Old principal becomes new principal at Central High in Muncie IN

School principal becomes new human resources director

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - Muncie Community Schools stood by their man Tom Jarvis, returning him to principal of the newly consolidated Muncie Central High School.

While some called his recent retirement a fake, a majority of the school board brought Jarvis, 59, back after he retired this summer to protect his retirement benefits.

State law allows school teachers and administrators to set out 30 days to preserve their pensions before going back to work for a same or different school systems.

Jarvis left the job, making no public indication that he intended to return to the school system. But school board member Beverly Kelley called him out when she voted against the rehiring, saying Jarvis never cleaned out his desk.

While Jarvis, a Ball State graduate and veteran administrator, acknowledged he walked away from his office without taking his things, school Supt. Tim Heller said it was his decision to leave leave Jarvis's desk untouched.

School board member Beverly Kelley pointed out that oversight, saying Jarvis's rehiring seemed like a done deal. And she made it clear new faces were needed with a new consolidated high school besides other recent issues with the school system/

Besides closing Southside High School, the school board also went through a crisis over having limited money to run buses. A tax referendum to pay for bus service failed, and the schools was mothballed the newest school building in the system, Wilson, when the middle school was moved to Southside.

Board member Debbie Feick said it was a difficult decision, and agreed with Board President Tony Costello and board members Michael Long and Robert Warrner that Jarvis was the best person for the job.

 Feick blamed the Legislature for restricting educators and forcing retirements with changes in pension and benefit laws.

Warrner also said Jarvis was the best person to oversee the new high school, given his experience and capable.

Jarvis was out of Central for a semester as he developed the plan to consolidate Central and South. When he announced his retirement, he only talked about money he would lose with his pension. 

And the school board took considerable time defending the rehiring of administrators and teachers who retired to save their benefits, only to give them instead of newer educators a job.

Muncie schools lost more than 100 teachers, administrators and support staff this year, and has been constantly people to ready for the new school year starting Aug. 13.

Jarvis said he was honored to he the first principal of the new high school. The last time Muncie had one high school was in 1962-63 went Central was still winning state basketball tournaments

With over 1,800 students and a bigger sports program, many Bearcat alumni are hoping for more championships to add to the eight hanging in the Muncie Fieldhouse.

The school board also did not look far to replace longtime human resources director Lon Sloan who retired as did retied chief financial officer Mark Burkhart.

Kathy Ray, a former teacher and now school principal, was hired to succeed Sloan. Also a Ball State graduate, Ray has overseen a handful of elementary schools and was principal at Westview Elementary.

That experience as an administrator was qualification enough for the front office and school board's decision. Chip Mahaffey, a former athletic director, was recently named as chief financial officer.






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