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AUSTIN EDITION School board again makes position full time

Community Ed director resigns

By Tim Ruzek

truzek@postbulletin.com

The Austin School Board approved a personnel-restructuring plan Monday that includes hiring a fourth administrator at the high school.

The restructuring stems from the board's direction at a Jan. 24 meeting for officials to seek ways to run the district more efficiently and effectively.

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"We are really rolling our sleeves up and looking and scrutinizing everything that we are doing and the manner in which we are doing it," Superintendent Candace Raskin told the board Monday. "Dollars, resources are going to continue to be tighter."

Administrators want to make sure programs are maintained in difficult budget times, Raskin said.

At its meeting Monday, the board approved a contract for John Alberts to be Austin High School's assistant principal of curriculum and scheduling. Alberts currently is a language-arts teacher at the school.

Under the plan, Joe Brown will remain Austin High's principal, but the two current assistant principals will have new roles.

Brad Bergstrom, who oversees the Area Learning Center, an alternative-school program, will focus on working with students and personnel next year.

Keith Fleming, who now deals with curriculum and scheduling, will be the administrator for the district's alternative programs at the ALC, Bank School, Gerard Treatment Programs and the Sheriff's Youth Ranch.

The plan also calls for making the district's Community Education director a full-time position again.

Laura Kuehl, director of Community Education for more than four years, resigned effective Jan. 24.

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In May, the board cut the job from full time to half time after a time study.

At the time, Kuehl said, she was devastated and appalled by the decision. She later applied for and was hired for the part-time position.

On Friday, Kuehl declined comment.

The district wants the position to be full-time again because it will be changing to one coordinator for the early-childhood, family education and special education programs, Raskin said on Friday. Currently there is a coordinator for each.

The move makes sense, Raskin said, because the two programs now involve much combining between each other.

Paraprofessionals in Community Education also will be reduced under the plan.

The plan also involves restructuring in the business office related to the upcoming retirements of the benefits coordinator and administrative assistant.

For Technology Services, the board approved a contract for the consulting services of Bob Silbaugh until June 30. The board eliminated the department's director position in January for restructuring reasons. Don Jones was the director.

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