opinion. This is a small district but the opportunities here are fantastic. My moral compass is to do what's right for kids," he told the small crowd at the board meeting.

Smith will earn a total of $151,344 a year, including a base salary of $125,000, $4,200 in an annual tax sheltered annuity, an annual automobile allowance of $6,000 plus business related mileage outside of Lake County, annual professional dues of $1,000, annual term life insurance of $600 and health, dental and vision insurance premium benefit of $14,544.

Smith also will get a one-time relocation stipend of $2,500 to become a town of Highland resident. The agreement calls for 25 vacation days, in addition to legal holidays and 15 sick days annually.

Smith is originally from Fort Wayne. He earned his bachelor's and master's degree from Indiana University and his Ed.S. from Ball State University. He is currently completing his doctorate from Ball State University.

He worked as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Fort Wayne Community Community School Corp. from 1994 to 2009.

Smith's wife Sallie is a second-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in North Newton and the couple have two children, Emily, 15, and Olivia, 11.

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