Casey Smitherman is an Indiana school superintendent who faced criminal charges after being accused of using her health insurance to help a sick student.
Smitherman is the superintendent of Elwood Community Schools in Elwood, Indiana. She was accused of pretending that the boy was her son when he fell ill. “I’d love to go back to that moment and redo it,” she said in a televised interview that you can watch below. “…I was really worried, and I wanted to get him treatment.”
Here’s what you need to know about Casey D. Smitherman:
1. Smitherman Is Accused of Using Her Health Insurance to Help the Teen After He Came Down With a Sore Throat
Casey Smitherman’s alleged offense? She tried to help a sick teenager, using her health insurance, because she was worried he’d go to foster care if she didn’t.
According to WTHR-TV, the student in question was 15-years-old. The youth “didn’t show up to school” after becoming sick, so Smitherman took the teen to a clinic, the television station reported.
According to police, she “used her insurance information to check the 15-year-old student in under her son’s name at the clinic,” the television station reported, and she also used the insurance to “pay for an antibiotic prescription” for the same youth.
The television station reported that in the past Smitherman has done other things to help the youth, including cleaning his house and buying him clothes, and reports WTHR, she was worried he’d end up in foster care if she contacted child protective services instead.
2. Smitherman Is Entering a Diversion Program & Was Described as Relating to Blue Collar Families
The booking information via the Madison County Jail lists four accusations against Smitherman: Insurance fraud, official misconduct, identity deception, and insurance fraud. She posted bond, according to the site.
However, the Herald Bulletin reported that prosecutors are granting her a Withheld Prosecution, whereby the charges will be tossed, leaving Smitherman with no record, if she doesn’t mess up in the upcoming year. On social media, some people are supporting Casey Smitherman. “Casey Smitherman should be given an award and a raise. She is the perfect example of how to human. Thank goodness charges will be dropped,” wrote one Twitter user.
“I understand it was her desire to help a young man that was in bad shape but probably not the best example to set for young people to assume other identities and make false statements,” Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said to Fox 59. The youth had a sore throat, according to the television station, and tore the name off the pill bottle.
A June 2018 profile story on Casey Smitherman in the Herald Bulletin described her as a person who grew up in an area where few people attended college, saying she relates to blue-collar families in her school district as a result.
She considered becoming a social worker instead, telling the newspaper, “I have a real servant’s mindset,” but she ended up in education as a result of influential teachers. In that story, she discussed the poverty she sees with some students. “Kids can’t learn if they’re hungry and are scared to go home,” she said to the newspaper.
3. Smitherman Worked as a Principal Before Becoming Superintendent
Smitherman has a lengthy background in educational leadership in Indiana. According to her LinkedIn page, Smitherman had only served as superintendent of Elwood Community School Corporation, in Elwood, Indiana, since July 2018.
For 7 years and 7 months before that, she served as the principal of Brown Elementary School for the Brownsburg Community School Corporation.
She has a Ph.D in educational leadership and administration from Indiana State University, which she received in 2017, her LinkedIn page says. It added that she attended Marian University Indianapolis in Education Leadership and received a master’s degree in school counseling from Indiana University – Purdue in 2001. Her page also says that she received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching from Franklin College in 1993.
4. Smitherman Says She Was Trying to provide ‘the Best Environment’ for Student Growth
In a statement, Smitherman apologized if she undermined people’s trust.
“The Elwood community has been welcoming since I started this position, and I am so grateful for your support. I am committed to this community and our students, and I regret if this action has undermined your trust in me,” she said in a prepared statement printed in the Herald Bulletin. “From the beginning, my ultimate goal has been to provide the best environment for Elwood students’ growth physically, mentally and academically, and I remain focused on that purpose.”
She added: “I am continuing to work with appropriate authorities as necessary and want to be transparent about my work with the Elwood community.”
5. Smitherman Is Married & Her Husband Had Expressed Excitement Over Her Career Trajectory
Smitherman’s husband, Steve, has tweeted about his wife. He shared a video when she left her principal’s position, writing, “Casey’s students surprised her today with a convocation and presented her with a painting that included every students thumb print. Very cool!”
In May 2018, he wrote, “Very excited for my wife for being named the Superintendent of Elwood Community Schools this evening. The city was amazing in welcoming her and our family tonight.”
Other photos show the Smithermans at charity galas.