The Gordon County Board of Education voted unanimously on Monday to reinstate the position of assistant superintendent following a recommendation for the move by Superintendent Kimberly Fraker. The decision also came after an efficiency and effectiveness review conducted by Education Planners recommended a new organization chart for the district that would free up time for better communication across departments.
Following an executive session, Fraker announced the following personnel and positions would be considered transfers from existing staff:
♦ Alice Mashburn, assistant superintendent
♦ Beth Herod, executive director of Teaching and Learning
♦ Mendy Goble, executive director of Finance
♦ Mike Evelti, executive director of Student Services
“Your current structure makes it extremely difficult for a superintendent or any chief operating person to be able to provide the time necessary to each of their partners and the attention necessary to be effective, whether that’s the superintendent or the director themselves,” said Education Planners consultant Bill Winchester. “Obviously, in this district we are proud of what we see and hear, which is that you’re focused on the schools. In order to be able to do that, she needs more time to focus and do that sort of work.”
As it currently stands, the county’s organizational structure places Fraker in the top position with all 15 of the district’s department directors and all school principals reporting to her directly.
The recommended chart would keep Fraker at the top but reinstate the position of assistant superintendent, a position which would report directly to Fraker. It also breaks down the current organizational chart so that executive director positions, such as executive director of Student Services or executive director of Teaching and Learning, report directly to Fraker, with their respective departments reporting directly to them.
The review also touched on how money is spent within the district on central support departments, calling the current budget “accurate” when compared to how other school districts of a similar size in the region are spending their funds.
During their work session, the board also opted to put out a new request for bids for a new or renovated press box at Gordon Central High School’s Ratner Stadium. This decision came after a prior bid was rejected last month due to proposed costs being more than the system intended to spend on the project.
A new estimate placed costs for a renovated press box at, on the high end, $158,000.
Also discussed were potential new SPLOST projects to be completed with the money leftover in the SPLOST fund and additional collected monies nearing the end of 2022, a combined total estimated at around $2.5 to $3 million.
“That’s not money we have today to go spend, but that’s with collections coming up,” said Fraker.
Potential projects included paving and concrete repair at the district’s transportation complex, a baseball field at Sonoraville High School, a “central office solution” due to the age and condition of the trailers currently housing staff, roof work at Gordon Central, lighting projects and HVAC projects. The board did not vote on which of these projects they would most like to focus on, instead giving feedback about projects and their top choices.
In other business, the board also handed down the following recognitions:
♦ Scott Wheat, head custodian at Gordon Central High School, was named the 2nd Mile Award winner for the month of November;
♦ Shea Smith of the Communications Outreach Committee was given the Community Connections award; and
♦ Red Bud Elementary School was honored for being named a Title I Reward School.