Present an Award; Accept the Boos

Over the last two days, the Indiana Chamber visited eight of the 10 Head of the Class schools identified in the annual Indiana’s Best Buys report. (Mother Nature interfered with two trips scheduled for Wednesday).

Chamber education expert Derek Redelman gets the road warrior award for a Tuesday itinerary that took him to Signature School in Evansville, nearby Castle and across the southern part of the state to North Harrison. President Kevin Brinegar stayed closer to home with North Central (Indianapolis) and Hamilton Southeastern presentations.

I ended up with a Batesville-Monroe Central doubleheader — both schools I had visited under different circumstances. For Monroe Central in Parker City, it was covering high school basketball games as part of my sportswriting role prior to coming to the Chamber. I was able to share a few basketball tales and names from the past with the current staff.

Batesville, though, is where things were most interesting. While I was born a mere minute away from the town’s high school at the local hospital, the students gathered for the announcement focused on the fact that I went to school at rival East Central. They expressed their vocal displeasure, but I won them back by telling them their school earned a majority of the basketball victories in matchups between their Bulldogs and my Trojans during my prep days.

Another note: First-year Batesville Principal Tim Stephens deserves kudos as he was the leader at Hauser (a Best Buy honoree each of the last two years). While the report measures high school performance, Stephens pointed out that it is really an award for the entire district.

Rounding out the top 10 are Center Grove and Rushville. Congratulations to all.

View current and past Best Buys reports, along with this year’s press release.