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TC grad tapped for top job

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Ress: Referendum proponents needed

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY - A 1988 graduate of Tell City High School was selected Thursday to replace Laura Noble as principal at William Tell Elementary School.

Sara A. Maas is serving as acting principal at Princeton Community Middle School and Lowell Elementary School in Princeton.

She has also served as principal at Holy Spirit and Christ the King schools in Evansville, adjunct professor at the University of Southern Indiana and elementary teacher at South Vermillion Community Schools in Clinton. She has also served as a substitute here and in Evansville schools.

Maas earned a master-of-education degree from Indiana State University and a bachelor-of-science degree in elementary education from Western Kentucky University.

She has two sons, 10-year-old Grant and Garrett, 8.

Schools Superintendent Ron Etienne said he received 20 applications for the position, which Noble will vacate when she moves into the superintendent's office to take on some of his duties and others in one of several cost-cutting measures the board approved in April.

Etienne said eight of the applicants underwent interviews, and he could have hired any of six of them. Two were invited back for follow-up interviews, he said, before Maas was recommended for the board's approval.

Referendum Redux

Her hiring was the only item specified on the special meeting's agenda, but Etienne reminded the board he'd recommended they attempt another referendum to ask voters to approve construction spending. The issue will be on the agenda for the board's June meeting, he said.

Board member Dr. Gene Ress said including a referendum in this year's general election will encourage more people to vote. A referendum last November asked voters whether the corporation should spent up to $10 million on improvements, and 772 "no" votes prevailed over the 749 "yes" votes tallied in the sole issue on the ballot.

This November's ballot will include candidates for seats at the county, state and national levels.

Etienne noted that including the referendum in the general election will reduce its cost, which the school corporation must pay, and that construction costs will be considerably lower due to work completed since the last one and now under way.

Etienne reminded board members he had asked them to provide names of people who could serve on a referendum committee.

Ress said he couldn't think of anybody "who's really gung-ho about doing anything ... and it really bothers me."

Unless the board can come up with proponents for improvements that remain to be done, he continued, people will feel "they're not doing too bad doing it piecemeal, and I hate that ... we need to get some people who are not afraid and are excited about finishing the project."