D45 downsizing district office staff
Barnwell School District 45 is downsizing its district office staff by three positions in an effort to save money that can be used for other districtwide operations.
The district announced on Dec. 19 that they are eliminating the assistant superintendent’s position that was vacated by Crissie Stapleton when she was hired as superintendent in June. They are also eliminating the vacant curriculum specialist position and the human resources assistant position once the current employee retires at the end of December.
“With all associated costs of these three positions and two additional positions previously eliminated, the district will save over $200,000 and cut over 12 percent of overhead costs at the district level,” according to a press release.
Instead of filling the assistant superintendent position, the title of assistant superintendent and its responsibilities will be combined with the duties of Director of Curriculum and Instruction, a position currently held by Dr. Rachel Wall. She has nine years of administrative experience and holds a South Carolina Superintendent certificate. Wall will receive a stipend of $1,500 annually for the additional duties.
“The trustees and superintendent recognize the importance of having someone designated as Assistant Superintendent, and the district feels fortunate to have someone of Dr. Wall’s caliber,” stated the press release.
Having someone designated as next-in-command at the district office level is important as the district keeps the safety of students and staff a priority. “This not only assures us there is another person assigned to make important decisions on behalf of the district in case of an emergency, but it also allows us to have an organizational flow to increase efficiency within our district operations,” he said.
As she looks to continue to support the district’s instructional programs and work with all stakeholders, Wall is “humbled and honored” by the opportunity her new responsibilities bring. “I feel so fortunate to work with staff members who are passionate about serving our students, families, and the Barnwell community. We are committed to providing our students with a rigorous instructional program that meets their individual needs and prepares them for college and career pathways,” said Wall, who is appreciative of the support from the board and administration.
Eliminating these three positions is beneficial to the district’s operating budget as the money that is being saved can be used for other district-wide operations, said Richardson.
“Both the Board of Trustees and I take very seriously our responsibility to this community and staff to be fiscally accountable. We sincerely appreciate our stakeholders and the Barnwell 45 staff for trusting us to make the decisions that are best for this district we all love so dearly. Much time and effort have gone into evaluating and analyzing what changes we can make to best meet the needs of our students and staff while also cutting some of the overhead costs associated with the district office,” said Stapleton.
The announcement of the cost-saving measures follows a positive financial audit report that had no findings or corrective actions. District 45 also added more than $800,000 to its fund balance during the past fiscal year, which ended June 30.
Stapleton said the process is not over because “we will continue to consider additional reorganizational changes in the future.”