Meet Dr. Theodore Stevens
On June 9, 2022 the Board of School Trustees approved Dr. Theodore Stevens as Superintendent of Schools for School City of Mishawaka (SCM). School Board President Holly Parks shared, “I am excited for the opportunity to welcome back Dr. Stevens to School City of Mishawaka! His history of success at the building and district level give me confidence in his ability to guide us into the future.”
This is Dr. Stevens’ second tenure with SCM. Dr. Theodore Stevens first came to Mishawaka to serve as the Principal of LaSalle Elementary School from 2013-2015. After two years at LaSalle, he transferred to the School City of Mishawaka Administrative Center to become the Director of Assessment, High Ability Programs, and Technology. While in this role, he helped to draft the SCM Technology Plan, which was a major component of the successful 2016 referendum. Dr. Stevens served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction from 2016-2018. In 2018, he accepted the superintendent's position at South Central Community School Corporation in Union Mills, Indiana. He served as their Superintendent since that time until returning to SCM.
After approval of his contract on June 9, Dr. Stevens stated, "Thank you for the opportunity to be the next Superintendent of School City of Mishawaka. I look forward to working with you [School Board], the community, the staff, and the students as we continue our journey in making SCM the premier school corporation in our area."
He also shared,
"At this point in the story, some may ask, why did you leave SCM in the first place? It’s complicated. The primary reason I left was to prove that I was capable of the Superintendency in my own skin. I left SCM to become Superintendent at South Central Community School Corporation. The great Mike Pettibone told me, “You can’t be somebody else, you can only be yourself.” Since 2018, I have called South Central home. As you might have imagined, the South Central community has been exceptional. It was great to be a Superintendent and lead their organization. It was an even greater pleasure to gain the trust of the Board and earn their wholehearted support. Leaving a good school corporation and a good working relationship is not as easy as it may initially appear. At this point in my life, it’s about where I feel I can make the largest impact in a positive way.
My return to Mishawaka is interesting for several reasons. First and foremost, many have welcomed me home, which is greatly appreciated. As a point of clarification, I am not from Mishawaka. I am from Logansport, home of the Berries! What I love about SCM is that the people here have treated me as if I were one of them. When the announcement was made public that I would potentially be returning to SCM, I was amazed at how many people had my cell phone number that reached out with sincere gratitude about my return. Second, as I travel to schools to hear about SCM, I’m amazed at the “gushing” welcome I receive. As a guy that will have great difficulty telling you what I ate yesterday, I am impressed that people remember me four years later. To that end, I greatly appreciate the warm welcome and it certainly does feel like home (truth be known, probably even better than home).
Returning to a workplace is not a first for me and it would be the point my parents would be most proud to hear. In the summers during my undergraduate work at Purdue, I worked maintenance for Logansport Community School Corporation. I had the great pleasure of working with the maintenance crews doing a wide variety of work. Quickly, I gained a reputation as a person who knew how to work and could be trusted to work generally unsupervised (which can be difficult for young people). Years later, they had an Assistant Principal opening at Columbia Elementary School, which was also deemed a difficult elementary school. I took that position and was quickly accepted with welcome arms. My parents always said, if you are a good worker, you’ll be asked to return, which is the ultimate compliment. Whether it be baling hay, detasseling corn, or school administration - if you did good work the first time, you will be invited back. If there is a single lesson I want my own children to learn today, it is this one. If you didn’t do a good job, it’s pretty easy to pass you over the next time around.
The SCM Board and community largely know who I am. I am a known quantity. You’ve paid me the ultimate compliment in asking me to return. I will make it a point not to disappoint you and I plan to showcase that to our community in my work and actions as your next Superintendent."