After Leading Schools through Pandemic, State Control, Gary Schools Manager McNulty to End Tenure with District June 30
Experienced educator Mike Raisor to build on progress, take the baton from
Dr. McNulty, who is moving into a new position in higher education
MGT announced today that Dr. Paige McNulty will leave the Gary Community School Corporation at the end of next month, concluding a tenure marked by her effective handling of the pandemic, successful campaign to pass a local referendum, and achievement of a long-awaited balanced budget.
“We are so proud of the progress that has been made in the Gary Community School Corporation,” said Eric Parish, Executive Vice President at MGT. “With improved financial stability, a student-centered culture, and positive academic momentum, Dr. McNulty has demonstrated tireless service during an incredibly complex and difficult period for educators and leaders. We welcome and have full confidence in the continued growth and improvement on behalf of students and the entire Gary community.”
Dr. McNulty’s transition comes at an inflection point for the district at large, following the state legislature’s passage earlier this month of a bill to move Gary Community School Corporation back to a school board with full power in July 2024.
Dr. McNulty’s successor will be Dr. Mike Raisor, a 27-year education veteran with extensive experience at one of the largest school districts in the country, who will manage Gary Community School Corporation during this next phase of MGT’s leadership of the district.
“I started in February 2020, just weeks before the pandemic changed life as we knew it,” Dr. McNulty said. “I will leave this summer with our schools in a much stronger position academically, financially, and operationally. Our accomplishments are the result of teamwork amongst parents, families, guardians, alumni, residents, volunteers, and advisory board members. I am grateful for the community’s engagement and support, and I am deeply proud of what we have accomplished together. Now, with control of the district set to begin its shift, this summer felt like a natural time to transition.”
In her time as Manager, Dr. McNulty has brought improvements to every corner of the district. Among her notable achievements in academics:
– Increased the number of children who could attend free pre-school;
– Lengthened the school day for an hour daily, which adds one month more per year and two years additional of learning time for students across K-12;
– Modified the school calendar to ensure teachers could receive professional development on a regular basis;
– Improved special education services so dramatically the state ended its control;
– Adopted new curricula for English, math, and science;
– Decreased suspensions for students and increased restorative justice training for staff; and
– Increased the offerings at the Gary Area Career Center while growing its enrollment with students from GCSC and neighboring districts.
“Dr. McNulty took one of the toughest jobs in the State of Indiana and gave it everything she had,” said Justin McAdam, chairman of the Distressed Unit Appeal Board, the state agency that oversees the school district. “Dr. McNulty’s consistent leadership in the face of numerous challenges has set the stage for the next leaders to build upon her successes and provide better opportunities for the children of Gary now and into the future.”
Many of the gains achieved during this phase of MGT’s leadership, led by Dr. McNulty, will benefit the Gary community for years to come. Most notably, the eight-year referendum approved in 2020 by Gary residents by a 60-40 margin helped the district eliminate the $22 million deficit and set the stage for state control to end.
Dr. McNulty also led an overhaul of the district’s aging inventory of buildings, selling more than 10 closed buildings and investing tens of millions of dollars in the facilities currently in use by students, staff, and families. All school buildings feature new furniture with many receiving new playgrounds, new roofs, and new HVAC units. Additionally, the new track at West Side Leadership Academy has become a source of pride for the entire community.
“Dr. McNulty started as superintendent in this long-challenged school district right before the pandemic, and lesser leaders would not have made it through the last three years,” said State Sen. Ed Charbonneau, an alumnus of Gary schools. “But Dr. McNulty is tough as nails, and she not only persisted but thrived, passing a necessary referendum and improving Gary schools to the point where the state is on the verge of winding down its involvement. I congratulate Dr. McNulty on her successful tenure in Gary.”
Today, because of MGT’s involvement and Dr. McNulty’s leadership, the Gary community sees its public schools differently than it did in 2017, not as a district that was losing students and losing funds and forced to accept help from Indianapolis but as a district on the rise, with stable enrollment, solid financials, and climbing expectations.
“As a parent of a student-athlete, I appreciate Dr. McNulty’s efforts to emphasize academics while pouring resources into our athletics program,” said Qiana Jones. “The new equipment and passionate staff definitely had a positive impact on student morale. I wish her well in her future endeavors and hope she knows what a positive impact she made on the district and our children as Manager of the Gary Schools.”
Dr. McNulty’s last day in-person at the district will be June 4, and she will support the leadership transition throughout the rest of the month.
“I’ve gotten to know Mike Raisor from several years of working together, and I know all that he accomplished in one of the largest and most complex school districts in the country,” Dr. McNulty said. “Mike and his team will pick up right where we left off and build on the momentum in Gary.”