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Mishawaka schools superintendent resigning, board announces desired replacement

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Mishawaka schools superintendent Wayne Barker is stepping down in June to take a new job in Fort Wayne, and the school board announced its top pick for his replacement Wednesday. 

Baker has served as Mishawaka’s superintendent of schools for the past three years and oversaw the district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But now, he’s leaving the district to take the position of superintendent for Northwest Allen County Schools in Fort Wayne.

According to a Tuesday news release, Barker plans to submit his resignation on June 8 — it would become effective on June 30 – and that he informed the school board of his departure two and a half weeks ago to allow for a smooth transition.

On Wednesday, the school board announced Dr. Theodore Stevens as its top candidate for Baker’s replacement.

According to a news release, Stevens previously served as the principal of LaSalle Elementary from 2013 to 2015. He then worked as the district’s director of assessment, high ability programs and technology and served as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction before leaving Mishawaka in 2018 to become superintendent of the South Central Community School Corporation in LaPorte County.

Under state law, the board must post a hiring contract online for at least a week and take public comment on the decision. According to the news release, the board plans to publish the proposed contract on May 22 and hold a public meeting on June 2 at 2 p.m. to receive input on it.

Then, the board will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. on June 8 to accept Baker’s resignation and another public meeting at 6 p.m. on June 9 to vote on the proposed contract for Stevens.

If the contract is approved, Stevens would become the new School City of Mishawaka superintendent effective July 1.

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.