Archive for Thursday, May 1, 2003

School district appoints familiar face to assistant superintendent post

Appointment creates vacancy at high school

May 1, 2003

After appointing a new assistant superintendent Monday night, Basehor-Linwood School District officials were quick to make one thing clear.

"We are not creating a position," Superintendent Cal Cormack said. "We're filling one that's been vacant for three years.

"This is not like adding a new position," he added.

The Basehor-Linwood School Board approved Monday, April 28 to fill the assistant superintendent's position. The motion was approved, 5-1, with board member Ron Owen as the lone opposition.

Basehor-Linwood High School principal Bill Hatfield has been pegged for the job and will begin his new responsibilities July 1.

"We all agree good teachers make a difference, and we have plenty of good teachers in this district, but what they teach is also important, " Hatfield said.

A search for his replacement began Tuesday morning as school officials began advertising the job in a four-state area. They hope to fill the high school principal's position by June.

The assistant superintendent's position has remained empty since 2001, when then-assistant Cormack was promoted to superintendent.

Cormack replaced Dave Pendleton, who resigned.

The assistant's job was left vacant for two reasons: the assistant's salary was used as part of a compensation package for Pendleton and because Cormack planned to retire soon.

Leaving the job open until he retired would allow the incoming superintendent to form their own administration, school officials said.

Cormack will retire in June. His replacement, Jill Hackett of the Goddard School District, supported Hatfield's appointment.

Hatfield was at the top of a very short list of candidates, school officials said.

"Mr. Hatfield was the board's choice and (incoming superintendent) Dr. Hackett's and my recommendation," Cormack said. "That consensus was reached very early."

Hatfield has been the high school principal for the past three years.

He has 15 years experience as a school administrator, taught biology for five years and served in districts such as Dodge City and Pratt.

Filling the assistant's post signals a renewed emphasis on curriculum enhancement and teacher development, two primary responsibilities of the assistant, Cormack said.

"There is a feeling we need to fine-tune our organization," Cormack said. "Sometimes we can get caught up in growth and new facilities but we still realize what we're all about -- curriculum, instruction and kids learning."

Hatfield said his first course of action would be to help implement Hackett's strategic development plan and to help decide "what goals are appropriate for this district."

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