The start of the 2021-22 school year will bring not only a new superintendent, but a new administrative structure.
Superintendent Dean Gorrell announced Jan. 8 he will retire on June 30, 2021, after 16 years leading the district, and in anticipation of that announcement, the school board and administrators decided to take the opportunity to restructure its administrative team, creating three assistant superintendent positions from existing positions and and adding two new education director positions and an engagement position, according to a district document.
School board president Noah Roberts told the Press in an email the changes are meant to make it more sustainable, help manage the district’s future growth and meet the school board’s 2018-23 strategic plan.
“As we have experienced sustained growth as a district, we wanted to ensure that our administrative structure, which hasn’t changed for quite some time, reflected the best possible approach to supporting our staff, meeting the needs of our students and advancing our strategic plan,” he said.
According to the document, a consultant from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards recommended the district revise it to better suit enrollment growth and its “improvement-focused governance.”
The audit of the district administration was started prior to board members knowing about Gorrell’s plans to retire, Roberts said.
“The study revealed that our current structure is neither sustainable nor the most effective way to support building leadership and staff district-wide,” the document stated.
The objectives of the restructuring focus on ensuring equity and accountability at the administrative level, increasing support for building-level leadership and staff and engaging with students, families and the community, according to the document.
Three existing positions will be converted to assistant superintendents.
Emmett Durtschi, the current director of student services, will have his title changed to assistant superintendent of student services, and Laurie Burgos, the current director of bilingual programming and instructional equity, will become assistant superintendent of academic services.
The third assistant superintendent position, business services, will be vacant until after the new superintendent is hired. Business manager Chris Murphy is retiring from the district for the second time June 30.
The two new positions will be directors of education, one for elementary school and the other for secondary school. The district will also create a family, staff and community engagement liaison role.
The director of elementary education will be hired for the start of the 2020-21 school year, a transitional leadership plan document on the district’s website stated. The document did not include the timeline for the hiring of the director of secondary education or the family, staff and community engagement liaison director.