JHS graduate named Nancy Hanks principal

Herald Staff Writer

LINCOLN CITY — A 2000 Jasper High School graduate is joining the faculty of Nancy Hanks Elementary School as principal.


Jody N. (Seger) Schmitt, 31, most recently of Crawfordsville, was unanimously hired Monday by the North Spencer School Board. She spent the last three years as assistant principal at Southeast Fountain Elementary School in Fountain County.

Schmitt, the daughter of Dave and Laurel Seger of Jasper, was born and raised in Jasper. Her husband, Josh Schmitt, is originally from Dubois.

The couple have a 2 1/2-year-old son, Grady, and are able to relocate their family much closer to Grady’s grandparents because Scott Fudge, the principal at Nancy Hanks for the past year, has resigned to take a similar position closer to his Columbia City home. Fudge’s new job is in Churubusco, which is 15 minutes from his family farm.

Schmitt says she knew she wanted to be a teacher since she was a child in Carma Thimling’s fourth-grade classroom in Jasper. There she witnessed learning enthusiasm and Thimling’s acceptance of all students. Thimling, she added, is still teaching at Tenth Street School.

Given her own love of children and Thimling’s great example, there wasn’t much to ponder when it came to deciding on a career, she says.

Schmitt received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana State University in Terre Haute. She had worked in the Fountain County system since 2006, teaching in fourth-grade and sixth-grade classrooms before taking her administrative job. She is a certified school safety specialist and has studied abroad in Japan and Sweden.

North Spencer Superintendent Dan Scherry said the corporation received 17 or 18 applications for the principal position, including résumés from internal candidates already employed by the corporation. Six people were interviewed and the board had to decide between three finalists.
Scherry indicated he was pleased with the board’s decision.

“I think she will be a great fit at North Spencer and at Nancy Hanks, both,” Scherry said. “The chemistry of the administrative team we’re got … is a very important dynamic to North Spencer. We think Jody will fit perfectly into that dynamic.”

The principal said she loved every minute of teaching, beginning with a stint as a fourth-grade paraprofessional at College Wood Elementary in the Carmel Clay Schools. Each step of her career has given her knowledge and understanding that she will now use to ensure student safety and successes as the principal at Nancy Hanks, she said after Monday’s school board meeting.

“I’ve heard great things about the teachers,” Schmitt said.

Her first order of business will be getting to know the people of Nancy Hanks and start building relationships there she said.

Contact Bill Powell at bpowell@dcherald.com.

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