BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The Greene County School System's administrative staff will now feature two assistant directors and a full-time, rather than part-time, K-8 curriculum supervisor.
The Greene County Board of Education met in a called session on Wednesday to consider reorganization of the system's Central Office staff, which Director of Schools Dr. Vicki Kirk said she proposed in response to several key retirements and resignations.
These include Assistant Director of Schools Judy Phillips, Curriculum Supervisor Yhona Jones, Transportation Director Clark Justis and Bus Garage Supervisor Henry Beach.
Kirk said she plans to combine transportation director and bus garage supervisor to create an assistant director of operations, who would serve immediately under her position.
The person in this post would oversee the Facilities Department (maintenance, custodial and energy personnel) and the Department of Student Services (student discipline/attendance/home school, transportation, health services, and safety personnel).
The current position of assistant director of schools would then become an assistant director of academics and human resources, which would also serve directly under the director of schools.
The person in that position would oversee the Human Resources Department (payroll and benefits, personnel) and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (composed of a full-time Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor plus assessment personnel, federal programs personnel and special education personnel).
The Director of Schools would remain the sole supervisor of the two remaining departments: technology and finance.
"I do think it is a more reasonable way," Kirk told the board on Wednesday, regarding the division of duties.
"There isn't a lot of change in the Central Office. It does change who some certified folks will report to, but it doesn't change much other than reporting," Kirk continued.
"We're replacing three positions with two positions and we do think this will give more specific oversight of programs."
The director also later noted that she believes the change will be beneficial to schools because it is currently, at times, difficult to know whom to contact in certain situations.
Kirk then asked that the board approve the reorganization with the attached job descriptions detailing the breakdown in the job responsibilities.
Board member Kathy Austin encouraged Kirk to look for an individual to fill the new assistant director of operations position that has logistics skills.
Kirk said that this may not be possible, as she expects current individuals within the current administration to be the main applicants.
She also noted that she will be seeking someone with administrative experience in relation to familiarity with the state laws regarding student discipline.
Austin also questioned what the increased cost will be to the school system.
Kirk explained that it will cost up to $5,000 more for a second assistant director position from the combined transportation director and bus garage supervisor positions.
She also noted that the pay schedule for both assistant directors will be the same salary schedule as current Assistant Director Judy Phillips' pay schedule.
However, Phillips' salary -- at $85,000 -- is based on many years of experience that applicants will likely not be able to match, resulting in a lower salary, Kirk said.
"I know that we need more teachers, more assistants," board member Deborah Johnson said.
"If we're not going over more than $5,000, then I don't see why you can't set up your own administration. But if it's going to be much over $5,000, then we may need to redirect these funds for better use."
Kirk did say that there will also be a $2,500 stipend offered to a mechanic to serve as foreman.
FULL-TIME FROM PART-TIME
Finally, the K-8 curriculum supervisor position will move to full-time and represent an additional increase.
Kirk said that this is necessary because of the resignation of Yhona Jones. Jones, wife of Board Chairman Roger Jones, had already been putting in full-time hours on part-time pay, Kirk said.
She said that these numbers will be clearly represented in the budget proposal that she will present to the board during their Monday budget workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Central Office.
After this report, the board took a brief recess for Austin and Johnson to review the job descriptions, which they said they had not received electronically.
Following the recess, the board voted unanimously, with Rex Hopson absent, to approve the restructuring and job descriptions.
Jones and Cobble both praised Kirk's restructuring and said that this will free up her time to address more of the things that should be her focus.
Johnson also commented that she hopes it will mean she will see Kirk in her office more frequently, but Kirk said she cannot make this promise, as she is often in the schools and making herself visible in the community.