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Archive for Wednesday, September 4, 1996

ASSISTANTS MOVE TO FREE STATE FROM LHS

September 4, 1996

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Two-thirds of the assistant principals at Lawrence's high schools have been determined for next year.

Two of the four Lawrence High School assistant principals will move to Free State High School next year.

Charles Parks and Dick Patterson will join the administrative staff of Free State High. Mike Browning and Mary Rodriguez will remain as assistant principals at Lawrence High School.

The administrative assignments are another step in establishing Free State, which will open next fall near the intersection of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

This week, district administrators will meet with teacher representatives to talk about the process and procedures for making staff assignments to the two high schools, said Supt. Al Azinger.

"The controlling factor, always on that, will be student requests for courses," said Azinger.

The enrollment process for next year will start in about a month, he said, and administrators should have a good indication by November or December how many teachers will be needed in each department at the city's public high schools.

Azinger said he talked with each of the assistant principals about staffing the schools before announcing a decision Tuesday.

"I listened to their interests, their perceived strengths," he said. "We tried to put together the best team at each school and develop the best matches to work with each of the principals."

Azinger said the schools' principals -- Brad Tate at Lawrence High and Joe Snyder at Free State -- are pleased with the decision.

"In all sincerity," Azinger said, "I think they both feel very good about the way it turned out."

Azinger said all four assistants told him they had mixed feelings about whether to stay at LHS or move to FSHS.

"They all said they would do whatever was in the best interest of the district," the superintendent said.

Each high school will hire a third assistant principal, which means the number of assistants at the high school level will increase to six next year. And it's anticipated that additional staff members also will be hired at the high school level, Azinger said.

"We had said all along that it is going to cost more and that we will need some of the money generated through the state, through the LOB (local option budget) and, possibly, through some other looks in the district at budget," Azinger said. "That's part of our upcoming budget."

District administrators will recommend to the school board that the district use the full 25 percent of the LOB, Azinger said. This year, the district anticipates using $8.8 million, or about 24 percent, additional budget authority through the LOB. If the district increases the LOB to 25 percent, which is the maximum allowed, it will reap more money.

"By doing that, we will generate dollars from the state for support in opening a new school," he said.

Increasing the LOB may mean a property tax decrease, Azinger said.

"The possibility exists for that to occur, but until we get closer to the time and see what happens with lots of variables, we can't say that with any assurance," he said.

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