WaNee Superintendent of the Yearby Amy Wenger on September 25, 2014
The superintendent of Wa-Nee Community School Corporation, Joseph M. Sabo, has been named 2015 Superintendent of the Year for District 2 by the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents.
District 2 includes Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, St. Joseph, and Whitley counties, as well as portions of LaPorte County.
Winners are selected by other superintendents in their district who consider the qualifications and accomplishments of area colleagues and their instructional leadership.
Sabo credits his success at Wa-Nee to a tremendous team effort from administrators and those who work on the front lines of teaching. The school district faced severe financial challenges from the recession with the loss of $930 million due to reduced state funding. But even with those issues, the district has achieved positive results for children. In 2013, four of five Wa-Nee schools were graded "A" schools by the Indiana Department of Education, and 95 percent of third graders passed the IREAD-3 tests on their first try. The system maintains an average class size of 23 students in kindergarten through fifth grades. In 2010, Sabo implemented an energy savings program that has resulted in energy cost savings of more than $760,000 in the past four years.
The Wa-Nee Community School Corporation serves 3,000 students in three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Its faculty and staff totals 375. Sabo has served as Wa-Nee Community School Corporation's superintendent since 2001. Before that, he was assistant superintendent and principal in the district. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethel College, and his Master's of Science from Indiana University - South Bend.
He is a board member of the Horizon Education Alliance of Elkhart County and the Elkhart County Special Education Cooperative Governing Board. He is also a past board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Nappanee, past president of the Nappanee Noon Kiwanis, and Bethel College Alumni.
One of the eight district winners will represent Indiana in the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year program.