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St. Joseph School District Announces Leadership Realignment

Dr. Fred Czerwonka, Superintendent of Schools, announced a proposal Monday to realign the senior staff.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Leadership within the St. Joseph School District could look a little different soon.

Dr. Fred Czerwonka, Superintendent of Schools, announced a proposal Monday to realign the senior staff.

Right now, the superintendent's council includes a team of eight. Czerwonka's proposal would reduce the number of positions reporting directly to him to four: Deputy Superintendent, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Chief Academic Officers.

Czerwonka announced his plan during a news conference Monday afternoon, saying that this proposal has nothing to do with the recent "turmoil" surrounding the implementation of stipends.

Board of Education member Chris Danford sounded off about the stipends during a meeting last week. She called into question stipends for chief leadership that the board had previously not known about.

"I believe I was hired to be the Superintendent and that I acted within the scope of my authority," he said.  "However, I want to state that I greatly regret not coming to the board with that information and I want the community to know that I am sorry for the turmoil of the last couple of weeks, which has diverted attention from our real business, our kids."

Czerwonka said this realignment would help improve communication issues within the central office. He adds there will be some cost savings involved with the restructuring, but could not offer further details at this time. He said no additional salary or stipends would be involved with this move.

With the restructuring, Dr. Jake Long, Deputy Superintendent, will supervise human resources, the business and finance office and the district's improvement effort. The assistant to the superintendent, Steve Huff, is retiring. His position will be eliminated and replaced with a communications manager.

Rick Hartigan, the District's chief operating officer, will now supervise technology, maintenance, nutrition services and data management.

Brian Shindorf and Dr. Jaime Dial, chief academic officers, will supervise elementary and secondary principals as well as special services and student services.

Czerwonka also made a point to let those at the meeting know that despite recent controversy involving the district, he has no plans to leave.

"I am confident that I can address the issues that have been raised if given the opportunity," he said.  "Contrary to rumors that are circulating, I am here to stay."
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