14 hours ago • Carmen McCollum
The chief administrator for academic services for the School City of Hammond has been named the acting superintendent while Superintendent Walter Watkins remains hospitalized.
The School Board voted to name Theresa Mayerik to the position. School leaders said there might be some other shifts but decided to hold off before moving anyone else.
Mayerik said she has had an outpouring of support from colleagues.
“Everybody is willing to pitch in the help and look at the workload and divide and conquer. When Dr. Watkins comes back, he can be proud of how we have moved the district forward. We have a good team in place so that we can work together and keep the corporation moving in the right direction,” she said.
Mayerik said she will take a close look at who is doing what and develop a plan. “Then, I’ll come back to the board. Right now, they just acted on my position,” Mayerik said.
The School City of Hammond is the largest school district in Northwest Indiana with nearly 13,000 students.
Watkins, 67, has been at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn since July 1 when he was found severely beaten following a home invasion where one or more assailants entered through a basement window. Power was out at Watkins’ house in the 6700 block of Indi-Illi Parkway when it was burglarized, police said.
A hospital spokesman said Tuesday that Watkins remains in serious condition.
Watkins’ 2013 black Ford Edge, taken during the burglary, was found in Chicago.