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Dean position added to aid Barker, Krueger principals

June 30, 2018 GMT

MICHIGAN CITY — Middle school principals will have more administrative help when school resumes in the fall, thanks to a move made Tuesday by the Michigan City School Board.

On a vote of 6-1, the board approved hiring an administrative worker in the role of dean who would work at both Krueger and Barker middle schools.

Essentially, the move brings back a role previously held by assistant principals at the schools. The assistant jobs were eliminated in 2014, part of a massive budget cut to help the district finances, which were, at the time, struggling to stay in the black.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Associate Superintendent Wendel McCollum said the move was “budget neutral,” explaining that several smaller budget cuts here and there freed up enough money to pay the new position’s salary.

At $70,000, board president Don Dulaney said it’s still less expensive than the $160,000 MCAS was previously paying two assistant principals.

McCollum said the middle school dean would serve in an administrative capacity, handling much of the office work and managing the building, allowing principals to have a more hands-on role in the classroom to support teachers and students.

Asked about the need for a dean at the middle schools to help with the work load, McCollum said state-issued grades at Barker and Krueger the past few years show the need for additional administrative support.

“Each (middle) school has about 25 to 30 teachers. We want principals in the classroom supporting those teachers,” McCollum said, explaining this will allow for more flexibility for principals – and less distraction.

The lone vote against the measure came from Beryle Burgwald, who said the assistant principal positions never should have been eliminated.

“We had two principals at the time telling us this would create problems, and now we have to create an additional administrative position,” he said.

On Tuesday, new Krueger Middle School principal Josh Malone was introduced to the school board. He’s been a teacher with MCAS since 2011 and served as interim principal at Krueger last school year.

A new Barker Middle School principal has not yet been announced, but Lucas Snyder (former social studies teacher, assistant athletic director and track coach) has been named to the new position of dean over both middle schools.