The Columbia County Board of Education gave tentative approval to a central office reorganization that would utilize two retiring employees in key half-time positions.
Jonnie Ghetti,associate superintendent of instruction, and Nettie Engles,executive director of curriculum and secondary curriculum coordinator, will retire this year. Under the reorganization, they will return next year, but as half-time employees with reduced roles.
Engels will be 9-12 student learning director. She also will have the duties of coordinating the foreign exchange program, Governor's Honors and scholarship programs, and will coordinate home school reports.
Ghetti will be an executive assistant to the superintendent. She will be responsible for coordinating the instructional budget, strategic planning, school councils, mentoring new principals, English to Speakers of Other Languages program, the gifted program, system and school end-of-year reports, the pre-kindergarten program and coordinating events such as Teacher of the Year, teacher retirement, the spelling bee and Young Georgia Authors.
Lauren Williams, who is executive director of school improvement, staff development/gifted program, will have her position upgraded to assistant superintendent of student learning. She will be given the responsibility of overseeing principals in half of the schools, splitting the 26 schools with the associate superintendent, a position that will have to be filled once Ghetti leaves that post.
The chart also adds an assistant director of special services, which would be over psychological services.
The school system already has been using Senior School Psychologist and Testing Coordinator Kay Blanchard in a "49-percent role." But with the new policy for 49-percenters - which prohibits them from being in a supervisory position - she will no longer be the head of that department. Her new job description will be to coordinate standardized testing, coordinate the student support team process and she will be a half-time disciplinary hearing officer, a responsibility she will share with Assistant Superintendent Bill Morris.
Currently Associate Superintendent Charles Nagle handles all hearings. Delegating these duties would allow him to focus his attention in other areas, School Superintendent Tommy Price said.
"This whole chart is based on getting our directors out working in the schools more than ever before," Price said. "You do that by taking things away and giving it to 49-percenters. Now they can be in the schools working with teachers and principals to improve the delivery of education in our schools."
The board gave tentative approval to the measure by a 4-1 vote. Board member Lee Muns opposed the plan, saying he believes it is too "top heavy."
"There are too many people in upper-level administration," Muns said, in a heated exchange with Price. "If you want to free these directors up, you put more people under them, rather than over them. ... It's not a good business model."
The board also voted on a policy that outlines the parameters of using 49-percenters, as they are called.
Under the new policy:
49-percenters cannot comprise more than 10 percent of the central office staff.
They will be paid 49 percent of their salary at one pay grade less than when they were fully employed before retirement.
Sick leave, personal leave and annual leave are accumulated at half the rate for the same full-time position.
They cannot be in a supervisory position.
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