BOE to cut assistant superintendent positions
CAMBRIDGE — The Dorchester County Board of Education announced at its regular meeting on Thursday, April 20, that they will initiate a reorganization of the upper-level management structure, to be effective for fiscal year 2019.
A brief public statement was read into the record, stating: “In an effort to build on the progress of the past 10 years, the Board of Education of Dorchester County has unanimously voted to adopt an innovative management structure. Specifically, Dorchester County Public Schools will operate without assistant superintendents effective FY 2019; instead, the upper level management structure will consist of at least three directorships. The titles and duties of these directorships will be determined by the incoming superintendent in collaboration with the Board of Education throughout the 2017-2018 school year.”
Outgoing Superintendent Dr. Henry V. Wagner offered some clarity on the practical effect of this statement.
“It means that the new superintendent and the board will have to collaborate on the new management structure,” he said. “Obviously, all employees need to be accounted for in that organizational chart. The question would be exactly how many directorships they want to create and what the responsibilities would be.
“What they are trying to do with this is have a more direct line of authority between the superintendent and the middle-level management. It is a concept they want to try, and they are certainly free and able to bring back assistant superintendents if, at some point, they think that was a better model.”
Wagner noted this is a budget issue, not a personnel issue, because it will mean a restructuring of the full-time employee positions.
“The only official leadership position they are required to have is superintendent, but obviously you need to have advisors, directors, whatever else you might want to have in place to lead and manage the school system,” Wagner said.
He also assured that this decision is in no way an expression of disapproval of the current assistant superintendents, Dwayne Abt, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, and Dr. Lorenzo Hughes, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.
“The individuals in those positions will be free to compete for whatever is created,” said Wagner. “The board made it clear that this was not done because of any dissatisfaction with the individuals who are currently in the positions. They absolutely are performing satisfactorily. They are quality individuals.”
Wagner will retire on July 1, after seven years as superintendent in Dorchester County, and that change, he said, leads the board to feel this is an ideal time to modify the organizational structure.
The board members will work with the new superintendent over the upcoming 2017-2018 school year to map out the new structure, which will then be instituted with the 2018-2019 school year.
Follow me on Twitter @ victoriadorstar and on Instagram @ dorchester.star.