District to fill 2 principal openings

Two Seymour Community Schools are in need of new principals to start the school year off in August.

Cortland Elementary School is now looking to replace Diane Altemeyer, who has been promoted to director of federal and state programs for the corporation.

That position, which is in charge of Title I among other federally and state funded programs at the schools, was held by Jeff Klakamp, who is returning to the classroom as an elementary school teacher.

Story continues below gallery

Seymour Middle School also has a vacant principal position after Doug McClure resigned this month to become principal of Brownstown Central Middle School this fall.

Altemeyer has served as principal at Cortland for the past four years, and this year the school was named a Four-Star School by the state department of education, mainly for student performance on ISTEP+.

While serving as principal, she also was the corporation’s designated testing coordinator, dealing with testing issues and problems as they came up.

“It’s gone by very fast,” she said of her time at Cortland, the smallest school in the Seymour district.

Besides serving as principal, Altemeyer also has been a classroom teacher at Seymour-Jackson Elementary School, working with English language learning students.

She applied for the director of federal and state programs position because the job interests her, she said.

It requires her to make sure the corporation is in compliance with federal and state grants and meets the deadlines for applying for those sources of funding.

She will be working with Title I, which provides services to at-risk students at three elementary schools in the district; Title II, which provides professional development to teachers; Title III for students who aren’t native English language students; and programs for high-ability students.

“They are reworking the job description to align all federal programs to make us more efficient,” she said. “It’s a new opportunity, but I really hate to leave Cortland. I really like it there.”

Altemeyer, who lives in Hamilton Township, said she will miss seeing the Cortland students and their families every day.

“It’s very rare when you get an opportunity as a principal to know every kid in your building,” she said. “I joke with them that I know their moms’ and dads’ names, and I even know their grandparents’ names.”

The decision to leave weighed heavily on her heart, she said, but she hopes to continue to have a positive effect on Cortland students through her new position.

“You never know what God is going to put in your path to take on,” she said. “But I plan to keep tabs on Cortland because it holds a special place in my heart.”

Both the Cortland and SMS principal positions have been posted both internally within the corporation and with the state department of education.

“We’re taking applications, and our goal is to find the best person for that job,” Superintendent Rob Hooker said. “We have a lot of talented people within the corporation that have expressed interest.”

Hooker said the school board will have a special meeting later this month, at which time he hopes to hire a new middle school principal.

“And Cortland we will have hired as soon as possible,” he added.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.