The Harlan Independent School Board announced two new positions at the school system during a special called meeting on Friday.
Superintendent C.D. Morton presented the board with a plan to create a part-time district technology coordinator position as well as a full-time high School/middle school assistant principal position.
According to Morton, Frank Shope has decided to step down from the position of director of district wide services.
“His responsibilities were more than they appeared to the eye,” Morton explained. “A lot of people just saw him as the middle school principle, he was really just assigned to the principal position as a central office employee. He had several other responsibilities, one of which was the technology coordinator for the district.”
Morton pointed out the board has a chance to improve the school’s performance.
“With his resignation, it has given us opportunity to look and see if there’s a more effective and efficient way to provide services to students, teachers and the entire school community,” Morton said. “What I’m proposing we do is create a part-time technology coordinator position. Somebody that can focus just on that.”
Morton said the position would essentially consists of half days with 10 extended employment days.
“Under this scenario, I think we will be able to increase the amount of time that we can devote to the technology needs of the district,” Morton said. “This proposal has the potential not to have any impact on the bottom line. It won’t cost us any more money than what we spent the year before.”
The board approved a motion to create the part-time position of district technology coordinator.
The board then moved on to a discussion of the proposed full-time assistant principal position.
“There’s a lot of positives around this in terms of being able to provide support,” Morton said. “It will allow this person to really focus on the academic needs of that building rather than being pulled and tugged.”
Morton said he would like for the person place in the assistant principal’s position to be able to devote their attention and time to supporting the staff and students of the middle school academically.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to support the middle school a little stronger than we have in the last three or four years,” Morton said. “I think it’s going to be a wonderful gift to (Principal Britt Lawson) so he can spend more of his energy and time focusing on academic things at the high school. It think it’s a better fit structurally for our institution.”
On Morton’s recommendation, the board passed a motion creating the position of high school/middle school assistant principal.
While Shope is stepping down from this position he is not leaving the school system, according to Morton.
“He has really served us as well as he could, given what we’ve asked him to do,” Morton said.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde.