Principal position may be dropped

New buildings project prompts district to re-examine its staffing.

Board members are expected to vote next week on a plan to eliminate the positions of the middle school principal and the family liaison.

“Our buildings are going to be opening in a little over a year, and we’ve been working on this consolidation plan for three years,” said Northwestern board President Donna Myers.

When the district’s new buildings open next year, Northwestern will operate two buildings instead of three.

Pending board acceptance of Principal Matt Gerberick’s resignation for family reasons, the middle school principal position will be eliminated, said Superintendent Tony Orr.

The board will also vote to eliminate the family liaison position through a reduction in force, said Treasurer Dave Bollheimer.

Board Vice President Ricky Birt expressed concerns that eliminating those positions would create heavier workloads for remaining staff and negatively affect families who need support services.

“I think our families are being more and more taxed by a variety of issues from our society, and I’ve seen our family liaison do a lot of really great work,” Birt said.

The plan for the 2012-13 school year calls for elementary Principal Cindy Pearson to cover grades prekindergarten through six and high school Principal Lori Swafford to oversee seventh through 12th grades. One counselor would serve prekindergarten through sixth grade and two counselors will serve seventh through 12th graders.

Moving forward with the consolidation plan now gives staff a one year transition period, said Myers.

“I think that we are going to provide our services, and the students will not be impacted in the classrooms and we will be fiscally responsible,” she said.

The board is expected to vote on the plan at 6 p.m. on June 28 in the high school auditorium.

Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0373 or megan.gildow@coxinc.com.

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