HCCSC’s Bennett earns IU accolade recently

Photo provided.
Jon Bennett.

Jon Bennett, assistant superintendent for business and classified staff for the Huntington County Community School Corporation, received the Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to Education Award at the Martha McCarthy Law and Policy Institute at Indiana University Bloomington.

Bennett received the award from Dr. Elmer Shelby, president of the Indiana University School Administrators Association.

The Outstanding Leadership award recognizes Indiana University Educational Leadership Program graduates with a distinguished career in education, who have shown outstanding leadership and who have had at least 15 years of experience in a leadership role.

Prior to coming to Huntington County Community Schools, Bennett served as a teacher, elementary principal, middle school principal, assistant to the superintendent and business manager for the Bluffton-Harrison Community School Corporation.

During the presentation ceremony at the Indiana University Bloomington, School of Education, Shelby shared some of Bennett’s leadership activities during his 32-year career in Indiana public education:

• Indiana State Science Proficiency Committee, worked with educators across Indiana to write elementary science curriculum for all Indiana schools.

• ISTEP+ Writing Committee, writing major portions of the third and sixth grade Indiana ISTEP exam.

• National Project Wet, selected by the Indiana Department of Education to be the only Indiana teacher to work on the national water curriculum.

• Lilly Endowment Fellow, Bennett received a grant to research Charles C. Deam, Indiana’s first state forester and wrote a children’s book for use in fourth grade Indiana history classes.

• Indiana Department of Natural Resources – hired to write the 75th anniversary of the Indiana State Park System for Indiana history students.

• Quality Recognition Award for technology innovation at a State Board of Education meeting based on his Carmen Sandiego Day concept. Broderbund Software developed a Carmen Sandiego kit based on the school’s activities and distributed it to more than 7,000 schools across the United States. The activities, intended to integrate geography into the curriculum, were also covered in Time Magazine.

• Starlab Trainer. Bennett trained teachers across Indiana to use the Starlab Portable Planetarium using hands-on astronomy and aerospace activites.

• Principal of the Year for District 3 – Indiana Middle Level Education Association.

• Principal of the Year for District 3 – Indiana Association of School Principals.

• Bluffton-Harrison Middle School Four Star School Award – the first school to receive the Four Star School in the school district’s history.

• Professional developer: Conducted workshops and presentations across the state on a variety of topics, including Indiana conservation, science education, curriculum mapping, desktop publishing, Internet Safety for Kids, aspiring principal academies and classroom discipline.

• Technology – Bennett helped lead significant technology initiatives in Bluffton and Huntington County Schools.

• Principal mentor – serves as a mentor to numerous aspiring and acting principals in Indiana.

• Finance mentor – serves as a mentor to numerous superintendents, assistant superintendents and CFOs on Indiana school finance, laws and regulations.

• Riley Hospital for Children, Kids Caring and Sharing Board of Directors – Bennett serves on the Kids Caring and Sharing Board to solicit district level support for Riley Hospital for Children.

• Indiana University School Administrators Association – past president.