• Last modified 3285 days ago (Aug. 26, 2010)


School staff take on extra duties

Staff writer

School administrators and teachers in Hillsboro, Marion, and Peabody have taken on duties outside of their job descriptions as a result of budget cuts.

“The job title gets to be longer each year,” USD 398 superintendent Rex Watson said.

To assist with increased traffic around Hillsboro Elementary School, USD 410 superintendent Steve Noble has been acting as crossing guard. USD 410 cut a local bus route. Traffic around the elementary school and high school needed to be controlled to keep students safe.

Keith Goosen is USD 410 transportation and maintenance director. Because a maintenance man retired and the district couldn’t afford to hire someone new, Goosen has taken on the task of fixing air conditioners for the school.

Teresa Bernhardt is the food service director and head cook for both Hillsboro school buildings. While she still has to take care of the mounds of paper work involved with her job, she has also been serving students in the cafeteria, making sure students have a nutritious meal.

“Food service guidelines are a big deal right now,” Noble said.

On top of their normal duties, the principals at each of the Hillsboro schools — Max Heinrichs at the high school, Greg Brown at the middle school, and Evan Yoder at the elementary school — make themselves available to pick up extra duties.

Noble said principals will work as substitute teachers and even transport students when necessary.

“You’re not a principal from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” Noble said. “My goal is that our principals do whatever it takes.”

Noble is wary of taking principals away from their primary task.

“What concerns me is if they can’t be an affective instructional leader,” Noble said.

In Peabody, the principals at each school have taken on the duties of counselors.

Peabody-Burns Elementary School Principal Ken Parry is also the federal programs director for the district. He is assigned to apply for federal grants and doing the necessary paperwork to show the federal dollars are used for their assigned purpose.

Ray Savage, the assistant principal and athletic director at Peabody-Burns High School, supervises the custodial and grounds staff for the district. He will also help custodial staff clean buildings and make repairs.

Watson said USD 398 administrators are available to assist one another.

“We try to view what we do collectively and then approach it as a team,” Watson said.

USD 408 administrators and teachers are also picking up slack following budget cuts.

USD 408 Superintendent Lee Leiker has become a part-time transportation director after that position was eliminated.

School principals — Brenda Odgers at the high school, Tod Gordon at the middle school, and Rod Garman at the elementary school — are taking turns as aquatics director at the USD 408 Sports and Aquatic Center from 5 a.m. until school begins.

Gordon and MHS teacher and football coach Grant Thierolf landscaped the Marion football field over the summer and attendance clerk Judy Versch and librarian Janice Waner painted the library at MHS.

“It’s those types of things that make us special as a district,” Leiker said.

Last modified Aug. 26, 2010