Departures hit Pasco school district administration
Two highly touted Pasco school district administrators are leaving for new opportunities as the new school year kicks off.
Betsy Kuhn, the district's 2011 department co-supervisor of the year, is returning to private law practice after about two years with the district. Kuhn has gained a positive reputation despite working in employee relations, the department that investigates allegations of employee misconduct. She told the Gradebook that while she enjoys her job and her colleagues, she had to consider her long range career goals. Her last day is Aug. 10.
Aaron Graczyk became a district supervisor of research and evaluation in 2010, replacing longtime testing expert Madeline Barbery. He has been crunching district data ever since — an increasingly important job as the state focuses more and more on student academic results. Graczyk is now headed to a new job in Texas. His last day is Aug. 17.
Superintendent Heather Fiorentino said she was disappointed to see the two depart, but "you never want to stand in the way of peoples' opportunities for growth." She said she expected to fill the spots quickly, as they're "huge" to district operations.
In recent months, other key administrators who have left the district unexpectedly include special education director Monica Verra and Gulf High principal Steve Knobl. Retirements have also hit the district, including those of assistant superintendent Ruth Reilly and principals Emily Keene and Peggy Lewis. All those positions already have been assigned. Fiorentino said her team is working to keep its pool of administrative talent filled, but it hasn't always been easy -- particularly as the district has been unable to give raises.