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Aron Borowiak is new Supt.

By John Estridge, Editor

Aron Borowiak grew up in a small town and enjoyed his experience as a youth in a small town.

And he is excited to get back to that small-town feel.

Friday, May 31, the Union County/College Corner Joint School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to hire Borowiak as the corporation's new superintendent. His first day will be Monday, July 1.

He replaces Christopher Winchell, who resigned to take a similar position back in his hometown in Walkerton in northern Indiana.

“I grew up in a small, rural community in southern Illinois,” Borowiak said. “Many of my family members and my friends growing up were farmers. I have a tremendous respect for the work ethic and family values of farm families and all families in rural communities.”

According to geographical statistics, Albion, Ill., had a population of 1,918 in 2017.

Board president Mary Eversole said seven candidates applied for the job, and six were interviewed. Two were asked back for a second interview with Borowiak one of the two, and the board members picked Borowiak.

Borowiak has a wide base of experience in the education field.

During his educational career, Borowiak was: a high school English teacher, basketball coach, soccer coach, English Department chair, Middle School athletic director, assistant principal at Valparaiso High School (2017-19), director of Curriculum and Instruction at Griffith Public Schools (2011-2017), Griffith Middle School Principal 2009-2011 and Wanatah Public School Principal 2008-2009 (K-8).

After graduating from Edwards County High School in Albion, Ill., Borowiak received a B.S. in journalism from Southern Illinois University. That was followed with a B.S. in English education from Indiana University. After that, he earned a master's in arts from Ball State University. His final degree to date is a specialist in education degree from Indiana State University.

“I got into education as a way to give back to society,” Borowiak said. “The opportunity to help young people has been my calling. I am truly blessed to be afforded that opportunity. I have also been blessed to work with outstanding students and staff who inspire me to want to be a better educator and a better person.”

While he was director of curriculum and instruction at Griffith Public Schools, the schools received accolades.

“(I) led the district in achieving all-time high scores in IREAD, ISTEP, Graduation Rate, and AP passing rate,” Borowiak said. “(The schools) increased their percentage of students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams by over 200 percent leading the school to making the Indiana Advanced Placement Honor Roll and receiving first-time recognition from US News and World Report and as one of America's most challenging high schools by the Washington Post.”

Borowiak said he was drawn to UCCCJSD because he believes it is a hidden gem populated by people who really care about the educational system.

“UCCCJSD is one of the best kept secrets in the state of Indiana,” Borowiak said. “The students at this school get an outstanding and well-rounded education in a small-school, nurturing family environment.

“I was impressed with the strong commitment and care that the community has for the students,” he continued. “There is a lot of pride in the school district, and the success of students is a priority. This has been evident in everyone I have met so far.”

While he is excited for the opportunity, he understands there are challenges within the school district.

“Like the majority of districts in Indiana, (UCCCJSD is) dealing with a declining student enrollment and the consequences this has on the morale of the staff and the district's finances,” Borowiak said.

Borowiak said the school corporation is already taking measures to get the news out that UCCCJSD is good for students.

(Currently, the UCCCJSD is) communicating all the great things that are going on in the schools,” Borowiak said. “I have been very impressed by the programs, staff, and opportunities our students have and by the outstanding students themselves.”

He has some of his own strategies to deal with the problems associated with declining enrollment.

“(Some of his goals are) to ensure that we are fiscally sound and are planning for the financial future through proper facilities, transportation, technology, instructional, and personnel planning that align with the vision for the district,” Borowiak said. “Through strategic planning for the district, we will focus on the needs of our students and community and learn what communication avenues will be the most effective.”

At Friday's school board meeting, Winchell mentioned he had been in phone and email communication with Borowiak. He said they will both attend four summer activities together, which are designed for superintendents.

“I've also piggybacked those four activities with meeting some of the different groups we work with – PSI for example,” Winchell said. “We've had multiple phone conversations and trading emails that particularly emphasize budget, human resources, facilities and things of that nature.”

“We appreciate you making this as seamlessly as possible,” Eversole said to Winchell. “I'm sure Aron appreciates that as well. He voiced his eagerness to get started and become a member of the community.”

“Chris has been a tremendous person to follow,” Borowiak said. “He has been helpful in providing anything he can to help Union County/College Corner in the superintendent transition. I don't think I could have asked for a better person to follow.”

Borowiak is married to his wife Andrea. They have been married for 21 years. He has three children: Andrew, 17; Alexander, 15; and Angelina, 13.

“I am looking forward to getting started right away and getting to meet as many people as possible,” Borowiak said. “I want everyone to feel comfortable to take the time to talk to me and invite me to their groups to meet others.”