South Knox Elementary School is back up to a full roster of administrators after members of the school board on Tuesday approved the hiring of a new assistant principal.

Superintendent Tim Grove said the board hired Jeff Rode, currently a business teacher at the middle-high school, who will step into the role of assistant principal at the elementary school in the fall, officially joining Scott Staggs, who was named as principal in November.

Staggs previously served as assistant principal under Alan Drew, who announced this fall that he would retire as elementary principal at the end of the school year.

Rode, Grove said, has been with the school corporation now for six years. He was one of 18 candidates to submit applications for the position of assistant principal, Grove said, and among four that were interviewed by the full board.

Rode quickly, Grove said, “stood out as the No. 1 candidate.”

“We were pleased to be able to go with Mr. Rode,” Grove said. “He stood out as a quality candidate, and he already teaches at the middle-high school.

“He's going to make that transition smooth for us, so we're looking forward to that.”

Grove said they had many good candidates, but the board is pleased to have been able to hire both positions from within its own ranks.

“They have a knowledge of this community, a knowledge of the staff,” Grove said of Rode and Staggs. “Jeff's is a familiar face around here. The (students) are familiar with him. And I think that's always a plus.

“Sure, you can find people with a lot of experience somewhere else, but then they have to spend time learning the culture, the community, the people,” he said. “And we have a lot of experienced, qualified people right here.”

Drew announced his retirement last September. He has been with the corporation for 44 years, 38 as an administrator.

Staggs has a decade of experience as the assistant principal of the elementary school and also currently serves as the director of transportation for the school corporation.

Staggs previously was the assistant principal of the middle-high school.

Both Staggs and Rode, Grove said, will be shadowing Drew over the next few months to make for a smooth transition come August.

The board's next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. March 10 in the administration building.


The South Knox School Corp. is now compiling a list of children who will be entering kindergarten during the 2020-2021 school year.

A child must be 5 years old on or before Aug. 1 in order to enter kindergarten this coming school year.

Roundup has been scheduled for March 24-26. A fourth day may be added if needed.

Anyone wishing to enroll a child for kindergarten should call the elementary school at 812-743-2591 for an appointment. South Knox accepts out-of-district transfers applications.

Contact the elementary at 812-743-2591 or the middle-high school at 812-726-4450 for information.

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