Lindner moving up to administrator position in Loyal schools
As he did when he became Loyal High School’s principal nine years ago, Chris Lindner thought he might be a superintendent one day. And just as it happened back in 2011, Lindner’s promotion to the next level of school administration came sooner than expected.
The school district announced last week that Lindner has been hired as the new district administrator, beginning with the 202021 school year that begins on July 1. He will spend the next several months working with interim administrator Mark Lacke to learn the ins and outs of the job, as well as completing the educational requirements to earn his state administrator certification.
Lindner will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Cale Jackson last July. The district Board of Education decided at that time not to rush into a new hire, and instead brought in Lacke for a year to guide the district forward while the Board chose a long-term successor. Instead of going outside the district for a new administrator, it decided to stay in-house and move Lindner down the hall from the principal’s office to the administrator’s. Lindner said his conversations with the Board and with elementary principal Nancy Popp revolved around the benefit of continuity in the district. “We said, ‘Let’s see if we can do this in-house,’” Lindner said. “We know the school. We know the system. We know the kids and the teachers.”
While Lindner was growing into his principal position — first as K-12 and for the past few years as grade 7-12 after Popp was named half-time principal for the elementary grades — Lindner said he was involved with Jackson more and more in administrative duties, such as budget preparation. This year, Lacke has been giving him a heavier dose of administrative lessons, and that will now ramp up for the rest of the year.
“There’ll be a crash course coming for the next six or seven months,” Lindner said. I appreciate (Lacke) taking me under his wing. He’s a great one to learn from.”
Lindner also needs to complete requirements for his administrative credentials, which he is doing now through Concordia College. A lot of that work can be done online, he said, and he is squeezing that into his usual duties.
“It’s a lot right now,” he said.
As for who will take over as junior/ senior high principal, that decision has not yet been made. Lindner said he and the Board will be discussing that in the coming months. Also up in the air is a decision on whether or not Lindner will continue on as the head football coach next fall, he said.
When he takes over as superintendent in the summer, Lindner said his main emphasis will be to continue the strong program already in place in Loyal. One area of emphasis will be the continuation of the Professional Learning Communities program started this year, which is a focused effort with staff to reach every student at their level.
“It’s going to be a big thing, especially for our struggling students,” Lindner said. “Together (with Popp) we made a commitment that this is where we need to go.”
A native of Greenwood and a GHS graduate, Lindner has now been working in the Loyal district for 26 years, the first 17 as a technology education/driver’s education teacher. When he was teaching, he had started to work toward principal credentials, and was unexpectedly thrust into that job nine years ago due to a resignation. Now, he said he had been talking with Jackson about the possibilities of taking the next step, and again, the situation to advance came unexpectedly in Loyal.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” he said. “Obviously, it’s a new step. I think it will be challenging. There’s some nerves on just what to expect. I felt similar when I took the principal job. I’m very excited to continue to work with our staff and students and community, just in a different role.”