Farmington School District eliminates assistant superintendent, other positionsThe Farmington School Board restructured superintendent Jay Haugen’s cabinet Monday night, eliminating four positions and replacing them with at least one and probably more.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
The Farmington School Board restructured superintendent Jay Haugen’s cabinet Monday night, eliminating four positions and replacing them with at least one and probably more.
Monday’s vote eliminated the positions of assistant superintendent, director of teaching and learning and secondary literacy coach teacher on special assignment as well as one of the district’s technology integration teachers on special assignment. In their place will be a new director of educational programs who, according to information Haugen presented Monday, will “work with the superintendent of schools to finalize the structure of the educational programs and technology departments and positions.
The board also approved the hiring of current Boeckman Middle School principal Barb Duffrin to fill the new position.
Christine Weymouth, the district’s assistant superintendent, had already announced her resignation from the district, and district communication specialist Jim Skelly said the secondary literacy coach was already planning to return to the classroom. Haugen said the other employees displaced by the changes could still end up in the restructured department, but he said those decisions will wait until he has had a chance to work with Duffrin to figure out exactly what the new department will look like.
Haugen also wasn’t sure how many employees might end up working under Duffrin, but called the overall move cost neutral.
The decision to shake things up was the result of the strategic planning process the district is currently undergoing. Duffrin has been a leader in the planning process.
While he offered little in the way of specifics for the new position, Haugen said Duffrin is ideally suited to help the district as it goes through significant changes that include a plan to more closely integrate technology into the classroom.
“She’s just a real doer,” Haugen said. “She’s always thinking. She’s willing to call me on things.”
Among other things, Haugen expects the change to streamline things at the district office. Duffrin’s position will have a narrower focus than Weymouth’s assistant superintendent role, which Haugen said often duplicated his own duties.
Several people had raised questions in recent years about whether the district needed both an assistant superintendent and a director of teacher and learning.
The board voted 3-2 to approve the changes. Board member Tim Burke voted against the proposal primarily because he objected to Haugen’s decision not to open the position to an interview process.
“I think we’re missing out on an opportunity to bring some experience into the district,” Burke said.
Haugen said he had gotten to know Duffrin and was comfortable with her ability to lead the new department. He called an interview process a poor substitute for really knowing someone.
Board member Melissa Sauser initially expressed support for the change, saying she was relieved to see cuts at the district office, but raised concerns and voted against the change after Haugen reiterated the cuts would be cost neutral.
Haugen said he would try to save the district money if it was possible.
Haugen hopes to have any new positions filled by July 1.