Rysewyk’s plan adds 15 administrators, but who is out?

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk, Our Town Youth

Dr. Jon Rysewyk took office as superintendent of Knox County Schools on June 4. And on June 7, he announced his priorities and reorganization plan. We speculated in a Monday column here. Rysewyk’s Tuesday press release is here.

I got one point wrong and that was just wishful thinking. I thought he would put an assistant superintendent in charge of each region. Nope. He’s hiring five directors to oversee the regions AND five assistant superintendents. And each of five regions will have a supervisor. So, we’re looking at 15 new positions … At an average $100,000 each, that’s $1.5 million.

Today, I requested a list of the positions to be eliminated.

The press release reads:

“… The creation of five regional teams that are each comprised of a regional director and regional supervisor. One of those leaders will have elementary experience and the other will have secondary experience, and each team will also include leaders with expertise in various content areas. The five regions will be based on feeder patterns and geographic proximity.

“As part of the realignment, the district will create five assistant superintendents:

  • The assistant superintendent of academics will include oversight of learning and literacy, academic supports, college and career readiness and Regions 1 through 4;
  • The assistant superintendent of business and talent will oversee human resources and the chief financial officer;
  • The assistant superintendent of student success will oversee functions including English language learning, health services, school culture, special education and Region 5;
  • The assistant superintendent of operations will oversee functions including security, transportation, and maintenance; and
  • The assistant superintendent of strategy will oversee communications; research, evaluation and assessment (REA); and elementary and secondary school emergency relief (ESSER) programming.

“As one of the largest districts in Tennessee, a one-size-fits-all approach will not provide the level of responsiveness that our school communities deserve,” said Rysewyk said. “I believe that regional teams will help us foster community engagement and ownership in the educational process, and will shift the educational focus away from the central office back to individual schools, where the most important work happens.”

“Details including personnel appointments and additional guidance about the makeup of the five regions will be provided in the coming days.”

Here’s the list of administrative positions under former Superintendent Bob Thomas:

  1. Superintendent – Bob Thomas
  2. Asst. Superintendent / Chief Academic Officer – Dr. Jon Rysewyk
  3. Executive Director Secondary – Danny Trent
  4. Executive Director Elementary – Julie Thompson
  5. Chief of Staff – Renee Kelly
  6. Asst. Superintendent / Chief Financial Officer – Ron McPherson
  7. Executive Director of Teaching & Learning – Shannon Jackson
  8. Executive Director of Human Resources – Scott Bolton
  9. Chief Operating Officer – Russ Oaks
  10. Chief Public Affairs Officer – Carly Harrington
  11. Executive Director of Student Support Services – Jason Myers

Additionally, KCS has 59 departments, each presumably with a director and/or supervisor:

    1. Art
    2. Assessment
    3. Assistive Technology
    4. Athletics
    5. Attendance and Enrollment
    6. AVID
    7. Benefits & Employee Relations
    8. Career Technical Education (CTE)
    9. Charter Schools
    10. Child Find
    11. Computer Science
    12. Driver Education
    13. Early Childhood (Birth – Pre–K)
    14. Educational Technology
    15. Elementary (K–5)
    16. English Language Learners
    17. English/Language Arts/Reading
    18. Facilities Management
    19. Federal Programs
    20. Finance
    21. Food and Nutrition Services
    22. Forms
    23. Gifted and Talented
    24. Health Services
    25. Hearing Services
    26. Home Schools
    27. Homebound
    28. Homeless
    29. Human Resources
    30. Humanities
    31. Information Technology
    32. JROTC
    33. Library–Media Services
    34. Magnet Programs
    35. Maintenance & Operations
    36. Mathematics
    37. Migrant Education
    38. Music
    39. Partners In Education
    40. Professional Learning
    41. Public Affairs
    42. Research, Evaluation, & Assessment
    43. Response to Instruction and Intervention
    44. School Counseling
    45. School Culture
    46. Science
    47. Secondary (6–12)
    48. Security
    49. Social Studies
    50. Social Work
    51. Special Education
    52. STEM
    53. Student Supports
    54. Teaching and Learning
    55. Textbooks
    56. Transfers
    57. Transportation
    58. Voluntary Pre–K
    59. World Languages

OK, surely among 59 departments and 11 administrative positions, Rysewyk can find 15 jobs to eliminate – maybe more. After all, he’s got to find his 15 new bosses someplace.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.


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