Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

July 2, 2013

New BMS principal chosen

Debbie Blank The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — David Strouse was approved as the new Batesville Middle School principal, effective July 1, by Batesville Community School Corp. trustees June 24. Melvin Siefert, the past principal, has accepted a job as Plainfield High School principal.

Superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts reports, “Dave brings a wealth of educational experience to our school corporation, including administrative experience at the middle school level. He is data-driven, student-focused and goal-oriented. He focuses on making decisions that are in the best interest of students and has demonstrated the ability to positively lead his students, faculty and staff. He will fit with the ‘Believe in Better’ attitude of our school corporation.”

Strouse says, “I was elated and humbled all at the same time when I was named principal. Batesville Community School Corp. is an award-winning school system in which I look forward to continuing the commitment to academic excellence.”

The 38-year-old explains why he wants to be a principal: “I went into education to have a positive impact on students. As a teacher, I could impact my classroom, but administration has allowed me to develop the culture within a school building to impact all students in a positive way.”

Strouse has earned two degrees from Ball State University, a bachelor’s in secondary education in 1997 and a master’s in educational administration and supervision in 2008.

His achievements as Greensburg Junior High School principal for the past three years include increasing the amount of instructional time for each class by 13 percent, implementing the state’s RISE teacher evaluation system as a pilot school during the 2011-12 school year, starting reading and math remediation programs and designing collaboration time into the school day. Strouse was involved with an Indiana State Board of Education Spotlight on Learning in October 2011.

He began his educational career as a GJHS eighth-grade social studies teacher in 2000-01, then was a Greensburg Community High School teacher in that subject from 2001-06. Strouse served as GJHS assistant principal and athletic director from 2006-10 before earning the top spot.

After school, the Greensburg resident was the GCHS football defensive coordinator for seven years and coached the girls’ basketball junior varsity and football freshman teams for about four years. At GJHS, he coached basketball and track for five seasons each.

The state’s 2013 District 10 Middle School Principal of the Year has been certified as an Indiana school safety specialist and is a member of the Indiana Association of School Principals Board of Directors, National Association of School Principals and Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association.

As a boy, the Hoosier moved a few times, attending Owen Valley, Westfield and Noblesville schools before graduating from Lebanon High School.

The Sandusky Methodist Church board member has volunteered for an annual food drive for a local food kitchen, an annual clothing drive for families in need and gone Christmas caroling with church members at nursing homes and also participated in Secret Santa.

He and wife Cheryl have a son, Brody, almost 2. Favorite pastimes include family camping, playing golf, watching sports and learning.

Noting that BCSC’s accomplishments can be credited to “a dedicated staff, committed parents, engaged students and a strong leadership team, I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of that environment.”

The collaborator is itching to get started. “My immediate objective will be building relationships and rapport with all the students and staff at Batesville Middle School. The immediate challenge for me will be getting accustomed to the intricate details of how Batesville Community School Corp. operates on a daily basis.”

Strouse reflects, “Leadership has less to do with position than it does disposition. If parents, students, staff, community members or readers have any questions or concerns, please feel free to send me an e-mail at or call the school at 934-5175.”

Debbie Blank can be contacted at or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

SELECTION PROCESS • Twenty-eight electronic applications were reviewed and eight were chosen for screening interviews based upon their past administrative experiences, the superintendent explained. They were facilitated by Roberts, with incoming Batesville High School principal Andy Allen and current BMS assistant principal Dan Walter participating. Based upon these interviews, two individuals were chosen as finalists and then interviewed by a stakeholder committee consisting of Roberts; Allen; Walter; trustee Mike Bettice; teachers Ben Pierson, Kay Grimsley and Beth Doyle; BMS administrative assistant Carol Bergman; and parents Kirk Yorn and Beth Gutzwiller. "The process was designed to secure the best possible principal for BMS and we believe we succeeded in doing so," Roberts said. Strouse's salary is $87,000, according to the superintendent.