Archive for Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Basehor-Linwood looks at new hiring

April 16, 2003

During its meeting Monday, April 17, the Basehor-Linwood School Board discussed adding another layer of administration for the next school-year.

During the Monday night meeting, superintendent Cal Cormack suggested board members look at hiring an assistant superintendent for next year.

Cormack said the assistant superintendent's primary focus should be to monitor the staff and curriculum development of the school district.

"It's the core of what this school district and every school district should be about," Cormack said.

"Instruction shapes the product we're churning out," he added.

Cormack was originally hired into the school district as an assistant superintendent in 1996.

He was named acting superintendent in 2001, following the resignation of then-superintendent Dave Pendleton.

However, following Cormack's promotion to the lead post, the school board chose not to re-fill the assistant's position.

Some of the assistant's responsibilities fell to school principals and building administrators.

Cormack, who is retiring at the end of the school year, said his recommendation is in no way a comment on the performance of the administrators or incoming superintendent Jill Hacket.

The duties of maintaining and improving the curriculum and staff development is a full-time job, which needs a position specifically designed for that purpose, he said.

"Any school district making significant progress is a district which has someone overseeing (curriculum and staff development)," Cormack said.

"We need to say 'we believe in the instructional program; we believe it's the heart and soul of the school district,'" he added.

School board members and school officials said they were encouraged to look further into the proposal.

School board member Don Kleoppel said the school district has been "reactionary" during recent years when dealing with curriculum and instructional development.

"It's the heart and soul of what we're about," Linwood Elementary School principal Vicki McEnroe said. "We've been behind long enough.

"The need has not lessened, it's only increased," she added.

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