Archive for Tuesday, January 27, 2009

School board approves leaner administration, hears about construction’s progress

The school board voted to promote Frank Harwood to chief operations officer, while information resources specialist, Chantel Nicolay, will step into a new position -- division director of technology and library media services. The measure will save the district $60,000.

January 27, 2009


Two-time candidate enters school board race

Michael Pomes has run for the school board twice before, and hopes 2009 is his year. Enlarge video

Lawrence school Superintendent Randy Weseman wants to streamline administrative personnel in order to save money, and the school board approved the changes at its meeting Monday night.

One administrative position will be eliminated, saving $60,000.

Here’s what will happen: Frank Harwood, division director of technology, would replace Mary Rodriguez, chief operations officer, when she retires June 30.

An information resources specialist, Chantel Nicolay, will step into a new position — division director of technology and library media services. The position combines her current tasks with the duties of the technology director.

“Everybody has to work harder to get this done, but it is the cleanest way to do this and be able to find some economy right now,” Weseman said.

The information resources specialist position will be cut, saving about $60,000.

“I think this would be a good start to finding some dollars and still get the job done,” Weseman said.

He also recommended that the board hold off on advertising for a deputy superintendent.

The position will be empty upon the retirement of Bruce Passman on June 30. “I’m not recommending or saying that we would eliminate the deputy job,” Weseman said. “There may be a way to find some way to hold off on that position for a while while we get our feet on the ground financially.”

Athletic fields update

The board also heard an update on the athletic facilities upgrades.

Operations and facility planning division director Tom Bracciano said there have been some problems with the weather, but phase one of the upgrade plan should be finished by July.

“We’re right at about the three month mark from when we started on the project,” he said.

At Free State High, Bracciano said, the football field should be done by the end of the week, but there is still asphalt work to do. Baseball fields should be completed in May, soccer in April and softball in June.

Over at Lawrence High, the football field is slated to be done in March, but the track won’t be completed until May. The team will use facilities at South Junior High until work is finished

The softball field and tennis courts should be done in April. The baseball fields at Lawrence Virtual School are slated for a March completion date and parking at both sites should wrap up in July.

Grant won’t run

Board President Craig Grant announced he will not be running for another term on the school board.

“This was a difficult decision for me,” Grant said in a press release. “My new duties as chief of staff with Representative Paul Davis, I believe, will keep me from devoting the time necessary to my school board responsibilities.”

Five people have filed for the three open seats, currently held by Grant, Linda Robinson and John Mitchell.

Robinson has said she was not planning to seek a third term.

Mitchell is seeking re-election. Tom Hartley, Michael Pomes and Vanessa Sanburn filed to run earlier this month, and Robert Byers and Fire Chief Mark Bradford have also recently filed to run.

The deadline for candidates to file is noon today.


Shardwurm 9 years, 4 months ago

Amazing how many efficiencies you can find when there is no money eh? I'm guessing there's a lot more fat to be trimmed.

Paula Kissinger 9 years, 4 months ago

"The man's name is Frank Harwood, not Frank Hargrove as stated in the photo caption!"Yeah, but to those of us who really know him it doesn't matter. You may call him whatever you wish. He is the person who came here quietly, assumed control of Central Junior High School ahead of quite a few others who have time served well in the district, quickly kissed his way into the district as a negotiator (qualifications?) and now up the ladder to C.O.O. This is the guy who is behind the Skyward program that does not work effectively. If you try to contact the contact person to make corrections to your child's information you are given an EMail address that will not accept your EMail. There is no way to enter or change information on Skyward. Genius ! This is the person they have chosen to be the C.O.O ? Seems about right ! Again, thank God my son only has another year in this district. It has been one of the worst experiences in our lives. For anyone to claim that the district is just wonderful and that the schools are just great must have never set foot outside of Lawrence. You have another chance to really help your kids in April by ousting every incumbent on the school board and voting for people who are intelligent enough and care enough to run our schools. Do not be fooled by the "I am a concerned parent" line...look for people who have qualifications first as decent individuals not smoozers with the same old snow-job you've been fed forever.

salad 9 years, 4 months ago

"division director of technology"Huh??? What the eff is a "division director of technology"??? Sounds like something you make up so your buddy can have a payola job. Is there more fat? You betcha! Why does the district need a "Cheif of Operations" and a "Operations and facility planning director" ???? How much you wanna bet the district could do without both? Hey Weseman, you wanna save money? How about we cut a couple $10,000 outa your fat paycheck? ....worthless educrat.....

error4o4 9 years, 4 months ago

harwood is the man! woot.he was a teacher of mine in high school, and he was great. of course, i didn't interact with him in an administrative capacity, but know that he is a very bright man who is very capable of executing this position effectively.i wonder if he listens to styx in his office.... lol.

hail2oldku 9 years, 4 months ago

Way to tighten that belt down at the district headquarters.There are way too much good ole boy networking and sweetheart deals going on in this district to ever get it right.PBG, you have the right idea, but the schmoozers are the only people that ever run let alone get elected. And having your kid get out of school just means that they won't mess him up anymore, you still are on the line for paying taxes to them.

budwhysir 9 years, 4 months ago

I am interested in getting a listing of all job positions for the school district. I imagine I could find some other title positions that could be eliminated to save a bunch of money. Also, how much money are we needing to save??? it makes no sense to me why we are trying to eliminate positions while we are building new facilities and making improvements on the existing ones. I await the day when decisions for the school district actualy have an impact on the education our kids receive.Im not one for reading the fiction part of a story, we have to all agree that making changes at the upper level, a level I compare to the "corporate level" have no direct impact on the outcome of the students education

Paul R Getto 9 years, 4 months ago

budwhysir: You can get a copy of that document easily. Go to the USD office and ask. As for your other assertions, you need to get on the school board and provide some leadership. I've learned very few things I'm sure of, but one is this: Nearly everyone in the U.S.A. is an expert at doing all the jobs available, except for the one they currently have. Lawrence has problems, mainly stagnant enrollment and aging facilities in some areas. While all systems can improve, Lawrence is far above many others.

budwhysir 9 years, 4 months ago

Made in china:I would gladly get on the board except for one problem, I have a very different view of how things should be done and I am very sure that many would have a problem adjusting to my way of thinking. I agree Lawrence is far ahead of many other districts as far as facilities. Maybe next go around I will run for the board and get things turned around

shepdog 9 years, 4 months ago


mom_of_three 9 years, 4 months ago

I believe the football fields were started first, because of the tracks. You might have to have it in place before you can start the track and lay asphalt. With that said, I was sad to read the LHS track will not be done. Hopefully, the South track has been redone, since it wasn't right last year to hold meets (something about lines, lanes or something). These sophomores who went to South are used to it. Last year, the basketball teams didn't have a home gym to play or practice in until January, played and practiced around the city, and had to go to LHS for some track stuff. And now, LHS track will have to go to South for practice.

Shelley Bock 9 years, 4 months ago

Girls soccer will be using the football fields immediately while the soccer fields are #3 or #4 on the priority list. It looks like LHS softball will go in early, but FS softball won't be modified until after the season. Both soccer fields are projected to be completed in the Spring, but only by mid April.

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