CCPS re­or­ga­nizes ex­ec­u­tive team

Two new as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dents, one deputy superintendent named

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­

Charles County Pub­lic Schools is re­or­ga­niz­ing its ex­ec­u­tive staff, elim­i­nat­ing one as­sis­tant superintendent po­si­tion and pro­mot­ing two others to as­sis­tant superintendent.

Michael Heim, for­merly the di­rec­tor of trans­porta­tion, was an­nounced last week as the new as­sis­tant superintendent of sup­port­ing ser­vices, re­plac­ing Keith Het­tel, who re­tired July 1. Randy So­tomayor, for­merly the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of Finance and Busi­ness, was named as­sis­tant superintendent of fis­cal ser­vices last month, re­plac­ing Paul Balides, who re­tired in April.

Sylvia Law­son, as­sis­tant superintendent of school ad­min­is­tra­tion, also left the school sys­tem July 1. Amy Holl­stein, for­merly the as­sis­tant superintendent of in­struc­tion, will now also over­see school ad­min­is­tra­tion as deputy superintendent, a new po­si­tion.

Holl­stein said com­bin­ing the two po­si­tions un­der one of­fice came out of na­tional re­search ex­am­in­ing the chang­ing role of school ad­min­is­tra­tors.

“The prin­ci­pal’s and vice prin­ci­pal’s role has shifted so dra­mat­i­cally in the past few years, from man­age­rial to in­struc­tional. They re­ally have to be great in­struc­tional lead­ers, so it made sense to put the two of­fices to­gether,” Holl­stein said. “What we’re do­ing is tak­ing school ad­min­is­tra­tion and in­struc­tion and just blend­ing them, and we have a very strong team that are go­ing to be work­ing to­gether so that we can bet­ter sup­port the stu­dents and the com­mu­nity.”

Holl­stein said the new struc­ture tears down the si­los be­tween school ad­min­is­tra­tion and in­struc­tion.

“I’m over­see­ing this, but we have ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors; Marvin Jones, Pam Mur­phy and Linda Gill, and they’ll be pro­vid­ing the lead­er­ship in their re­spec­tive ar­eas,” Holl­stein said.

Jones is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of school ad­min­is­tra­tion, Mur­phy is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of hu­man re­sources and Gill is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of school ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Heim be­gan work­ing in CCPS as a teacher in 1997, and had been vice prin­ci­pal at North Point High School for seven years when he ac­cepted a po­si­tion as as­sis­tant su­per­vi­sor of trans­porta­tion in 2011.

“Once I be­came vice prin­ci­pal I was deal­ing with buses and bus is­sues and it be­came some­thing that piqued my in­ter­est, so when the op­por­tu­nity arose, I ap­plied for the po­si­tion,” Heim said.

Heim was named di­rec­tor of trans­porta­tion in 2015.

Heim said he has most en­joyed the or­ga­ni­za­tional and lo­gis­ti­cal as­pects of the po­si­tion.

“There’s a lot of plan­ning that goes into cre­at­ing a route, re­vis­ing a route. We try to make them as ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble, and as cost ef­fec­tive as pos­si­ble,” Heim said. “I like the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing ef­fi­cient, safe routes. I also like work­ing with the driv­ers and the at­ten­dants.”

Heim said the school sys­tem has put out to bid a study to look at the longterm costs and ben­e­fits of the cur­rent con­tract com­pany model for trans­porta­tion com­pared with pro­vid­ing such ser­vices in-house.

“It will be a very in-depth study look­ing at me­chan­i­cal costs, own­ing or leas­ing lots to store the buses and also look­ing at changes to our staff and to the struc­ture of our or­ga­ni­za­tion,” Heim said.

In his new po­si­tion, Heim will also be in charge of main­te­nance and op­er­a­tion of fa­cil­i­ties and over­see con­struc­tion and ren­o­va­tion of schools.

Sev­eral projects — in­clud­ing plan­ning for a new el­e­men­tary school, air con­di­tion­ing re­place­ments, kinder­garten ad­di­tions at two el­e­men­tary schools and other ren­o­va­tions — are cur­rently un­der­way, Heim said.

“Sum­mer­time is a very im­por­tant time in sup­port ser­vices, be­cause stu­dents are not in the build­ing and it doesn’t af­fect in­struc­tion,” Heim said.

Heim said he is look­ing for­ward to his new role and work­ing with sup­port ser­vices staff.

“It’s ex­cit­ing for me to learn the things I wasn’t aware of as a vice prin­ci­pal or as a teacher in trans­porta­tion, things that go on be­hind the scenes. I’m also look­ing for­ward to get­ting to know the staff I’m work­ing with. Th­ese are peo­ple who work be­hind the scenes who play a very im­por­tant role in our school sys­tem. They’re not in­volved in di­rect in­struc­tion, but the jobs they do are very im­por­tant to get­ting our schools pre­pared and main­tain­ing our schools,” Heim said.

So­tomayor be­gan work­ing for CCPS in Septem­ber 1996 as a bud­get an­a­lyst, at the in­vi­ta­tion of Balides, who had pre­vi­ously worked with So­tomayor at Amer­i­can Univer­sity.

“I’ve been for­tu­nate to work un­der [Balides]. He’s been a great men­tor to me, and he showed me all the ins and outs of man­ag­ing the fi­nances of the school sys­tem,” So­tomayor said.

In his cur­rent role as as­sis­tant superintendent of fis­cal ser­vices, So­tomayor over­sees ac­count­ing, in­vest­ments, pen­sion funds, the op­er­at­ing and cap­i­tal im­prove­ments bud­gets, food and nu­tri­tion ser­vices and em­ployee ben­e­fits.

“Any­thing and all that is re­lated to the fi­nances of the school sys­tem, is what I have my hands on,” So­tomayor said.

So­tomayor said one of the big­gest chal­lenges fac­ing the school sys­tem is re­main­ing com­pet­i­tive as an em­ployer in the mar­ket­place with lim­ited fund­ing — par­tic­u­larly in light of en­roll­ment growth and ris­ing health care costs.

“I am not sure in the long term whether we are re­ally out of the re­ces­sion yet, and so funds are pretty lim­ited, and yet we have all th­ese de­mands,” So­tomayor said.

Michael Heim was re­cently named Charles County Pub­lic Schools’ as­sis­tant superintendent of sup­port­ing ser­vices.

Amy Holl­stein was re­cently named deputy superintendent for Charles County Pub­lic Schools, a new­ly­cre­ated po­si­tion.

Randy So­tomayor was re­cently named Charles County Pub­lic Schools’ as­sis­tant superintendent of fis­cal ser­vices.

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