Cove restructuring plan upsets parents, teachers

ROARING SPRING – Even after parents and teachers spoke out against an earlier decision, Spring Cove school board members voted Tuesday to continue with a plan for major job restructuring.

Tuesday’s special meeting opened with parents and staff members airing concerns that the board’s prior vote to move Stephanie Thompson – formerly Central High School assistant principal – to a newly created job would deprive high school students of an important resource.

Thompson is transitioning to the job of assistant principal for pupil personnel services, Superintendent Robert Vadella said Tuesday. The new position, which will oversee guidance programs and student-service contracts, covers the entire district, Vadella said.

“In 1982, when I graduated high school, we had a principal and an assistant principal … and that structure has stayed in place,” high school teacher Philip Waite told the board. “They need that extra structure. They need that extra person to talk to.”

Parents complained that guidance and discipline, long the assistant principal’s responsibility, would suffer with the job empty.

Kate Muthler, a parent from Roaring Spring, said she worried that the loss of the high school’s only top-level female administrator would leave troubled girls without a personal contact. Others suggested that a reduced adult presence would hinder security.

Vadella and board President Jeff Brennecke explained that the decision was part of an ongoing administrative shake-up, planned in part to cut away some of the district’s $1 million budget deficit in the coming year.

“[It’s a] complete restructuring of administrative and office staff,” Vadella said, asking for patience as more changes are rolled out in the next few weeks. “I think you will be satisfied.”

At the Tuesday meeting, board members voted to create a new position – “PIMS/Child Accounting Manager” – and shift Kim Moyer, Vadella’s secretary, to the job at a $40,000 salary.

Vadella said Moyer will oversee filings, such as enrollment reports, that dictate state funding. He won’t get a new secretary, he said.

“I get to lose my personal secretary to this position. That’s how important this is,” Vadella said.

A second vote added 40 days to the special education director’s schedule. The change was needed, Vadella said, because the per-diem pay to keep the director working through summer cost more than a simple salary increase.

Vadella said the restructuring will continue as budget season approaches.

“We’re making changes a little bit at a time,” he said.

Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.