The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Lane Gwinn
The Times 

Waitsburg School District special meeting explored admin options

 

January 5, 2023



WAITSBURG—The Waitsburg School Board held a special meeting on Monday, January 2, 2022, to discuss the school’s administration and superintendent search.

Six members of the staff and two community members attended in person.

Currently, the District has two full-time administrators, which the Board would like to maintain.

The discussion, which School Board Chair, Dr Carol Clarke said, was a great brainstorming session on maximizing resources. One suggestion was to follow Districts that have two buildings for K-12. Sixth graders would move into the elementary school, and seventh and eighth-grade students would be transferred to the high school building.

Asked what would happen to Preston Hall, Clarke said it could be used as offices, the Cardinals Nest, and the gym could still be used for sports and events.

Another suggestion was to hire a full-time Dean of Students or a combined Dean and Athletic Director. Typically, a Dean of Students deals mainly with students, discipline, and activities.  A Dean of Students may or may not have administrative credentials. In many cases, they are TOSAs (Teachers on Special Assignment).

There was no action taken other than an agreement on how to move forward with the discussion. Clarke and Board member Stephanie Cole will meet with the entire staff at its meeting this week to continue the conversation. Becky Dunn, District Business and Human Resource Manager, was not at the meeting due to illness but has begun the work to assess the options fiscally.

The Board will continue exploring the ideas discussed, looking at the fiscal and educational impact before meeting at its regular meeting on January 18. A working session will be held at 5 p.m. before the regular meeting.

Clarke reiterated, “the Board members are dedicated to being good stewards of our money and student’s educations.”

The second part of the meeting was to discuss the search for a new superintendent. The current job description calls for a Superintendent/Elementary Principal, which is still the preference of the Board.

Another specification the Board discussed was whether the Superintendent needed to reside in the district. It would not be required but residency would be preferred. Board members said it is necessary for the Superintendent to be someone who would have a presence in the community.

“The Superintendent is essentially the CEO of the largest employer in Waitsburg,” said Clarke.

The board expects to fill the position by March, allowing the new Superintendent to assist in selecting the High School Principal.

The Board has posted a survey on the District website, waitsburgsd.org, asking for parent and community input on Superintendent Search criteria. More information is on page 3.

 

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