Top level changes ahead for school system’s central office

There are several organizational and administrative changes coming to the Fayette County School System. Approved by the Fayette County Board of Education Monday night and topping the list is the appointment of assistant superintendent Sam Sweat as the new deputy superintendent, former audits supervisor Tom Gray to assistant superintendent of business and personnel management and education director Tracie Fleming as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

Fayette County School System Superintendent Jeff Bearden said the new organizational chart will result in a reduction of three administrative positions, will save approximately $300,000 per year and will reduce the superintendent’s administrative cabinet from nine members to seven.

Sweat will fill the deputy superintendent’s role that is being opened with the retirement later this month of deputy superintendent Fred Oliver.

Bearden in September got unanimous approval to eliminate four managerial positions in central office and replace them with two new positions that would bring a net savings of approximately $100,000.

The positions eliminated included the human resources director, comptroller, coordinator of audits and purchasing agent. Those positions are being replaced with an assistant superintendent of business and personnel management and a coordinator of audits and purchasing.

Former coordinator of audits Tom Gray will return to Fayette County as the new assistant superintendent of business and personnel management. Gray left the school system last year to take a job in DeKalb County. And following Bearden’s recommendation in September, Laura Brock who currently serves as comptroller will become the new coordinator of audits/purchasing agent.

Fleming will fill the role of assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Fleming currently serves as director of secondary school improvement and professional learning.

Retiring transportation director Michael Jennings will be replaced by former transportation supervisor Roxane Owen.

Board member Bob Todd in his comments thought schools and principals should be more clearly indicated on the new organizational chart.

The vote to accept the personnel reclassifications came on a 4-1 vote, with board member Marion Key opposed. Key said her only reason for opposing the measure dealt with the potential that the board might have to eliminate some of the positions as a result of the budget reductions coming in July.

milton06
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Joined: 09/01/2009
Here we go again, and again.....

Wow, I'm amazed, but why should I be? Here we are less than 2 months from 2 new board members and a new interim superintendent and all 3 of the "top-level" positions are named and approved by the lame ducks!! I know, I know, we can always make changes later, but I think we have "been there, done that" before and how did that work out?? If we can get by with an interim superintendent, I would hope that someone can step-up and take on some of the responsibilities of these positions until our new superintendent can appoint the people he/she thinks will help guide us through this mess. I hope that the very first thing our new superintendent does is audit every position at the county office level. Is this the organizational chart we may end up with? I sure hope not, but there sure looks like more of the same. How many more County level positions do we have today than when we had the same number of students as we did in 2005? Ben, please look into this. As a taxpayer and parent in this county, I want every dollar possible to go into the classroom and direct instruction to the student versus through paper pushers at the county office. Hard times require a change in the way we have "always done it in the past". I know of no business that cuts their production employees (teachers) while maintaining the same level of management personnel. But, in education, I guess we do it different! Oh, I'm so confident that our students are going to continue their high level of acheivement when we cut more school days next year on top of the lost days this year.