Southmont’s Dr. Shawn Greiner is the 2020 Superintendent of the Year for District IV, named so earlier this month by the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents.
From South Vermillion in the west to Linton in the south and Lafayette in the north, District IV of the IAPSS encompasses more than 30 school districts in West Central Indiana.
Greiner, a Fayette County native, came to Southmont in 2013 and has served as superintendent ever since. Before that, he taught elementary school while aspiring to climb the ladder in the education world.
“I knew early on that I wanted to become a principal at some point so I took advantage of opportunities to serve in various grade levels,” Greiner said. “Coming to (Southmont), it was my intent to establish a culture of trust, collaboration, and emphasis on working together ... to meet the needs of every student and collective needs of our student body.”
The Southmont administrator earned his bachelor’s degree in 1989 and his master’s in 1993, each from Ball State. He then received his master’s degree in educational leadership and supervision before earning an educational specialist degree in 2010 from Indiana State University. And in 2013, he earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the home of the Sycamores.
With so many students and their families depending on his leadership, Greiner still takes the time to focus on what truly matters most.
“My family is my life,” he said. “With an amazingly supportive wife whom I consider my best friend and four awesome children, life has been an amazingly blessed journey.”
As a superintendent, which oversees a vast student body and hundreds of employees, Greiner feels his responsibility is simple — to serve.
“The most important role as superintendent is servant leadership to the community, ensuring our students receive a quality education, allowing every student to learn in a safe and welcoming environment where ever learner can reach his or her highest potential,” he said. “I believe every decision we make must be based on what is in the best interest of our students.
“For this reason, it is important to me to have my own children in the district where I serve,” he continued. “Every decision I make needs to consider every student as if every student were my own. We must take it to the next level, focusing on empathy to understand what it is those we serve want for their children, from their perspective.”
In addition to his work at Southmont, Greiner is involved in many boards and committees, such as the IAPSS and the Indiana Association of School Business Officials. Ever the learner, Greiner also believes in continuing his education.
“I am committed to continuous learning and am on my last course to became an IASBO certified chief business officer,” he said.
He also serves as a board member for the Montgomery County Character Counts! program and volunteers on the St. Bernard Pastoral Council, the Crawfordsville Rotary Club and the Mayor’s Workforce Development Roundtable.
As schools move forward, particularly in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Greiner said it is important to stay positive.
“My oldest son Takeshi, now a freshman at Wabash, said it best when the local radio station interviewed us together in March of last school year,” Greiner explained. “He said, ‘I understand people are inclined to focus on how horrible everything is given current circumstances. I choose not to do that.’
“I would like to echo my son’s words because I honestly cannot say it better,” Greiner said. “Take time to focus on the positives in life; be thankful for those things you have in life and enjoy everything you value. For me, I appreciate my relationship with Go and my relationship with my wife and children; I appreciate my good health; I appreciate the honorable opportunity to serve our students and school community; I choose to focus on the positives in my life because I have so many positives. I hope each person can reflect and see that even in these trying times, there are positive things to celebrate in life.”