Jasper's Hacker hired at White River Valley

Nick Schneider/Greene County Daily World
White River Valley Board of School Trustees President Jason Davidson, right, chatted with new superintendent Robert "Bob" Hacker, following Wednesday's late afternoon special board meeting.

Greene County Daily World

A Jasper administrator has been selected as the new school superintendent of the White River Valley School District in Greene County.

Bob Hacker, assistant superintendent of Greater Jasper Consolidated School District, will begin his new position July 1, taking over the role from interim superintendent Jerrill Vandeventer, who retired as Greater Jasper superintendent at the end of last school year.

In a special meeting Wednesday, the White River Valley School Board unanimously selected Hacker as the new superintendent.

Hacker, 48, has served in his current position since the beginning of this school year. From 2009 through last school year, he was the principal of Jasper High School, under Vandeventer. He formerly was principal of South Decatur Junior-Senior High School in Greensburg, assistant principal and athletic director at South Decatur and Belmont Middle School in Decatur and a classroom language arts teacher at Beech Grove Middle School.

The White River Valley superintendent position interested Hacker because of its proximity to teachers and students, he said, noting that the superintendent’s office is inside the high school.

“(As assistant superintendent) this was the first year that I’ve really been separated from the educational process,” he said. “I just miss the daily interaction that I had with students and teachers.”

Hacker was the only candidate to be interviewed of 12 applicants under review by the school board. The board was impressed by Hacker during his initial two-hour interview, Vandeventer said.

“He sold (the board) on his capabilities and his desire to be at White River Valley so much so that they were not interested at that time in interviewing or pursuing any additional candidates until (Hacker) told them no. He did not. He agreed and was interested in the job,” Vandeventer said.

Hacker graduated from Franklin Central High School in 1982 and from Franklin College in 1986 with a Bachelors of Arts in English and secondary education. He earned his Master of Science degree in secondary education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 1989 and earned an education specialist and school leadership certification from Indiana State University at Terre Haute in 2010.

Hacker said that his first order of business when he arrives on the job will be to listen.

“You have to be an effective listener and gauge where we are as a district, and then build a vision and try to guide the school system in the direction that gives our kids the best possible opportunities to compete in a global economy,” he said.

Greater Jasper School Board President Nancy Habig said this morning that the school board will discuss the superintendent vacancy at its next meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the school administration office, 1520 St. Charles St.

Herald Staff Writer John Seasly contributed to this report.

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