• Jay Payne

    Jay Payne


    (812) 376-4287


    Meet Mr. Payne:

    I love being the principal of Central Middle School! The 2024-2025 school year will be my seventh year back at Central after spending four years as the principal of L Frances Smith Elementary here in Columbus. Prior to going to Smith, I was the assistant principal for five years here at CMS.   That is when I fell in love with working with middle school students and being a Charger!

    Central is an amazing school and I want to work with everyone to make it be the best it can be. It is my goal to build strong relationships with all the Central students, staff, and families over the next year. So feel free to use my email ( or phone (812-376-4287) if you have any questions. 

    I just completed my 34th year in education and my 24th with BCSC.  My wife Michelle and I moved our three sons to Columbus because we love the town and schools.   All three of my sons attended Central Middle School and had great experiences.   Our twin sons are graduates of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Wabash College. Our youngest is a graduate of Hanover. We love football (all three played for Columbus North) and traveling!

    I look forward to working with all of you!


  • Kari Taggart

    Assistant Principal

    (812) 376-4283

    Meet Ms. Taggart:
    Hello! My name is Kari Taggart, and I am the Assistant Principal at Central Middle School. I could not be more excited about serving the 2024-2025 Chargers and their families, along with the staff and community at CMS.
    When I'm not at school, I enjoy spending time with friends and family. My son and daughter, 7 and 4, keep me on my toes and offer constant entertainment. 
    I'm so proud to be a Charger and excited for this school year to be the best yet. Please let me know how I can be of assistance. You can email me or call my office (812) 376-4283.