Chief operating officer's job cut in reorganization plan

May 17, 2006|by KAREN HANNA


The Washington County Public Schools chief operating officer position will be eliminated and two positions will be upgraded in an effort to achieve greater efficiency, according to a plan presented Tuesday by Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan.

The plan calls for the creation of three assistant superintendent positions, but Morgan said during the Board of Education's meeting that the reorganization will cost county taxpayers little additional money.

Under the plan, Secondary Education Executive Director Boyd Michael would lead the facilities, transportation, and food and nutrition services departments, while Deputy Superintendent for Instruction Patricia Abernethy would lead the Office of Systemwide Improvement, Efficiency and Accountability.


Blum, who was not available for comment Tuesday, does not appear in a new organizational chart provided by Morgan.

With growing enrollment and aging buildings, Morgan told the board the department of facilities has been stretched and needs more attention.

By eliminating Blum's position, Morgan said the school system will be able to pay for salary upgrades for Chris South, the director of budget and finance who will become chief financial officer, and Accounting Supervisor David Brandenburg, will would become a director under the plan.

Morgan, who signed a new contract in March, said the plan reflects changes she believes are needed over the next four years.

"I think you can't be a first-class school system or a first-class organization, period, unless you're consistently honing, refining and improving," Morgan said.

The elimination of Blum's $113,599 salary and $3,600 vehicle allowance, and salary upgrades and projected increases for South, Brandenburg and Michael would cost an additional $106 next year, according to figures provided by Morgan.

Two other changes are in name only, Morgan said. JoEtta Palkovitz-Brown, executive director of early childhood and elementary education, would become an assistant superintendent of elementary education, and an assistant superintendent will head the department overseeing secondary instruction.

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