School Board Announces Mr. Wayne Barker as New Superintendent

  • superintendent wayne barker The Board of School Trustees has announced Mr. Wayne Barker as the next Superintendent for School City of Mishawaka. Mr. Barker was one of the top candidates identified and vetted by Dr. Bruce Stahly and Mr. Mike Pettibone in the year-long search for a successor for Dr. A. Dean Speicher, who’s contract will be ending on June 30, 2019.

    “We always knew Dr. Speicher was here on a short term basis, so this was part of our strategic plan,” said SCM School Board President Richard Currey. “Dr. Speicher has helped us develop an ambitious vision and playbook that are embraced by the Mishawaka community. We wanted someone who would expand upon that, and continue our trajectory of success,” said Mr. Currey.

    By March of 2019, three strong finalists came to School City of Mishawaka to meet with approximately 25 members of the leadership team and to be interviewed by members of the School Board. In the end, Wayne Barker came out on top, and Barker was all in.

    Mr. Currey noted Mr. Barker’s record is impeccable, and everyone in the Bluffton community spoke of him with the utmost respect. “Everyone said the same thing. I believe he is a trusted and respected community leader, and a relational, servant leader with high moral character,” said Mr. Currey. “He also has the experience of building and working alongside an experienced team. Over and over again I heard how Wayne Barker builds capacity and cultivates champions, yet he is extremely humble.”

    Dr. Speicher stated: “Wayne Barker is a perfect fit to lead School City of Mishawaka into the future.”

    When Mr. Barker was first asked to consider the position, he simply said no, he loved his job as Superintendent of Schools at Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District (BHMSD). In fact, when you talk to people in Bluffton (located south of Fort Wayne and 100 miles from Mishawaka), you get the impression Mr. Barker is a local hero. He has been a leader at BHMSD and in the community for 24 years and has been the Superintendent for the past decade. “I am entrenched here,” said Barker, “and my staff and this community have become my second family.”

    Mr. Barker said, “I have never followed anyone who has set the bar as high as Dean Speicher has here at Mishawaka Schools. It is a weight of responsibility, but I am thankful for it and excited about the opportunity. I love serving people in a place where I am needed and where I can make a difference. It didn’t take me long to realize Mishawaka is that place.”

    Mr. Barker’s contract will begin July 1, 2019. He and his wife, Vicki, are planning to move to this area. Mrs. Barker is currently a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher at Adams Central Jr.-Sr. High School.

    We are excited to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Barker to the Mishawaka community!

Mr. Wayne Barker Accomplishments

    • Ten years ago BHMSD was a financially distressed school system with a cash balance of only $9,025. Through decisive action and sound management this balance grew to nearly $2,200,000 in just seven (7) years, during which time an additional $2,000,000 was deposited into the Rainy Day Fund and school employees received significant compensation and benefit increases.

    • During Mr. Barker’s tenure BHMSD reversed its prior history of rapidly declining enrollment and has increased its student count by 21% with 16% of its students choosing to come from out of the district.

    • BHMSD was one of the first school districts in Indiana to recognize and fully embrace the benefits of using technology in the classroom with a 1:1 device ratio, and has been visited by over 60 school corporations (20% of all Indiana Districts) to learn from its success.

    • In 2017, BHMSD had a graduation rate of over 98% with over 78% of its graduates pursuing further education through vocational schools, two-year schools, and four-year colleges. This is with a free and reduced lunch student population of nearly 50%.

    • Based on these achievements and his success in creating strong collaborative community partnerships to promote student success, last year Mr. Barker was selected as the District VI Superintendent of the Year and was one of the three finalists for Indiana Superintendent of the Year.