By Kristin Bednarski
West Clermont Local School District officials are working to re-organize and revise job responsibilities of administrators and staff in the coming weeks.
The reorganization was spurred by the announcement that Dr. M.E. Steele-Pierce, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, would be retiring at the end of December.
Steele-Pierce said she felt like it was a good time both personally and professionally to retire.
“It really is a good time to step aside,” Steele-Pierce said. “I love the community and I love the district, and I have a sense for when it is time for new leadership, fresh ideas etc., whether that is to allow opportunities for re-structuring or new leaders.”
Superintendent Dr. Gary Brooks said they will not be filling Steele-Pierce’s position, but rather will be working to shift responsibilities and re-design job descriptions of district officials.
“We are looking at all of it and trying to re-frame job descriptions to take to the board in the next month or so,” Brooks said.
Brooks said they are evaluating what work needs to be accomplished in the district and deciding who is the best person to accomplish different tasks.
“There is a lot of work to be done and not a lot of people left to do it,” Brooks said.
Brooks said many of Steele-Pierce’s responsibilities will the taken over by Dr. Keith Kline, assistant superintendent of administration and human resources.
“Much of the work we’re doing with human resources and curriculum will merge,” Kline said. “My new assignment will be managing not just personnel but also the curricular side. We are seeing so many connections there with new mandates.”
“We’re looking at a variety of strategies to reduce costs and continue to be as efficient as we can,” Kline said.
He said the new plan that they presented to the board is estimated to save approximately $123,000.
“We’re working on transition plans so folks are assigned and covering pieces of work that need to be done,” Kline said.
Kline said this could also include additional reductions once the transition is complete.
“The changes we are talking about are major, and they require time for us to be able to execute well,” Kline said.
Kline said they knew they needed to make changes and were looking at options even in the midst of the levy campaign.
“The result of the failure in November, that sped up the time line,” Kline said. “With Dr. Steele-Pierce retiring, that gave us the opportunity for us to shuffle our staffing quicker than we planned.”
Kline said due to changes in education and feedback from the community, there will be many changes at West Clermont Local School District moving forward.
“I feel confident we’re doing that in a responsible way,” Kline said about executing the changes.
He said they should have re-organization complete moving into the new school year.