New GMS principal, GHS assistant principal named

Two new administrators have been named for Greenwood Community Schools.

Christina “Christy” Merchant, the principal of Grassy Creek Elementary in Warren Township, will become Greenwood Middle School’s new principal, and Robyn Witty, the dean of students at Mooresville High School, will become Greenwood Community High School’s assistant principal this fall. Both hiring were announced during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Former middle school principal Chris Sutton retired in April, leaving his job open. Karen Busch, the high school’s current assistant principal, is retiring at the end of this school year.

Middle School

Merchant has a “great deal of leadership experience,” which is one of the things that appealed to school district officials, said Terry Terhune, superintendent.

She has worked at Center Grove as both a literacy coach and assistant principal, and has been a principal at Shelby Eastern and Warren Township schools. Merchant has also graduated from the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute at Indiana State University, and is now a mentor and member of their board of directors, Terhune said Wednesday.

“Everybody I talked to talked about her ability to build relationships in in help foster growth in both kids and teachers,” he added.

For the interview process, Merchant went through multiple rounds. The first round was with some teachers, parents and office staff members, with the second round being comprised of interviews with some of the district’s administrators, Terhune said.

Merchant was very knowledgeable and professional, he said. She has been at Warren Township for a while and is ready for a change, Terhune said.

“She’s familiar with the Greenwood community and [would] kind of like to come back down to the southside,” he said. “We’re excited to have her here.”

Several past and current GMS teachers attended Tuesday’s meeting to voice concerns about the hiring process for the school’s new principal before it was announced it would be Merchant.

Supporters who wanted Greenwood Middle School Assistant Principal Jennifer Brinker to be named the school’s new principal wore shirts with Brinker’s face on them to Tuesday night’s school board meeting. Noah Crenshaw | Daily Journal

Maureen Hoffman-Wehmeier, a former GMS teacher and current GMS parent, asked the school board to reconsider their proposed hire, implying it should instead be the current assistant principal, Jennifer Brinker. A few of those in attendance even wore shirts with Brinker’s face on them that said “Band Together for Brinker.”

“I ask you, please reconsider your decision,” Hoffman-Wehmeier said.

GMS teacher Misty Vaughn offered a different viewpoint. Her main concern was not who the hire would be, but rather the integrity of the hiring process.

“I would suggest that the board move to review this process from start to finish and address any issues,” Vaughn said.

Other teachers who spoke out during public comment echoed this. Victoria Pitcock, another teacher, asked the board for more transparency in the process since teachers had questions about it.

She also said some teachers feared backlash for signing their names to a piece of paper with questions. Teachers had only heard rumors, so they were asking to learn more.

“We’re just asking to know more things so that we can make more informed decisions for our students because, bottom of the line, I care about my students — my children will be my students — and I want Greenwood to continue to be the great place that it is,” Pitcock said.

The comments from the teachers were geared toward an internal candidate they preferred because they were nervous about changes, something Terhune appreciates, he said.

As for changes to the hiring process, Terhune doesn’t anticipate any. The processes used to hire Merchant are the same used to hire other key positions, like the hiring of high school principal Michael Gasaway in 2022.

“We didn’t vary from that at all,” he said. “And that’s the important thing to remember, is it’s the same thing that’s been very successful.”

Leaders throughout the district ultimately pick and recommend to the board the person they think will do the best, and be the best person to help the students learn and grow, Terhune said.

Terhune believes once the teachers get to know the new principal, they will embrace her and things will move forward, he said.


High School

Witty has been at Mooresville High School for more than 2.5 years, according to her LinkedIn. She previously taught at Triton Central High School in Fairland and Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, and is the president of the Indiana Biology Teachers Association.

She is a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow, which she received while attending classes at the University of Indianapolis. Witt has also been a cross country and track coach at both the high school and college levels, specifically Franklin College, and even worked for a few years with Greenwood’s program, Terhune said.

Witty and Merchant went through the same interview process, and like Merchant, Witty was professional and knowledgeable during the process. Witty has excelled in what she’s done and is ready to become an assistant principal, he said.

Terhune hopes the community will embrace her as well, he said.