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Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013
Interim WRV Superintendent is qualified for the jobPosted Friday, February 1, 2013, at 3:14 PM
There's a lot to like about the hiring of Jerrill Vandeventer as the interim superintendent in the White River Valley School District.
He comes to the school on an interim contract that started at 7 a.m. Friday and runs until June 30.
One of his first duties was to declare a two-hour delay in the start of school Friday morning because of icy road conditions.
That wasn't a biggie for the new school boss, who's had to make school closure calls many times before.
Experience is something that WRV School Board President Jason Davidson says jumps out when you look at Vandeventer's resume.
When you talk with him you know he's been an effective administrator who loves students, teachers and the communities where he's worked.
Most recently he's served as superintendent of the Greater Jasper School Corporation in Dubois County for a half dozen years ---- 2006-2012. Before that, he was the assistant superintendent in the same district from 1995 to 2006.
Vandeventer retired in June at the age of 59.
He told me last night that he had a long list of fix-up duties around his house when he retired, but he quickly hammered and painted his way through the list and frankly the superintendent's job came open in the WRV district at the right time for him.
Vandeventer, who presently resides in Jasper, is a 'local' Greene County boy ---- was raised on a farm in the hills and hollows near the historic Tulip Viaduct by his late parents, Lebert and Lorraine Vandeventer.
There are a lot of 'local' ties to the Vandeventer family and the WRV School District.
Jerrill is a 1971 Bloomfield High School graduate who is well known among Cardinal fans for his prowess on the basketball floor.
Ironically, the dream of 1971 Cardinal team of advancing through tournament play was sidelined when his squad, coached by Hall of Famer Guy Glover, lost to Worthington-Jefferson High in the sectional.
As former BHS team mate Rick Hudson says, that's probably a game that many in Bloomfield would like to forget.
Bloomfield had been 10th ranked in a all-one-class format that season and had their sights set on a good tourney run until they ran into the Ramblers in the sectional and those hopes were extinguished.
Worthington, which was later consolidated as part of the White River Valley School District, was coached by former WRV School Supt. Steven Campbell, who had as his assistant Vandeventer's older brother, Jim.
Vandeventer is married to a 'Worthington girl', the former Jill Benjamin, who is the daughter of long-time Worthington dentist, Dr. E.M. "Ed" Benjamin, who died last July.
Vandeventer and his wife have three children ---- a son, Tyler and daughters, Tory and Tara -- and three grandchildren.
Tory is married to Jordan Pearman, the son of Susan J. Pearman and the late Brad Pearman of Worthington, who formerly served on the WRV School Board.
Vandeventer has been a success every step of the way.
Aside from his administrative experience at Jasper, he also served as an assistant principal and head basketball coach at Evansville Harrison High School from 1986-95
Vandeventer was a varsity basketball coach for 11 seasons, compiling a 147-96 record.
He coached four years at Owen Valley, three years at Boonville and four years at Evansville Harrison.
His best seasons were 21-2 at Boonville in 1985-86 and 20-2 at Evansville Harrison in 1988-89.
He coached 10 players who went on to play college basketball, including former IU standout Calbert Cheaney, Walter McCarty, Walter Lee McCarty, who played for the NBA's New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Chris Lowery, Brent Kell and Brad Brownell.
Cheaney, a former National Player of the Year while at IU, he went on to play 13 seasons in the NBA with Washington, Denver, Boston, Utah and Golden State. He is the present day director of basketball operations at Indiana University.
Brownell is the current head coach at Clemson University and formerly coached at Wright State.
Lowery is serving as an assistant coach at Kansas State University under head coach Bruce Weber. He was previously head coach of the Southern Illinois Salukis men's basketball team.
Vandeventer began his career in education in 1975 as an industrial arts teacher at Mooresville High School. He was an industrial arts and health teacher at Tri-Central High School from 1976-78, then an industrial arts teacher at Tell City for 1978-79. He was an industrial arts teacher at Owen Valley High School from 1979-83, then a physical education teacher at Boonville High School from 1983-86.
After high school graduation, Vandeventer attended Milligan College and Purdue University, earning his bachelor's degree from Purdue in 1975, master's degree from Indiana State in 1980 and a degree in secondary administration from Indiana State in 1986. He completed the Educational Specialist at Indiana State in 1997 and received his doctorate's degree from Indiana State in 2005.
Vandeventer said he's looking forward to meeting the students, faculty and those in the WRV community.
He doesn't plan a lot of immediate changes, but instead will be looking and learning about how the school district is operated.
"You just try to steady the ship and guide the ship and do the best you can," the new superintendent said.
When asked about school finances, Vandeventer said, he also recognizes that public schools across the state are facing fiscal challenges.
"It doesn't matter where you are at, there are some tremendous challenges. They never cease to stop, but I am a believer in public education and I think schools are the greatest opportunities for our kids and that's where they belong," Vandeventer said.
Hudson, a long-time acquaintance, calls the hire a good one.
"I think the neat thing is he's been in different sized school corporations and seen how all of them are run -- both big and small. But the interesting things is his office (at WRV) is just a few miles from where he was born and raised out in the hills of eastern Greene County, so I think that is a cool story he gets a chance to come back to his roots here in Greene County and I think that is neat," Hudson explained. "We wish him all of the best."
I agree and welcome the new interim school boss back to his home county.
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow Nick on Twitter @GCDWSchneider .
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