Three Lawrence assistant principals will return to the classroom on a part-time basis next year, as the school district cuts $4.6 million from its budget.
The district announced Tuesday that assistant principals Lisa Clipsham of Central Junior High and Jeff Harkin of West Junior High spend one-quarter of their days teaching.
Mike Hill, one of three assistant principals at Free State High School, will teach half-time at the district’s smaller high school. Hill is also Free State’s athletic director and head baseball coach.
“With the immense financial pressure on the school district, our administrators, teachers and support staff are all being asked to do more with less,” Superintendent Rick Doll said.
Doll said administrators still must decide what the three assistant principals teach, depending on needs at each school and what they are licensed to teach. They could be asked to handle some directed studies, which are courses for students who need extra help in certain areas, such as reading and math.
As part of budget reductions approved in March, board members mandated the district cut the equivalent of one full-time assistant principal position at the district’s secondary schools.
This year, each junior high has a principal and an assistant. And each of the two high schools has a principal and three assistants.
Doll said no administrative cuts will be made at Southwest Junior High because it is the district’s largest junior high.
And none will be made at South Junior High because its administrators will be required handle some supervision at Broken Arrow Elementary because Principal Brian McCaffrey will split his time next year between Broken Arrow and Wakarusa Valley Elementary.
Tuesday’s announcement was the latest in a shuffle of administrators due to the budget. Here’s what’s happened so far:
• Broken Arrow and Wakarusa Valley will share a principal. The current principal at Wakarusa Valley — Elias Espinoza — resigned, effective at the end of the school year, to pursue jobs in the Kansas City area.
• East Heights Early Childhood Family Center will move to Kennedy School, and East Heights Principal Cris Anderson will be the new Kennedy principal. Felton Avery, the current Kennedy principal, will become an assistant principal at Lawrence High, replacing Jan Leonard, who is retiring.
• The district is searching for a principal for Langston Hughes School because Lisa Williams-Thompson took a job as principal of a Gardner elementary school, effective at the end of the year, to shorten her commute from Olathe.