Schools chief to resign

April 5, 2019

Bluffton-Harrison’s longtime superintendent announced Thursday he intends to resign pending approval of an offer at another school district.

“I’m appreciative of the cooperation of the school boards from both school districts to allow this press release,” Wayne Barker said in an email to media late Thursday afternoon. “As a result, this allows the BHMSD board to lay out a very clear plan going forward, and I am very supportive of that plan.”

Barker has served Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District for 24 years. He has been superintendent the last 10 years.

He expects to submit his resignation April 25, effective June 30. The news release did not identify which district he expects to lead next, only that it is in Indiana.

Brad Yates, assistant superintendent, is expected to succeed Barker, according to the release. The 2002 Bluffton High School graduate began working for the district in 2006, first as a teacher.

“It is the board’s goal to continue the positive direction the district is headed,” Mike Murray, board president, said in a statement. “As such, I personally can think of no other better candidate than our own Dr. Brad Yates.”

A public hearing on the new superintendent contract is set for May 6 with approval May 13, the same day the board plans to accept Barker’s resignation, according to a tentative timeline. The board wishes Barker continued success with his new endeavor, said Brent Hiday, secretary.

“Since 2009, I have been witness to unparalleled improvements in our district due in large part to Mr. Barker’s leadership,” Hiday said in a statement. “Wayne has become an integral part of our Bluffton community and will be sorely missed.”