Madison Elementary Principal Ben Barkey will be replacing Ronna Kawsky as the director and principal of the Warsaw Area Career Center effective July 1.
The Warsaw School Board approved the replacement Tuesday. After Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert said Kawsky announced her retirement two years ago. During the meeting, Hoffert said Kawsky is leaving “after a storied career” and leaving at the top of the her game. Warsaw Community Schools looks forward to celebrating Kawsky over the coming weeks, he said.
Kawsky, taught at Warsaw Community High School since 1998 and became the director and principal of WACC in 2010, according to a provided news release.
WACC staff said they wanted someone who could interact with the business and education communities, as well as interact with the state, Hoffert said.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Hoffert said, “We’ve gone through quite a process early this spring. We had the opportunity to share the recommendation with the Warsaw Area Career Center yesterday.”
Barkey “has been a product of” WCS, Hoffert said. He was a teacher at Edgewood Middle School, a state championship golf coach, a STEM coach at Washington STEM Academy and an assistant principal at Warsaw Community High School. Barkey has been the principal at Madison for the past five years.
Barkey graduated from Manchester College with a bachelor’s degree in biology and an education endorsement. He went to Ball State University where he earned his Master of Arts in education degree in the field of educational administration and supervision. Barkey also obtained an Indiana administrative license in administration and supervision for K-12. In May, Barkey will complete his educational specialist degree in educational administration, superintendent license, according to the news release.
Hoffert said he recommended the Board vote on Barkey replacing Kawsky Tuesday so WCS can start the interview process of finding a new principal at Madison.
Barkey said he was “eternally grateful” for WCS “raising him as a child” and giving him opportunities as an educator. He feels “severely blessed” by all the great people he gets to work with and continue to work with.
Board President Heather Reichenbach said he will be missed at Madison.
In other business, the Board:
• Learned, at this point, breakfasts and lunches have been free for the past year and a half. This is part of the federal lunch program that is set to expire July 1. As WCS understands it, Hoffert said, the program will expire, so there will be charges again for lunches again for the 2022-23 school year unless something changes in the next couple of weeks.
• Learned from Grants and Special Projects Coordinator Krista Polston about a website that was created internally specifically for students at www.pickyourpathway.org. It was designed to help students pick a career pathway in their studies.
She said Rob Parker, CEO and president of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber is working on making videos for the website about the different career paths by talking to different area businesses.