Terry Barker, superintendent of Union-North United School Corp., is becoming School City of Mishawaka’s next leader.

Barker, who has been superintendent of the Lakeville district since 2009, was named Mishawaka’s new superintendent at a special board meeting on Tuesday evening.

He’ll begin his new job on Oct. 3.

On Tuesday, he said via phone that his initial focus in Mishawaka will be on re-establishing trust and confidence in the school district’s administrative leadership.

Mishawaka’s last permanent superintendent, R. Steven Mills, retired in May 2010 amidst controversy over his apparently little-known marriage to another Mishawaka schools administrator.

Barker described himself as approachable and trustworthy.

He said he intends to connect with the community by attending athletic and school programs, as well as getting involved with service groups.

Barker, who refused to give his age, has lived in South Bend since 2009, with his wife, Janet. The couple have two grown children.

He grew up in Muncie and first taught there.

His administrative career began when he was appointed to an elementary school principal position in 1982 in Shelby Eastern Schools in Shelbyville, Ind.

In 1989, he moved north and became principal of Walt Disney Elementary School in the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp.

He remained with the P-H-M school until 1996, when while pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership at Indiana University, he interned with Indianapolis Public Schools.

A year later, Barker moved to Illinois to become an assistant superintendent for curriculum and human resources at West Chicago schools.

From 2000 to 2002, he was assistant superintendent for human resources at Lake Zurich schools in Illinois.

His first superintendency was in Mount Prospect, Ill., where he stayed until 2006.

Barker then went to North Newton School Corp. in Morocco, Ind., where he was superintendent from 2006 to 2009, when he came to Union-North.

In his current position at Union-North, he oversees a district with some 1,250 students.

Dan Towner has served as interim superintendent in Mishawaka since Mills’ departure in May 2010.

Barker, whose salary in Mishawaka will be $140,034, will begin in October, at which point Towner will return to his former position of leading the curriculum and instruction department.

Staff writer Kim Kilbride:
kkilbride@sbtinfo.com
574-247-7759