VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — After a search process spanning several months, the Vigo County School Board announced Chris Himsel as the next Superintendent of the Vigo County School Corporation (VCSC).

Himsel is an Indiana State University graduate and also started his career at Rose-Hulman Institue of Technology and was the superintendent for the Northwest Allen County Schools for 12 years. Himsel also won superintendent of the year for the state of Indiana in 2017.

The position is a big role to fill, but VCSC officials said they believe they found the best candidate for the job.

In a press conference Tuesday, School Board Member Rick Burger said “he has character, heart, accountability, proven leadership, proven experience. We found that person.”

The search for the next superintendent began after Rob Haworth, former VCSC superintendent, announced his retirement at a November 2022 board meeting after serving in that role for roughly four years. At that same board meeting, Dr. Tom Balitewicz was named interim superintendent.

Haworth’s last official day was on January 2 and Balitewicz took over on January 3.

At a school board meeting on January 10, four new members were sworn in and Amy Lore was appointed as board president. At the meeting, Amy Lore told WTWO the school board had taken the first steps in the process of the superintendent search.

Early in the process, the school board met with several search committees to help with the candidate search, which Lore said is common for school boards hiring a new superintendent.

At the end of January, Vigo County School Board chose to work with the Indiana School Boards Association for the candidate process and a survey was conducted to get input from the community on what they wanted to see in the next VCSC superintendent.

The school board initially held two rounds of interviews with 12 candidates, eventually narrowing that list to two candidates.

At the end of April, school board members did site visits to see those two candidates in action and conducted reference calls, all leading to a unanimous final selection.

Following the May school board meeting, Lore said the team was up late working out the details of the contract, and an offer was then made to the candidate.

On Tuesday morning, the school board held a press conference to announce the Board of Trustees had reached an agreement with, at the time, the unnamed candidate. During the press conference, the details of the contract were discussed and later made public on the corporation’s website.

Trustees assured the public that the contract was offered in response to what they called a ‘highly competitive market’ for one of the largest school corporations in the state.

As the second largest employer in Vigo County the VCSC covers 410 square miles. A total of 30 facilities across 28 properties covering a total of 3 million square feet of buildings. VCSC employs 2,250 people including 1,040 teachers plus 1,200 staff members and educates over 13,000 students in three traditional high schools, five middle schools, 16 elementary schools, an alternative school, and a virtual school.

Chris Himsel’s contract begins on July 1.