BOE to cut as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent po­si­tions

Dorchester Star - - NEWS - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

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.

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