A retired district administrator from southern California is replacing an administrator who is retiring from the Lawrence school district.
Lucy Haines Dechairo, who retired during the past school year as director of curriculum and instruction for the Carlsbad (Calif.) school district, starts work Tuesday as the Lawrence district’s director of administrative services.
Members of the Lawrence school board approved her hiring Monday night, on the recommendation of Rick Doll, district superintendent.
Dechairo takes over for Rick Gammill, who retired as the district’s director of special operations, safety and transportation. The board accepted and approved Gammill’s retirement in September, with his 11 years in the district formally scheduled to end Oct. 31.
The position Dechairo is accepting includes broader responsibility, stretching into the academic side of district business.
While Gammill reported directly to the district’s chief operations officer, Dechairo also reports to Kim Bodensteiner, the district’s chief academic officer. That’s because Dechairo’s responsibilities go beyond bus transportation, security and other operational programs to also include work on academics: specifically, state and federal student educational programs, plus other duties as needed.
Her base salary is $85,000.
“The redesign of this administrative position will enable us to better support both our academic and operations divisions and promote overall efficiency of the school system, while maximizing student learning,” said Rick Doll, district superintendent, in a statement.
In Carlsbad, Dechairo worked in a district of similar size, about 11,000 students, but with fewer schools. While Lawrence has 14 elementary schools, Carlsbad has nine, including one with an International Baccalaureate program. Carlsbad also has one high school, with plans for another on the way.
There, she worked on a program that provides access to curricula for college readiness, an effort for all students and aimed specifically at student segments historically underrepresented in higher education. She also created a Summer Curriculum Institute for teachers.
Dechairo, who grew up in southern California, is a former bilingual teacher and former elementary, middle school and high school principal.
“My husband grew up in the community and attended the University of Kansas and KU Medical School,” Dechairo said, in a statement released by the district. “As we returned to the area for reunions and events, I fell in love with Lawrence. I feel that there’s still work to be done in education, and this is an opportunity to take all of my administrative experiences in the K-12 setting and use those to be a resource wherever I can be of support to another administrator, teacher or school family.”