Lux to step down as M’ville school chief
By Christin Nance Lazerus firstname.lastname@example.org January 31, 2013 9:54PM
Tony Lux, superintendent, Merrillville Community School Corp. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 5, 2013 4:22PM
Merrillville Community Schools Superintendent Tony Lux is retiring after 19 years at the helm of the district.
Lux announced his retirement, effective June 30, at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. The board approved Assistant Superintendent Mark Sperling to succeed Lux starting July 1.
Lux said it wasn’t a spur of the moment, and he’s been weighing a lot of factors to come to the decision.
“When you get to certain age, you start thinking about it,” Lux said. “I’m looking for a little different balance in my life. I’m not in a situation to retire out of sense of frustration or disappointment. I always wanted to leave at time when the schools are doing well.”
Lux spent 29 years at Merrillville — 10 years as assistant superintendent and 19 years as superintendent. Before his time in Merrillville, Lux taught math and physics for 10 years at Joliet Catholic and Driscoll Catholic high schools in Illinois and coached several sports including basketball, track and tennis. Lux was an assistant principal at Thornton Fractional High School.
Lux received his bachelors degree in math/physics from Lewis University and his Ph.D. and masters degrees in school administration from Indiana State University.
“We have some emerging administrators — talented people who are ready to take the reins,” Lux said. “We have a strong staff that is already doing a great job.”
Lux is particularly proud of Merrillville’s success with a diverse student population.
“One of the things I’m proudest of is we have been able to have a diverse school system and proven that diversity can be successful. With enough support and help, kids can overcome challenges. I’m proud of our wonderful kids and proud of our teachers.”
During his tenure, Merrillville High School is the only large minority-majority high school in the state to have received an “A” with a 90 percent graduation rate in 2012. In 2011, Salk Elementary was selected as the Indiana Title I High Achievement school and has been nominated by the state as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2013. The district’s 2012 ISTEP passing percentages for grades 3-8 combined are the highest in the history of state testing.
Lux said he has no specific plans for his retirement, and he is “not looking for any full-time job.”
“I do think there’s a real need for voices for public education,” Lux said. “To explain to the public where the misdirection is going and where it’s coming from, and what parents need to understand about seeing their kids be successful.”
Lux is a critic of “education reform” measures passed by the Indiana General Assembly over the past few years.
“There are so many illogical contradictions in what’s happening downstate,” Lux said. “Most people can agree with the goals of everybody achieving at higher levels, evaluating teachers so they can do a better job in the classroom, and recruiting high ability students to the teaching profession. But then to turn around and say teachers don’t need to be prepared anywhere — How can any logical, thinking person think that kind of approach get you better results? It’s totally illogical and hypocritical.”