(Clinton, IN) Dave Chapman, long-time Superintendent of the South Vermillion Community School Corporation has been selected as the 2022 District IV IAPSS Superintendent of the Year. Chapman was nominated by his peers who stated that “he is a veteran leader who has a proven track record as a visionary, who utilizes a common-sense approach and maintains true professional integrity. Mr. Chapman has worked tirelessly at South Vermillion Community School Corporation to provide facilities upgrades and curriculum initiatives. Student achievement has improved under his leadership, and he has maintained the fiscal integrity of the district during several difficult years. He has been a tremendous help to fellow superintendents throughout the years and particularly to those new to the role. He is well respected by his Board, the community he serves, and the staff of SVCS.”

Chapman stated that he is “humbled and honored to be selected,” and that this recognition is “a result of the combined work of the School Board, Administrative Team, teachers and support staff.”  Chapman further stated that, “Our collective commitment to ensuring student success is at the heart of what we do.  This recognition is about the work of our entire community and I am proud to share it with them. I am privileged to serve the South Vermillion community.”  Chapman credits his wife, Lorie, for her continued support of his efforts.  “Lorie has been my rock through it all and I am extremely blessed to have her by my side.”

“To help with limited finances, we took the initiative to aggressively seek community partnerships so our programs would not become victims of the financial shortfall,” said Chapman. 

That strategy produced many successes, including:

·      The district partnered with the United Way of the Wabash Valley’s Tier 2 COVID-Relief Grant to provide after-school tutoring for students needing help, provide for mobile connection fees for our wifi hotspots, and to provide a staff wellness initiative to keep staff members at their peak.

·      We also partnered with the UWWV and their Youth Success: Student Engagement Grant that provided for a summer STEM Club for students in grades K-5.

·      The district partnered with Duke Energy’s Powerful Communities Grant in support of a summer kindergarten readiness club where incoming kindergarten students received weekly mailings that contained a parent readiness tip, a picture book, and writing activities.  The culminating event had the club members and their families gather at one of our elementary schools for a reading celebration and the students were able to meet their teacher and principal (before the start of school), participate in learning stations, and top it off with an ice cream party.

·      With the support of Project Lead the Way, the district secured numerous grants for professional development, certification, and support to develop and implement its K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) strategic plan.

·      The Indiana Department of Education helped the district secure STEM acceleration and digital learning grants.

·      Through a partnership with the Giacoletto Foundation, the district received a three-year grant for $25,000 each year to support K-12 STEM programming and the transformation of library/media centers into innovation labs. 

The community partnerships produced more than just funding. “We have established a close bond with our community and with our community partners,” said Chapman. “We feel that by working together, there isn’t anything we can’t do for our students.” 

During the pandemic, Superintendent Chapman has demonstrated strong leadership that has allowed the corporation to adapt and continue to support and engage with students. One of the highlights that exhibits his unique leadership was to provide the school cafeteria staff some time off during last Spring by organizing the “Hot Dog Drive-Thru” whereby students and their parents were provided a free lunch.  Thousands of meals were served during these drive-thru events where SVCS staff volunteered to cook and hand out the lunches for the students as they drove through the parking lot at the Superintendent’s Office to see their teachers and receive their lunches.

Chapman will be recognized at the annual IAPSS State Meeting in December and is a finalist for State Superintendent of the Year.