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Diagostino Leaving KHS
June 6, 2007 - Knightstown High School Principal Jim Diagostino has announced he is resigning to become the new principal at Tri-West High School in Hendricks County.
CAB Superintendent David McGuire confirmed news of Diagostino's coming departure last Thursday afternoon. He said Diagstino had notified him that morning.
"He'll be missed," McGuire told The Banner. "He's been a positive advocate for kids. He's tried to bring forward new programs and ways of dealing with discipline that I think are good for kids." McGuire said CAB has already posted the vacancy with the Indiana Dept. of Education and hopes to interview candidates for the KHS principal's job by mid-June.
Richard King, assistant superintendent at North West Hendricks School Corp., told The Banner that Diagostino beat out 18 other applicants for the principal's job at Tri-West, a Class 2 A school that has about 500 students. He said Diagostino made a strong impression on the screening committee he headed.
"He came in with a vision of where we need to go, where high schools need to go today, and what's strong about schools and what needs to be changed," said King. "He wants a strong sense of accountability for everyone." King said he and the others thought Diagostino came across as being straightforward and honest.
"One of the things that impressed me was that he asked us a lot of questions," King said. "He wanted to be sure this was good match for him as well as for us."
King said the five-member NWH School Board unanimously approved a recommendation to hire Diagostino at a meeting last Thursday night.
He said Diagostino was given a two-year contract with an annual salary of $82,000, which is a 12.7-percent increase over the $72,786 he was earning at CAB.
Speaking to The Banner on Monday, Diagostino, who lives in southeastern Marion County with his wife and children, said the primary reason for leaving Knightstown was the location of the new job to his siblings.
"My four brothers and sisters live on the west side of Indianapolis," said Diagostino. "It's going to put me closer to them."
Diagostino was hired by CAB just prior to the start of the 2003-2004 school year to be the vice principal at KHS. When Principal Gary Satterfield resigned that fall, however, Diagostino was promoted to the principal's position.
"I appreciate (former Superintendent Hal) Jester and the board that was in place at that time," Diagostino said. "I showed my worth and they entrusted me to lead the building for the next four years. I just appreciate the opportunity to do that."
Diagostino said he was pleased with improved academic performance of KHS students during his time here. "We've increased the number of students receiving academic honors diplomas every year since the state has implemented that," he said. "We had 16 this past year. … I'm real proud of that. It's a very rigorous curriculum that they have to complete, and I think those kids are very well prepared for college."
Asked what he will miss most about KHS, Diagostino, answered, "The People. We have an incredible staff here - all the way from Vickie Rhodes, the office manager, to the head custodian and all the teachers." Diagostino said much credit for his success at KHS belongs to the students. "Seeing how they've matured when they're out there in the real world, that's what does me justice as a principal," he said.
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