MANLIUS — Area residents within the Bureau Valley School District have questioned the board’s decision to hire an assistant superintendent for next school year.
In February, Gavin Sronce was hired to the fill the new position, effective July 1.
Interim Superintendent Dennis Thompson reported in a recent meeting he had with the Community Strategic Planning Committee and gave a rationale explanation behind the board’s decision to hire Sronce.
“The board of education was impressed with both (Stephen) Endress and (Gavin) Sronce during the interview process and therefore sees the additional cost for an assistant superintendent as an investment in Bureau Valley,” he explained. “Both of these gentlemen have (the) capacity and knowledge to do this work.”
Endress was hired as the district’s superintendent beginning next year.
On Monday, Thompson confirmed it was never a plan to hire an assistant superintendent when the board began their search this winter. He said the board is used to having two interim superintendents, he and Jim Whitmore, and he hoped it was on their minds that having two people filling the position provided better service and coverage of different areas.
“This has allowed us to divide the work load, so to speak, which was a positive factor,” he said.
Obviously, a big lingering question is can Bureau Valley afford the new position? The board approved the yearly salary of the assistant superintendent to be $107,550.
According to the board’s meeting minutes, Thompson said about one-half of the salary will be offset by grants managed by the district office.
“In addition, the current leadership of the district has reduced expenditures in the building fund by over $60,000 by actively encouraging community member involvement and by supervising district construction projects in house,” he said. “It is a hope of the board that this type of leadership will continue.”
When asking Thompson if it takes two to run Bureau Valley, he looked back on when the district was first established. At the time, he was the assistant superintendent. When we moved up to fill the superintendent position, an assistant superintendent was hired below him.
“Periodically, there has been a need to have two individuals, and that may be what the thought was during interviews this time around,” he said.
Having two superintendents gives the possibility to provide thorough investigations on issues that come up within the district, provides opportunities to take the time to pursue additional help when applying for grants to save money or better the district and also, be able to cover all the requirements of a school district, which Thompson said there are more than ever these days.
“It is one of the goals to have the Bureau Valley District seen as an educational leader throughout the area. The board would also like to re-energize the community in the support of this effort,” he said at the meeting. “Through the assistance of teachers, staff, administrators and the Bureau Valley community members they expect this to happen and the sooner the better. This will require some addition administrative resources and will be worth it in the long run.”
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