Wawasee Stays Mum On Principal’s Reassignment

Don Harmon (file photo)

Don Harmon (file photo)

As StaceyPageOnline.com first reported, Don Harman was reassigned from his role as principal at Wawasee High School (see story). The reassignment was announced during the Wawasee school board meeting last night.

Effective July 1, Harman was reassigned within the school corporation, but no details have been released about what position he may be filling. Harman was replaced as principal by Mike Schmidt, who had been the assistant principal since June 2011.

Harman’s reassignment was officially approved by the Wawasee school board — quietly — during the regular monthly meeting April 12. His reassignment was not included with the regular agenda that month, but was added just prior to the meeting. His status was also not discussed and his name was not mentioned during the April 12 meeting. It is not unusual for items to be added after the agenda is released, but typically those are explained or discussed during a regular school board meeting.

A few days prior to the June 11 regular meeting of the school board, Wawasee Superintendent Dr. Tom Edington recommended WHS Assistant Principal Mike Schmidt be promoted to principal and Harman be reassigned as an eighth-grade science teacher at Wawasee Middle School for the 2013-14 academic year. This was discussed further in an executive session prior to the June 11 meeting and then during the regular public meeting, the board voted — again quietly — to promote Schmidt to principal.

Edington explained the reasoning for keeping Harman’s status quiet. “We wanted to keep it under the radar because we felt it was only fair to him to be given some time to find another position,” he said. “He has been looking elsewhere for a job.”

After Tuesday’s regular school board meeting, Edington did not give specific details about where Harman has been reassigned and would only say the science teaching position at WMS is still open and Harman being moved there is still an option. It is certain, though, he will not become the assistant principal at WHS because that position has now been filled by Geoff Walmer.

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About Tim Ashley

Tim Ashley, associate editor for The Mail-Journal, has been with The Papers since March 2004. He edits articles for The Mail-Journal, as well as several other publications of The Papers. Ashley also covers Wawasee school board meetings, activities at Wawasee High School and Wawasee Middle School and monthly Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission meetings. A 1996 graduate of Oral Roberts University with a degree in journalism, he lives in Goshen.Staff Writer tashley@the-papers.com
  • Indiana MMA

    Tim, I think you’re looking at the story from the wrong angle. Try this:

    He wasn’t working out for one reason or another. The best case scenario was just poor reviews. Now the corporation is acting in compassion and keeping him employed until he can find something else. If there’s a real story here, it’s that there’s potentially going to be a class taught by a guy that doesn’t want to even be there. The kids are the ones that suffer in that case. I understand the compassion being shown from the district, but what’s best for the kids. I’ve seen this at another school district. The ex-admin who’s filling in as a teacher is way more focused on getting their next job, rather than educating pupils. They’re missing extra days for interviews. It’s not fair to the students. I understand that sometimes contracts need to be fulfilled, but how about in a role that won’t impact the students. I bet there’s a broom that would fit in his hands perfectly. What do you think?

  • Heidi Rozow

    So much for transparency. Wawasee Corp, you need to keep you eyes on this Board and Superintendent, because they will spend your money with reckless abandon and answer to NO ONE.

  • tkmccreary

    Walmer and Schmidt are going to do great things at WHS!!!!

    • Laker55

      Schmidt will do an outstanding job. Walmer is a not very trustworthy and a major brown noser.

      • tkmccreary

        I’m sorry that is your perception. Have you actually worked with him before? He is a great advocate for ALL students. He will also go above and beyond to support teachers and parents.

        • Laker55

          Not percepion – fact. I am a faculty member. Many of us were pleased to get rid of him when he went to Goshen. He is NOT an advocate for ALL students. He will do what he has to and use anyone he can to benefit Geoff Walmer.

          • tkmccreary

            Well, maybe he was that way previously, but while working at Goshen he worked closely with the special education department and did wonderful things. Just remember people CAN change and I would encourage you to give him a second chance if he has done something previously that you didn’t agree with.

  • Heather

    Maybe student “rumors” were right all along!!

    • Heidi Rozow

      Wawasee School Board very recently adopted a policy prohibiting fraternization between staff members. It took them 2 years to act, but they did at least make a prohibitive policy. (See SPO archives, there is a write up about it).

  • Heather

    I’m sure it’s more than just not working out!! Was he the only one reassigned?

  • Laker55

    Don was dating the director of guidance Shannon Fry. He was asked by the superintendent about the relationship and he lied about it. He was also instructed by the board that any conflicts teachers had with Shannon Fry be brought to Mike Schmidt instead of himself because of a conflict of interest and lack of objectivity because of the relationship. The faculty have had constant problems dealing with Shannon, but Don purposely ignored the school board directive. Now you know why Don is no longer the principal at WHS. I am hoping at some point the school board can show Shannon Fry the door.

  • Name

    I absolutely agree Mike Schmidt is a wonderful educator and roll model. I had him as an English teacher 13 years ago. He has a way of really making education fun and brings learning to a whole different level. I hope he will still be in that position when my son gets to WHS. We should be proud to have him in that position.

  • Anon

    Addressing Laker55′s Comment – Shannon Fry is a very hard working and caring person. She has high expectations for students and also listens to their concerns. It is not right to publicly malign her character when she has not done anything wrong. The news story was about the former principal, not Miss Fry.