Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MSD Decatur Township - Administrator Cuts

I must say that Gary Pellico has been very quick to answer my Freedom of Information requests yesterday and today.

This gets a bit confusing to try to relate, because there are positions being eliminated AND a shuffling of personnel to fill the remaining positions. So, the list of Administrator positions being cut is not identical to the list of people whose Administrator contracts will not be renewed.

The names of the Administrators who received notice that their Administrator contracts would not be renewed are:

Anna Cook (Central Office - Coordinator of Special Programs & Literacy)
Jeff Baer - retirement (Central Office - Assistant Superintendent of Business)
Sharon Downing (High School - CHOICE Director or Assistant Principal)
Doug Opel (High School - Athletic Director)
Jill Meerman (High School - Assistant Athletic Director)
Jeff Harvey (DILC - Gold Academy Principal)

Now some of these folks may show up in teaching positions. That we cannot tell from a public record yet.

The actual positions being cut overlap, but are different from the positions held by the folks listed above.

The positions being cut are reported as:

Central Office - Director of Title 1 and ELL
Central Office - Director of Business or Assistant Superintendent for Business
(2) High School - SLC Directors or Assistant Principals
High School - Assistant Athletic Director
One Elementary School Principal

Anna Cook appears to currently hold the title of Director of Title 1 and ELL - so both she and her position have been cut.

They continue to say that Jeff Baer and his position are cut, but, his replacement has already been hired and that's pretty much no cut at all.

It appears that the High School Athletic Director position is still open, but Doug Opel no longer has it. I do not know if Opel is returning to the classroom as a teacher. It has been noted in comments on earlier blog entries that Kelly McWilliams (High School, EDGE Director or Assistant Principal) is being reassigned to the Athletic Director position.

Jill Meerman may also be returning to the classroom, but her Administrator contract will not be renewed and her Assistant Athletic Director position has been cut.

As I understand it, there are currently 5 Director (Assistant Principal) positions at the High School. Next year there will be 3 of these positions with two of the Directors each overseeing two of the small schools within the High School. Again, as I understand it, due to requirements of the Gates grant for the NEW TECH school, that Director will continue to oversee only one small school.

Sharon Downing will not have her contract as CHOICE Director at the High School renewed.

Kelly McWilliams' position as Director of EDGE will also be combined with another Director position, but her Administrator contract will be renewed.

Jeff Harvey's Administrator contract will not be renewed, but his position as Principal of the Gold Academy remains and has been filled by Nan Wiseman, current Principal at Valley Mills and 'transitional Principal' at Lynwood. This begs the question of whether a Principal position is really being cut. The Valley Mills Principal position will be filled by Sheila Corbin, who is currently the Director (Assistant Principal ?) at Valley.

So, the final summary would seem to be -- one Central Office position cut, that of Director of Title 1 -- three High School Administrator positions cut; two Assistant Principals and one Assistant Athletic Director -- and -- one Elementary School Principal position cut, if you ignore the fact that one person holds two of these jobs now.

[edited to add - It has been brought to my attention that Sharon Downing was removed from her position in the District months ago when arrested for allegedly committing forgery unrelated to the School District.]


Anonymous said...

There is talk going around that Dave Rather may have some role in the Athletic Department again. I've heard as a paid consultant (if he retires) or perhaps in a more official capacity (but not with the title Asst. AD).

Not sure how it will play out, but he may retire and become a paid consultant to the AD.

Anonymous said...

From your comments {Had Enough) appears the administration is playing a shell game. Bottom line HOW MUCH MONEY WAS CUT FROM THE BUDGET? Will Mr. P. give you that information?

Keep in mind they want teachers to take a 5% cut. There was no raise this year for teachers over 20 years experience. HOWEVER, Mr. Stinson signed a new 4 year contract on July 1, 2009. How is it that there was money for him but not for teachers?

So many questions

Anonymous said...

Actually there was no raise no matter how many years you have experience. I am a 3rd year teacher.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Well anon 6:47 - there was the contractul 'step increase' for all but the senior teachers. Non-teachers consider this a raise, as it increases salary year to year. From what I see in some salary numbers I just obtained, many teachers saw about one thousand dollars more in their paychecks this school year over last school year - even without a so-called 'raise'.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 6:39 - if the administration considers Jeff Baer's salary as part of their savings calculations, I don't think we can rely on their figures.

At this point it is easier to track jobs cut than any other number.

Anonymous said...

Increases based of years of experience (steps) are often partially or wholly cancelled out by increases in insurance costs.

In the non-teaching world you can sometimes earn raises based on your accomplishments. As a teacher I think that would be great. But I haven't heard anyone in the district, state government, federal government or field of education come up with a solution for the following:

- principal with a vendetta fills a teacher's class with troublemakers, a disproportionately high number of students with special needs, or both
- teachers don't want to teach students with special needs or average students - they want the high or gifted kids
- teachers and principals don't want the poor kids in their school since there is a direct correlation between poverty and low achievement

The teachers and principals who truly love teaching the students born in poverty or who have special needs will be penalized for their dedication. It won't matter if a kid started 4th grade as a nonreader and left at a 2nd grade level. It won't matter if the principal buys the kid a coat. It won't matter if the kid started out as a bully and became a leader.

Soon teachers will have to sign a loyalty oath and take a vow of poverty.

Anonymous said...

Well uh, Did Mr. P forget to mention that Susan Adams will be the new Assistant-super when Baer leaves?
Oh and her pay raise?

Anonymous said...

I guess I can only speak for myself then, but I am on the same contract as of last year and my pay did not increase at all. The only pay increases I am aware of in our building are for gaining a higher level of education (getting ones masters). Other buildings might be difference but none of us received a pay increase from last year to this year.

Anonymous said...

Each elementary building has one academic coach that has no classroom responsibilities- they are basically assistant principals.They have a different
title. Will they be put in classrooms next year to help lower class size or can Central Office justify keeping them in their positions to give another layer to administration ?
There are at least 4 Literacy Coaches and 1 Math Coach working with Elementary teachers. How can these positions be justified (none of them work with students) when class sizes are expected to shoot up next year ?
These positions, along with the ridiculous number of Central Office administrators in Decatur Township cost taxpayers a huge amount of money, have absolutely no accountability, and DO NOT WORK WITH STUDENTS. If you are serious about cutting costs, why are ALL of these positions still out there and not being cut ?

Anonymous said...

Since the academic coaches and literacy coaches haven't been assigned to a building yet, it looks like they're waiting to see if those positions will be funded by retirements or salary cuts.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone care that a Felon, Sharon Downing was not getting her contract renewed?????

Anonymous said...

Why was Sharon Downing still allowed to work there when she was facing four felony charges and convicted of at least one.