By Diane Krizek
Tribune Reporter

During its closed meeting on February 22, the Board of Education came to consensus to move forward with the conceptual administrative reorganization plan for 2018-19. One of the plan requirements is a newly created position of Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Student Services which became an issue with board member Kim Fritchie at the March 15 board meeting.

“The job description states under certificates and licenses for this position that it lists Missouri administrative certificate. That’s different than a superintendent certificate which is a requirement for all job titles that are on the assistant superintendent level. I think it’s very important that we require the superintendent service certification for all jobs at the assistant superintendent level and, because of that factor, I don’t feel comfortable voting on that particular item in this consent agenda at this time. So I’m going to abstain from the vote,” said Fritchie.

President Dennis White asked Fritchie if she wanted that item removed from the consent agenda and placed back on the agenda. She agreed in order to provoke a discussion. The board unanimously approved all the other components of the reorganization plan on the consent agenda.

When the new assistant superintendent item came back up for discussion, Fritchie reiterated her concern about the incorrect certification qualifications in the job description of that position. Evidently Fritchie had never brought up the issue with staff prior to the meeting so they were not prepared to address her concern.

“We would be happy to follow up with DESE regarding those qualifications. The position is posted consistent with our practices with EMS. That posting and qualifications was posted is similar to the way we have posted other assistant superintendent positions. But would be happy to work with Dr. Carlson and go back through EMS to make sure we address your concern and absolutely hear and understand what you present is a concern,” said Associate Superintendent Katie Collier.

Executive Director of Classified Personnel Dr. David Carlson came forward to address Fritchie stating that he was “90% sure but we’re going to double check to be 100% sure” that the qualifications for assistant superintendent do not require superintendent certification. He explained the reason is because an employee must be in the role of assistant superintendent before they can earn their superintendent certification.

Fritchie said she didn’t want to go against what Carlson was saying. “I trust you but I did call DESE today and talked to Katie in the certification department and asked her specifically about the assistant superintendent, if that person has to have superintendent certification. She double checked it with them, got back on the line and said yes, that’s what she told me. So, that’s all I know or I wouldn’t have brought that up today.”

The school district reported that Dr. David Carlson and Dr. Jeff Miller researched the criteria for the Assistant Superintendent of Equity job description. According to Exhibit 10 from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Core Data and MOSIS Reference Manual, the certification requirements of assistant superintendent state “Any certificate at any grade level with graduate degree.”

Dr. Carlson and Dr. Miller contacted Debbie Butcher, supervisor in the DESE Educator Certification Office on March 16. Butcher confirmed that Exhibit 10 is the rule for DESE on certification and accurately states the requirements for the position of assistant superintendent in the State of Missouri.

While the job description of the newly created assistant superintendent meet DESE standards, the school district maintains that job description is consistent with its requirements for all other assistant and associate superintendent position.