Welcome to Center Grove!
My name is Richard Arkanoff, and I am the Superintendent for the Center Grove Community School Corporation. Before attending college I served in the United States Army for eight years, and during that time I had the privilege to experience many countries and cultures. My years of service took me from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to Nüremberg, Germany and from Okinawa, Japan to Tucson, Arizona.
I enjoyed my time in the military very much, however it was always my goal to obtain my teaching license; and I used my tour in the military to obtain the money to attend college.
The entire time I worked on my administrative licenses, I taught with in the Indianapolis Public Schools as a special education teacher in grades K - 5. Shortly after obtaining my administrative license I took a job as an elementary principal in Edinburgh, Indiana. I served as the principal of Eastside Elementary for three years; then as principal of the Edinburgh Middle School for two years. Once I completed my Ed. S. in school administration and leadership from Indiana University, the Edinburgh Community School Board offered me the position of Superintendent. I served as Superintendent of the Edinburgh Community School Corporation for four years.
In July of 2011, I had the honor of accepting the position of Superintendent for the Center Grove Community School Corporation.
Together with my wife, Beth, we have eight children. Six of our eight children are adults. Our son Richie and daughter Emma are students at Center Grove Elementary. Beth is the Health Services Coordinator for the Franklin Community School Corporation in Franklin, Indiana. We stay busy working for two school corporations and transporting our wonderful children from boy scouts to gymnastics and from soccer to dance.
I am excited to serve as your Superintendent! As Superintendent of the Center Grove Community School Corporation (CGCSC), I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve CG students, families, and the community. Our school corporation is dedicated to providing opportunities of educational excellence for all students. At Center Grove, we understand that student learning depends on high quality instruction and curriculum, aligned with clear learning targets. Our teachers, administrators, and support staff are committed to providing all students with a high quality education and learning environment through the use of researched and proven instructional practices, on-going assessment and feedback to students and parents about learning, and collaborative and responsive partnerships with students and parents.
CGCSC is committed to the students and parents of our community. We continue to work towards the improvement of our knowledge, skills, and practice in order to ensure a world-class education for every student.
As your leader I believe in fairness, transparency, confidentiality, and shared governance.
Fairness. Fairness is my guiding decision-making principle. Truly, it’s a social justice issue. At our core, we simply want everyone to be treated fairly. In every decision I make, I will ask others and myself if the decision is consistent with basic standards of fairness.
Transparency. Fairness often begins with a transparent, well-described process for making a decision or resolving an issue — a process that everyone can understand. Some decisions themselves may be unexpected, but there should be no surprises about how decisions get made; and everyone in our community deserves to understand why decisions are made in a particular way.
Confidentiality. I don’t believe in secrets. I do believe very strongly in honoring commitments to confidentiality. Keeping secrets means not revealing information that should be public. Respecting confidentiality means keeping personal information — such as an individual’s personnel records, medical records, and other privileged information — private. Indeed, there is much information that cannot be divulged by law or by policy. So while our decision-making process needs to be transparent, I won’t violate anyone’s confidentiality for any reason. As a leader, a teacher, and an educational researcher I know how essential it is to respect everyone’s privacy.
Shared governance. We will practice shared governance at Center Grove — many different groups have input into most of our decisions: students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and the larger school community. The great advantage of shared governance is that it promotes the inclusion of a rich body of perspectives into decisions. This broad input can greatly improve decisions which are made, but there still needs to be a person or group whom ultimately make the final decisions. Shared governance is not easy, and what it means is often misunderstood. Shared governance does not mean that decisions are ultimately made by popular vote — no complex organization can run that way. I see a large part of my job as taking in and thinking about a wide range of perspectives on important school decisions. It means that a big part of my job is to listen —to listen hard and to listen well — to a variety of different perspectives, and then be certain that we are making the best decision we can. I hope that even in those situations when the final decision is not the choice of everyone in our community, everyone will feel that he or she understands the final decision and its reasons and, perhaps most importantly, has had an opportunity to participate in the process.
Finally, I believe that good leaders have high expectations for themselves and for those they serve. I hold those I serve and myself to the following Eleven Expectations:
1. Be Organized
2. Be Professional
3. Be Enthusiastic
4. Be Visible
5. Be Collaborative
6. Be a Communicator
7. Be Forgiving
8. Be Positive
9. Be Proactive
10. Be a Positive Role Model
11. Be Child Centered
Once again welcome to Center Grove, and may your educational experience here be wonderful!