By Julie Ann Madden
The question on the streets of Akron this past week has been whether or not Akron-Westfield Grades Preschool-6 Principal Cathy Bobier has resigned or retired.
The answer is no.
According to Bobier, the Iowa Legislature enacted HF 472 which allows school districts to continue sharing operational positions for another five years.
Each district can share up to four positions that qualify for Supplemental Weighting funding, explained A-W Shared Superintendent Randy Collins, adding the list of shared positions which qualify for these dollars was expanded.
Akron-Westfield currently shares two with West Sioux School District: Transportation Director Larry Clarey; and Collins.
Although A-W shares Food Services Director Charlotte Anderson with West Sioux, it is not a qualified position. Iowa Law HF 472’s list of shared positions that qualify are a curriculum director, school administration manager, mental health therapist, school nurse, school counselor, school librarian, or one or more operational functions in the areas of superintendent management, business management, human resources, transportation, or operation and maintenance for at least 20 percent of the school year.
A-W will earn $62,000 a year and Hinton, $63,000 if we share a curriculum director, said Collins.
“We want to max out the Supplemental Weighting dollars by sharing operational positions,” he said. “Sharing will earn Akron-Westfield about $250,000 a year for the next five years if we have the maximum four positions.”
A-W is not limited to sharing with just West Sioux, said Collins, explaining West Sioux did not have a need for a curriculum director. “I’m a real big believer in partnerships. I always look for partners with all our neighbors. The more partnerships we have, the stronger we are.”
Earlier Collins had talked with Hinton Superintendent Peter Stuerman about sharing a librarian since Sandy Miller-Hall was retiring. Last week Stuerman contacted Collins about the curriculum director position as Hinton’s elementary principal/curriculum director resigned to take an Area Education Agency position, creating a vacancy in the district.
Hinton’s school board is willing to consider sharing a curriculum director, and one of Bobier’s strengths is in curriculum.
“Our challenge is Cathy’s doing an outstanding job as an elementary principal,” said Collins, “so her being a shared curriculum director would be predicated on us finding a dynamic elementary principal.”
That’s why A-W administration advertised for both a Grades Preschool-6 principal and a shared curriculum director position, he said.
Bobier told The Akron Hometowner, depending on applications A-W administration receives, she would either stay A-W’s Grades Preschool-6 principal or become the two districts’ shared curriculum director.
We will want to max out those Supplemental Weighting dollars — we still need one more in addition to a curriculum director — to get the $250,000 a year, said Collins.