Amy Beverland names interim principal, to resume classes Monday

Emergency crews respond to a fatal school bus crash at Amy Beverland Elementary School Tuesay, Jan. 26, 2016. (Provided Photo/IFD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — School officials appointed an interim principal and released new details Wednesday in Tuesday’s school bus crash that killed Amy Beverland Elementary School Principal Susan Jordan.

A stopped bus lurched over a curb as school was letting out, fatally hitting Jordan and injuring a 10-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy.

The boy was treated and released with minor injuries. The girl had a cut to her lower leg. Both students are expected to make a full recovery, school officials said Wednesday.


Jordan’s colleagues spoke about the former principal Wednesday.

“Susan was much more than the principal of my children’s school. She was my friend,” Amy Bilyeu said.

Jordan began her career as a gym teacher. Twenty-two years ago she was promoted to Amy Beverland Elementary School’s principal.

“She was just the most amazing boss, mentor, friend (and) second mom that anyone could have,” teacher Jamie Strebing said.

While she loved the school, colleagues said it wasn’t her first priority. “Those were her daughters and her grandchildren, and she loved them most of all,” district administrator Denna Renbarger said. “And her two brothers. She was a very, very loyal family person.”


The female bus driver, who has not been identified, took a blood test to check for alcohol or drugs after the crash. The test revealed no sign of alcohol or drugs in her system, according to school officials.

School officials called her “a model employee” who had no history of violations.

The bus was inspected and cleared for service by Indiana State Police on Jan. 22.


School officials announced Connie Thomas, retired principal of Indian Creek Elementary School, will serve as interim principal.

“Our hearts are broken by the loss of our beloved principal, Mrs. Susan Jordan,” school officials wrote in a letter to parents Wednesday. “Mrs. Jordan has touched each of us so profoundly. She was an excellent educator and caring individual. She embodies the spirit of Amy Beverland and was truly an Amy Beverland Star.”

Grief counselors will be available through at least the rest of the week.

Classes at Amy Beverland and the Early Learning Center were canceled until Monday. The rest of the district is set to go back to school Thursday.

“How do we continue?” the letter continued. “How do we move on without her leadership? Mrs. Jordan would want the students and staff at Amy Beverland to be strong and continue with learning.”

When classes resume, officials said support staff will be aboard buses with Amy Beverland students.

Teachers said they’ll lean on what Jordan taught them for when classes resume at Amy Beverland Elementary School. “She’s guided us well, she’s trained us well; we will do it,” Strebing said.


Prayer vigils are scheduled Wednesday at Amy Beverland at 6 p.m. and Castleton United Methodist Church at 7 p.m.

Services for Jordan will be held at St. Luke’s Methodist Church at 86th Street and Meridian Street. The viewing is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and the funeral is set for Saturday at 3 p.m.

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