By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — “Personally, this was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made.”
Churubusco Superintendent Galen Mast was approved last week to become the new superintendent at West Noble Schools.
Mast says he’s enjoyed his time at Smith-Green schools, and the decision was made mostly because he wanted to be closer to his family, which lives near Fairfield schools.
The trip to Ligonier will only be 15-20 minutes for him, rather than 45-50 minutes to Churubusco.
“Being closer to home allows me to be more involved in the lives of my kids and family,” Mast said. “Both West Noble and Churubusco are fantastic school corporations. Of course, the main factor in making a school great is its people — and both are comprised of wonderful folks.”
The new position will take effect July 1 for the 2017-18 school year, giving SGCS time to find a new superintendent to replace Mast.
The superintendent’s letter of resignation was regretfully approved by the Board of Trustees at Monday night’s meeting, as all expressed their appreciation for the work Mast has done.
“Thank you for taking a chance on a rookie,” Mast said to the board. “These past four years have been fantastic. You’re more than a board, you’re friends.”
It’s not just the board, but the community that Mast loves in Churubusco.
“I have grown to know and love the students, the staff and so many in this community,” Mast said. “Friendships and relationships have been built that will last a lifetime.”
Mast said he appreciates the environment SGCS creates — “a place where teachers are free to teach and students are free to learn with minimal distraction.”
He also enjoys the community involvement in Churubusco.
“The kids have a vast variety of opportunities to be involved and succeed in extra-curricular events,” Mast said. “That’s certainly not always the case in many of today’s school environments. One element that makes SGCS a special place is the values of the community coming into the school and being instilled in our students. The students embody the community values, and hopefully will then teach these same values to their own children.”
Mast said he’s grateful for the time he’s had at Smith-Green.
“It has been an honor and a privilege,” Mast said. “I know there are good days ahead for the school and the community. Days of growth, peace and prosperity. We can continue to focus on making the most of every day and enjoy the process of learning and growing on the way.”
Mast has served in education for 22 years. The first 10 years of his career were spent as a fourth-grade teacher while coaching various sports, particularly varsity tennis, at Westview. He spent 7.5 years as principal, including 5.5 years as the elementary principal at Parkside in the Lakeland School Corporation.
He has spent the past four years as superintendent at Smith-Green.
Mast is a 1991 graduate of Fairfield High School and was a three-sport athlete in tennis, basketball and baseball.
He graduated in 1995 from Huntington University with a bachelor’s in elementary education.
He also participated in tennis and basketball at HU.
He and his wife have been married for 21 years and have four children, Emily (19), Morgan (17), Joel (15) and Addison (10).
Mast’s official last day is June 30.