close up on...: Dr. ChabotTuesday, May 13, 2008 By Sophia Bairaktaris
What are you looking forward to the most as you transition from the Blackford County schools to the Lake Central School Corporation? I think that learning and leadership are the key reasons why I’m coming here and what I look forward to the most. What will you miss about your previous superintendent position? The biggest thing about my job right now is community involvement…I think the role of the superintendency in community involvement and improving education from the community aspect is something that I’ll miss in Blackford. I certainly hope we can replicate that in some way here. What are you hoping to improve or change at LCSC? I respect the work of Dr. [Janet] Emerick…and I certainly want to continue many of the great programs that she has provided leadership for. Certainly the calling is to deal with high school facilities. Its day has come. What was your impression upon stepping foot into Lake Central for the first time? Large, and you folks don’t realize how large it is. I think it’s large, it’s crowded, I think its alive…For the three hours I spent there, I thought it was a well behaved, congenial group. I thought that the staff seemed very dedicated. What will you do to help the overcrowding at LC? There is a plan that is before the board of education in terms of several phases to renovate and expand Lake Central High School. So it will certainly be my calling to take that plan and promote it and deal with it and push it…I think that the corporation in the next year or so has to decide about renovating the current facility and adding on and giving every teacher their own classroom and/or then dealing with another high school. Building another high school is very, very expensive. What is your goal for your first year as superintendent of LCSC? I think it’s to listen to people. I need to understand the culture of Lake Central, how folks are doing things here in all the buildings and in the community. I need to lead and I need the board of education and the community to rally around the facilities’ solution. Why did you choose to get involved with education? When I was at Anderson University doing my undergraduate, I wanted to be a social studies teacher. I played football in college, and so the coaching piece was naturally an expression. So in the beginning, it was just wanting to teach and coach. That’s how I started down this road. What words of wisdom do you give to the graduating class of 2008? “Congratulations” I think is one. I encourage folks to continue their education…The third thing is to remember your community. It seems like today’s high school students are anxious to move on, and they feel like whatever community that they are in is boring. Even in New York City, those high school students say it’s a boring town. Remember your home town and your family. How long have you been involved with education? Thirty years…[as] a teacher, coach, assistant principal, I was an athletic director, principal and then a superintendent. What do you think about LC’s athletic programs? Tough conference, seems like a very competitive conference, so tough competition. The school colors of white and blue are new [to me]…Lake Central offers a full range of teams…you have a full slate of activities…with the improvement of the high school, it seems [there would also] be an enhancement, an improvement of athletic facilities. What are you hoping to do to help LC’s academic programs excel? Lake Central is a very good school, the test scores indicate that as a student body you have been achieving good things. I would certainly like to raise the question of greatness. If you are good, do you want to be great? I think Lake Central High School could and should compete with any high school within the state of Indiana. What was your favorite class when you were in high school? I grew up in Florida on the east coast…I went to Cocoa High School and probably my favorite subjects were in the area of social studies. So I enjoyed history, geography, current events. Fast Facts Favorite color: If I bought a new car, my ideal color combination is a hunter green with a tan interior. Favorite movie: Glory. I love that movie. I’ve watched it too many times. Favorite childhood memory: Being from Florida…the whole ocean, beach scene is probably the fondest memory. Favorite music genre: I grew up with rock and roll, but at this stage in my life I like soft jazz. Quick family info: My wife is Linda, and she is a public school teacher. She teaches in the area of language arts. I have three children that are young adults now. One is a nurse, one is a teacher and one is a bank manager.