(New Carlisle, IN) - A New Prairie School Board member is going out on top. Rich Shail was recognized earlier in the school year as Indiana’s School Board Member of the Year by the Indiana School Board Association. Shall was chosen from a group of 150 nominees.
Now, after 20 years on New Prairie’s school board and 16 years as its president, he’s stepping aside and reflecting on what he’s done. "I was very humbled by the award," he said. "I mean, my past superintendents and a few board members putting my name in for this without me even knowing about it, I was just floored by the whole thing. It was a sweet ending to my career for the corporation."
Many locals say that New Prairie's school board was in disarray when Shail joined it. They give him much of the credit for bringing stability and leadership, which has resulted in New Prairie being one of the top school districts in the area.
Shail, himself a 1978 New Prairie graduate, says building the new middle school and the recent $44 million additions to the high school and elementary buildings are the district’s two crowning achievements in the past decade. Now that he’s retired from the school board, Shail isn’t exactly riding off to the sunset. He says he plans to stay active in the district, hopefully as a substitute teacher.