Thursday, April 19, 2018
Education

Browning puts new administration in place for Pasco schools

LAND O'LAKES — Two months into his term, Pasco schools superintendent Kurt Browning has all but completed his efforts to reorganize his administration at the top.

On Tuesday, Browning won permission to reassign three assistant superintendents to new posts, while also gaining approval to appoint three other high-ranking administrators to positions that had gone unfilled for more than a year.

The School Board signed off on the transfer of assistant superintendent-elementary David Scanga to learning community executive director and assistant superintendent-secondary Tina Tiede to an assistant superintendent on assignment job. Tiede will oversee major projects, such as teacher evaluations and allocations, that Browning said need added attention while the district attempts to prepare for the move to national Common Core standards in math and English.

The board also changed chief finance officer Olga Swinson's job from a direct report to the superintendent to lower on the organizational chart.

Beth Brown, executive director of secondary education, was named a learning community executive director along with Scanga. She will cover the schools in southwest Pasco, while Scanga will take the central region. Two other learning community jobs remain unfilled, along with the new position of executive director-operations.

Assistant superintendent-administration Renalia DuBose did not officially get moved to an executive director spot on Tuesday, but the board did approve the job description changes and Browning said he would nominate DuBose for the job on Feb. 5.

In addition to shifting those current administrators, Browning also named new leaders for the director positions in communications, human resources and maintenance. Each job had been frozen under the previous administration.

Linda Cobbe, external communications manager for Hillsborough schools, will head the communications department. Christine Pejot, chief of the Florida Bureau of State Workers' Compensation Claims, will lead human resources. And Mark Fox, the district's interim maintenance director, will take that role permanently.

Browning said he expected the movement at the top to settle down considerably going forward. He tackled the administrative reorganization and related personnel changes first, he said, because it could be done quickly and it set a tone for the rest of the district.

"You need to put that structure in place for everything else to fall into place," he said. "Now the heavy lifting occurs."

He spoke of conducting climate surveys at schools and streamlining district departments as key efforts to get the system clearly focused on academic achievement and student success.

"I don't want to be sidetracked," Browning said.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at [email protected], (813) 909-4614 or on Twitter @jeffsolochek. For more education news visit the Gradebook at tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook.

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