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‘They work hard’: South Bend deputy superintendent talks future of athletic directors

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. —- The deputy superintendent for the South Bend Community School Corporation explained Wednesday the Corporation’s decision to eliminate the district athletic director job and create dean of students and athletics positions. 


Dr. Todd Cummings said the restructuring move is simply the corporation changing the job description of athletic directors and an attempt to start his lean, central office transformation. 


“These are full time positions, they’re taking the place of athletic directors,” Dr. Cummings said. “Just like academics we’re going to support athletics as well.”


Dr. Cummings said the move was motivated by intending to save cost and hearing feedback from the community. He said parents and students want feeder patterns, which are usually the sequence of steps that students take as they progress through the grade levels, and access to college recruiters. 


“We want access for all of our students wanna make sure that they have access to D1, NAIA, and college coaches,” Dr. Cummings said. “What we’re trying to do is trying to force back to schools the support for families the support for students and making sure that we have athletic personnel who can meet all the needs of our families.”


Currently, there are four athletic directors at each of the high schools in South Bend. According to the job description, each AD is tasked with supervising, coordinating, and directing the overall athletic program of their school. 


Dr. Cummings said the list of duties for the dean of students and athletics will expand. An applicant must have an administrative license from the Indiana Department of Education.  


After June 6, there will not be any athletic directors in South Bend schools. 


“We needed an updated job description in order to be able to hold them accountable for the data and the parent support that we need,” Dr. Cummings said. 


When asked if the current athletic directors will have job security if the Board of Trustees approves the positions, Dr. Cummings said the corporation has encouraged them all to re-apply. 


“I’ve watched athletic directors work I’ve shadowed athletic directors and they work hard,“ he said. 


The Board of Trustees will vote on the new role on March 26. According to Dr. Cummings, high school principals are crafting the new job description, and if it’s approved, the job will be posted on March 27. 

Each principal along with a committee will hire the deans of students and athletics for their school. Dr. Cummings said high school, middle and elementary schools will work together to make sure families are supported. 


“We’re going to make sure that our students have access great athletics from elementary middle and high,” he said. “And hopefully in the process end up with a girl and boy state championship.”

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