The Woodward News

May 4, 2013

Administrators, certified staff rehired during board meeting

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — The Woodward Board of Education approved the re-employment of school administrators and certified staff during a special meeting Thursday night.

This included teachers, counselors and librarians at each of the school sites, with many of those who were on temporary contract in 2012-2013 remaining on temporary contract in the 2013-2014 school year.

The principals at each school site were also rehired with the exception of Debbie Harrington at Horace Mann as she will be retiring at the end of this school year. The district is currently advertising to fill the vacancy.

The vote to rehire also included district level directors and coordinators along with the top administrators.

However, Superintendent Tim Merchant told The News in an interview on Friday that he has "changed up some of the roles and responsibilities on the district level."

One of the biggest  changes is that Kyle Reynolds will be moving up to a new position as District Deputy Superintendent of Technology, he said, while Bryan Stephenson will become the assistant technology coordinator.

Merchant said that Reynolds' new role will "be more than just technology."  He said Reynolds will also be involved with curriculum, best teaching practices, security.

And on the technological end, Merchant said Reynolds will be in charge of helping to implement the "1-to-1 initiative" that the district is wanting to implement if it is successful with its forthcoming bond issue proposal.

The superintendent explained that the 1-to-1 initiative proposes to provide each student with his or her own iPad.  He said he expects to present more on the initiative and the bond proposal during the regular school board meeting on May 13.

In addition to moving up to a new position, Merchant said that Reynolds will be joining other district level administrators including Assistant Superintendent Tom Fisher, District Curriculum Director Sandy Johnson, and District Testing Coordinator Susan Viles in an "administrative team effort" in charge of academics and the transition to the common core curriculum.

As he "hands over the reigns" in those areas to this administrative team, Merchant said, "my focus will move into the future bond issue and on those areas directly affected by the bond."

In addition to technology, he said the proposed bond issue will also address transportation and "a combination of the overcrowding and security at all sites."

By changing up these administrative roles, Merchant said he is hoping to help move the district forward.

"Right now we're poised and set at Woodward, especially as we move to the 1-to-1 initiative to jump to the next level academically," he said.  "We've been a very good school and now it's time for us to be a great school."

In other business during Thursday's special meeting, the school board also voted to approve acceptance of Harrington's retirement as well as the resignation of a few other staff members including paraprofessionals Dennice Harris, Giesela Reyes, Amy Del Vecchio, and middle school English teacher Chad Elerick.

The school board also quickly approved a new school calendar for the 2013-2014 year.  The calendar had been tabled during the last board meeting after Merchant requested time to speak with representatives of the teachers union.