Seymour Community School Corp. is bringing back a position to help address the increase in administrative duties required by a large and growing school system.
The district plans to hire a full-time assistant superintendent to begin working alongside Superintendent Rob Hooker this summer.
School board trustees gave approval to post the new position at their Feb. 9 meeting.
It has been nearly a decade since Seymour has had an assistant superintendent. The last time the position was filled was when Randy Kerkhoff served under Superintendent Bob Schmielau.
After the 2008 recession, all schools faced a major cut in funding, and the assistant superintendent position was never filled after Kerkhoff resigned.
Hooker said the corporation made deep and wide cuts at that time but made it a priority to not cut classroom teachers.
As student enrollment has increased over the past few years, state funding has gone up, too, Hooker said.
The corporation’s Fall 2015 Average Daily Membership was 4,591 students, an increase of 311 students since the previous spring. The ADM has gone up by 514.5 students since the fall of 2010.
That has allowed the district to add classroom teachers and aides, English Language Learning staff, nurses and custodial staff, from the elementary level to the high school.
Hooker said the district recently sent out more than 700 W-2’s to its employees, making it a major employer in the county. The corporation had 743 employees in the first quarter of 2015, according to Jackson County Industrial Development Corp.’s annual survey.
“We have restored highly necessary positions first and then added positions as needed,” he said.
Hooker said there is now a need for an assistant superintendent, and he doesn’t see it as a “luxury.”
“Given the size of our school corporation in the number of students and staff and our facilities, and the latest health care requirements and reporting that we have to do, we need to restore that position,” Hooker said.
The corporation is currently accepting resumes for the job with the goal of having someone hired by July 1. Hooker said the position’s salary will depend on the experience of the candidate and negotiations between the school board.
Applicants should have a minimum of a master’s degree in educational administration with 10 years or more experience in teaching and school administration, and an Indiana superintendent’s license is preferred.
The essential duties and responsibilities of the job include leadership in shaping school culture and climate, serving as a spokesperson for the schools, developing improvement goals and planning and working with the community in the best interest of students.
The selected candidate will work closely with the school board and community, have and utilize knowledge of business and budget management, curriculum and instruction and help manage personnel.
Hooker said they are willing to look at filling the position with an assistant to the superintendent, which could be someone who has an administrator license and is working on the next level of their educational degree.
“We will look at what experiences they have had and what they might need to transition to a superintendent,” he said.
An assistant to the superintendent would be modeled after the district’s existing assistant to the principal positions at Seymour-Redding, Seymour-Jackson and Margaret R. Brown elementary schools.
“It’s been a successful way for us to transition people into higher roles of leadership,” Hooker said. “It’s always good to promote from within because it makes for a less stressful transition on the staff and students.”
Although the position will be challenging, Hooker said it also is rewarding.
“We’re looking for someone who loves working with children, enjoys working with people and wants to be active in the community,” he said.
Having an assistant superintendent in place also will put the district in a better position for when Hooker decides to retire.