Living in Hanover

Living in Hanover

'Apparently a blog about living in Hanover'

Titanic, Meet Deck Chairs

July 24, 2012 | Comment

So the Hanover Public School District made a few changes last night. The newspaper does a good job recapping the switches – Mark Hershner to the middle school, Pam Smith to the admin building and Jay Czap and Tom Krout splitting the elementary principal duties.

I don’t have many problems with the plan, although I wish  the concept of “lead teachers” in each elementary building to serve as a backup administrator in case the two principals aren’t available would be more fleshed out. Still, this seems to be a decent proposal to handle the load without adding extra positions.

But when I looked at the agenda for last night’s meeting today, something which the paper didn’t cover jumped out at me. They also planned to discuss the approve the job description for a new (I assume) Dean of Students position.

So are they moving people around to take advantage of the assistant superintendent job they have seemingly phased out or are they replacing the assistant superintendent with a Dean of Students? Or is the rift with high school principal Andrew Samuelson so bad that this is a precursor to replacing his open position with Joel Hain taking over at the high school? Why not unveil the entire administrative reshuffling in one document for everyone to see instead of piece-by-piece?

As a sidenote, some of this highlights the one point I always bring up when people advocate for combining Hanover with South Western – educators do few things better than coming up with new administrative positions. A merger won’t get rid of administrators. They will just have new job titles.

That’s a different argument for a different time though. I just want to know more about the Dean of Student position because if they are trying to be “fiscally responsible” as Al Moyer says, shouldn’t they be worrying about overloading on administrative salaries when the budget is apparently so tight that they need to gut the drama program to save a measley $7,000?

If you have followed me for any length of time, you had to know I would end up there. An agreement has seemingly been struck on the music program, but drama may still suffer a 50 percent reduction in opportunities (from 4 shows to 2 from 5-12 grade) to save the aforementioned $7,000.

In an e-mail a couple of weeks ago, Al told me that he was “confident we will be ok for another year” but that the administration was told they had to make cuts. Well, if the cuts require reducing an extra curricular activity by 50 percent for $7,000, why are they touting an administrative re-shuffling which may, in the long run, not save much money because the people with new jobs might get raises and they are adding a new position?

I have given up trying to figure this board out. They certainly went to the mat to make sure the community stood up to support the Sheppard-Myers renovation. They even have a special board committee for this, a committee which has planned a special day to show off the school district’s success stories. I wonder if the drama department will be invited. And I wonder how much money that event will cost, money which could go to actually supporting excellence in the schools instead of giving the board an opportunity to brag.

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