BUNKER HILL – The former superintendent of the Maconaquah School Corporation is facing charges of driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of an accident.
James Callane, 53, of Peru, was arrested Saturday afternoon in Fulton County following a single-vehicle crash. Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the accident around 4:50 p.m. at the intersection of two country roads just south of Fulton.
Callane is preliminarily charged with driving a vehicle while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. Online court records did not show a case for Callane as of Wednesday afternoon, meaning he has not been formally charged.
No further details about the crash were immediately available Wednesday. A blood alcohol test is in progress with the Indiana Department of Toxicology.
Callane was booked into Fulton County Jail Saturday night. He was released Sunday on his own recognizance, according to the prison.
Callane resigned as superintendent on Sunday, according to a Facebook post from the Maconaquah School Corporation. The post did not give a reason for Callane’s resignation. WISH TV first reported the arrest on Tuesday evening.
Callane had been superintendent since 2018.
The resignation ends more than 20 years at Maconaquah for Callane, who began his tenure as the college’s deputy principal. He rose through the ranks, serving as college principal, assistant superintendent, and finally chief administrator.
“He’s done a lot of great things,” board chairman Robert Daine said in a Tuesday phone interview with the Tribune. “It will be difficult to replace him.
Daine mentioned the district’s welding and construction programs, which began under Callane’s watch.
STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – was a priority during Callane’s time as superintendent.
There is also Maconaquah’s agricultural program, which continues to grow and has received state recognition.
Most recently, the school district received $400,000 in grants to expand agricultural offerings to all students.
“His vision has always been kids first,” Daine said. “James was all about the kids and all about Mac.”
Daine said Maconaquah was in financial deficit when Callane took over. The school district eventually cleared that debt.
“His mark is going to be left on the Mac,” Daine said.
Callane did not return a request for comment on Tuesday.
The Maconaquah school board met Thursday to formally accept Callane’s resignation. The board has named Kelly McPike as acting superintendent while it seeks a permanent position.
McPike was director of student services and second in command. She has 14 years of administrative experience in Maconaquah.
“She’s more than qualified,” Daine said. “She knows the inner workings well.”
A vacancy for the post of superintendent was posted on Friday. Daine said the council would accept applications for two weeks.
There is no timetable for the appointment of a new superintendent. Daine said it will depend on the quality of the candidates, and given McPike’s experience, the board is ready to wait for the right candidate.
This story has been updated with information about the arrest.