By Abby Allen
Superintendents do much more than call two-hour delays; they’re called “super” for a reason! Before he was Clark-Pleasant’s superintendent, Spray held positions of superintendent, assistant superintendent, and principal in Hendricks County schools.
Since then, he’s woken up each morning to create a learning environment for all students in this school system, sometimes even as early as 4:30 a.m.!
“On a regular basis, I get into the office at about 7:15 a.m., but in the winter on days we have bad weather we go out and begin checking road conditions at about 4:30 a.m. The end of the day is unpredictable and can be late with meetings, community events and of course high school events,” Spray said.
As the school system’s superintendent, Spray has many tasks, such as assessing weather conditions in the winter, that he must complete on a day-to-day basis in order to ensure the safety and happiness of students and staff across the district.
“When I read to kindergarten students, I tell them that being the superintendent is like being their principal’s principal. I work each day so that the most important people (teachers) can do their jobs to the best of their abilities. This includes making sure transportation, food service, budgets, policies, etc. are all in order so that the day goes smoothly. Another large role includes working with local community leaders like town councils, mayors, police chiefs and legislators. In the business world, I would be the CEO of the organization,” Spray said.
Not all of his work and responsibilities are just about maintaining the smooth-running of day-to-day education; other times, he is able to do what he loves most about his job, innovate and create new opportunities for students of all ages.
“[My favorite part of my job is] the satisfaction of developing programs and opportunities that have a lasting impact on our students and community. Some examples might include expanding dual credit opportunities at the high school, expanding alternative education programs, developing early intervention remediation for reading, improving athletic facilities (football/track stadium), improving safety and mental health programs, developing teacher leadership programs, putting in new technology, growing our education foundation, etc.,” Spray said.
Even with all the countless hours of hard work Spray puts into his job, it is still nearly impossible to satisfy each and every want and desire of students and staff, and that fact bothers him. Still, he pushes himself everyday to accomplish that impossible task to the best of his ability.
¨[My least favorite part of my job is] not being able to please everyone; I understand that many decisions improve programs and impact people in a positive way but other decisions may not be popular with everyone. I just try to do the best job that I can and make decisions that have the greatest positive potential for our students. Winter weather decisions are also not fun,” Spray said.
Spray maintains the corporation’s processes’ smooth running, and would greatly appreciate the appreciation.
“The saying that it can be lonely at top is certainly true at times. I would ask that when you see me in your school or an event take a second to say hi, ask a questions, give me a fist bump or a high five. I do miss the daily student interactions, which was the primary reason I chose education as my profession. (Also, be kind on Twitter.),” Spray said.