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Valparaiso Community Schools honors outgoing school board president

screenshot from school board meeting YouTube video
Valparaiso School Board President Karl Cender (second from left) receives a gift at the conclusion of his final board meeting on June 16.

Valparaiso's outgoing school board president is being recognized as a steady hand and a financial "wizard." Karl Cender attended his final board meeting Thursday, after 12 years of service.

Superintendent Dr. Jim McCall said Cender joined the board "at a time of financial need" and "helped right the ship." "Just look around where we are. Walk through the halls of any school in our community, and Karl's fingerprints are there," McCall said.

But the superintendent also recognized Cender for his thoughtful leadership. Recently, when a senior ended up missing graduation due to illness, he offered to present her diploma at her home.

"'President Cender was kind and courteous, took pictures, made a speech and saved her graduation,'" McCall read from an email sent by the family.

Cender thanked his fellow board members, school administrators, city council members and residents for their support. "You've shown how important it is to have vibrant and high-achieving schools so that we can give our kids the best education possible and prepare them for whatever comes their way after they graduate," Cender said.

Cender will be replaced by former Valparaiso mayor and Indiana Commission for Higher Education member Jon Costas.