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Superintendent proposes new leadership structure

Superintendent Sandra "Sam" Himmel has recommended a new administrative structure that would more closely align departments and the responsibilities of the district's top administrators.

The plan would create one new adminstrative position to help the district comply with a new state law. This planning and interagency coordinator would work with the county to make decisions about where to build new schools. The position would be funded with capital construction dollars, not money that would cut into other salaries.

"We tried to keep departments together and we didn't want to add new bodies to the top," Himmel said.

The new administrative structure would cost the district less money than changes recommended by the state Department of Education, Himmel said. The plan, which will be presented to the School Board in March, is expected to cost the district about $10,000.

School Board Chairman Lou Miele said Himmel's proposed changes make sense.

"We're not a big district, but we're growing," Miele said. "As we grow, we need to have an (administrative structure) that reflects that. . . . I think this is money well-spent."

Under the plan, the assistant superintendent would receive less pay but have fewer responsibilities. The current assistant superintendent, Linda Kelley, is retiring in June.

Her replacement would oversee all 19 school principals and the human resources department. But the new assistant superintendent would no longer supervise the directors of curriculum and instruction and area schools, research and accountability, student services and exceptional student education.

Instead, those directors would report to the executive director of educational services. That title is a slight change from the current executive director of management services.

The plan also would bring together all monetary operations under the supervision of the executive director of business services, who now is known as the director of finance. That person also would oversee the director of food services, the supervisor of purchasing, and the internal auditor.

The executive director of support services would continue to oversee the departments of maintenance, transportation, and facilities and construction. The new plan adds other responsibilities to the job, including supervision of the director of technology (old title: coordinator of instructional technology) and the new planning and interagency coordinator.

If the new plan wins approval from the board, it will go into effect July 1.