An ad went out Tuesday in search of a replacement for the Lawrence school district’s chief academic officer, Kim Bodensteiner.
Bodensteiner, whose resignation was announced at Monday’s school board meeting, has accepted a position as executive director of teaching and learning in the Bellevue, Neb., public schools.
Since 2007, Bodensteiner has overseen all of the district’s teaching and learning functions. Before that, Bodensteiner was a principal at Cordley School for seven years.
Superintendent Rick Doll said state and national job advertisements for Bodensteiner’s position went out Tuesday, and the district hopes to begin interviewing candidates in three to four weeks.
Doll called Bodensteiner the “heart and soul” of the district’s teaching and learning department.
“She is the foundation of everything we have done in teaching and learning in past five years,” he said. “She has coordinated the activities and inspired those activities.”
Once Bodensteiner arrives to Bellevue, she’ll see at least one familiar face. In 2011, Lawrence’s chief operating officer, Frank Harwood, accepted the position as superintendent for Bellevue public schools. Harwood had overseen finance, human relations, facilities, maintenance, food service, transportation and technology in Lawrence.
Bodensteiner said her reasons for leaving Lawrence were motivated by family. Once her son finished school, Bodensteiner said, she had planned to move back to Nebraska to be closer to her family
“I’ll miss Lawrence very much,” Bodensteiner said.
Bodensteiner came to the role of chief academic officer during a time when the district’s top leadership was turning over. Part of her role was to help transition the leadership team.
More recently, Bodensteiner helped oversee another kind of transition: the moving of ninth grade from junior highs to high schools and bumping sixth grade from elementary schools to middle schools. While many helped make the move successful, Doll said she was the architect of the change.
Bodensteiner has placed a large emphasis on improving math instruction, with teachers going through professional development. And she said that recent math testing scores have reflected those efforts. Doll said her work extends far beyond the improvements made in math.
“She has established a system by which we evaluate our curriculum and that is going to be important to us going forward,” he said.
Bodensteiner’s last day will be June 30.