Mark Laughner

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Mark Laughner wiped away tears Tuesday night after being named the interim superintendent of Greater Clark County Schools.

Previously the principal of Charlestown High School, Laughner agreed to take over the district until the end of June.

"Typically I'm not an emotional person like that, but I think it came from the fact I've been here for 14 years, I know the people in this district, I care about the people in this district, and I want to see this district do well," he said. "It was hard to hold back, I guess."

Former superintendent Dr. Andrew Melin announced on Christmas Eve that he would resign Jan. 2. Once that happened, Laughner's name came up.

"He embodies what we want for this district moving forward, which is for leaders to hire people to do their jobs and then empower them to do their jobs," said Katie Hutchinson, president of the GCCS board.

The board is looking for someone to bring the district together, and they're confident Laughner can do that with his connections to teachers and principals.

"I don't like to micromanage people," Laughner said. "I like to allow them to do their job and, hopefully, do it well."

A priority is helping teachers who have high stress and low morale. Laughner said he wants to take a hard look at streamlining things to be more efficient so principals, teachers and students can achieve their goals without being overwhelmed.

On top of his current salary of $107,000, Laughner's contract says he will make an extra $93 per day.

"I would like to see how this goes," he said. "In the end, if they like what I'm doing, and I like the position, I'll certainly apply for the permanent position."

Once Laughner's contract is up, the board can vote to extend it. If he is not hired for the permanent position, he can return to his job as principal.

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