Columbia Public Schools to consolidate administrative staff

Friday, April 4, 2014 | 7:12 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Columbia Public Schools will change the organization of its administration roles next school year, consolidating the number of core administrative staff from seven to five.

When Deputy Superintendent Nick Boren and Chief Academic Officer Sally Beth Lyon retire in June, the district will not replace their positions but will instead divide their duties among existing staff members in the administration, district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said. Peter Stiepleman, the current assistant superintendent for elementary education who will become the district's superintendent this summer, will provide oversight of the reorganization, she said.

Chief Financial Officer Linda Quinley will also take on the job of Chief Operations Officer next year. In addition to her current duties, she will be responsible for operational areas such as transportation and facilities, which are Boren's areas of oversight, Baumstark said. She said Quinley has some familiarity in those areas from working with Boren on projects in the past.

Dana Clippard, assistant superintendent for human resources, will take Boren's title of deputy superintendent; however, the position will instead include Lyon's responsibilities. Clippard will have oversight of curriculum departments, assisting with special programs, special education and school improvement, Baumstark said.

In addition, Clippard will also supervise the assistant superintendents of elementary and secondary education. In the past, the assistant superintendents reported to the superintendent directly, Baumstark said.

Clippard will also give guidance to the new director of human resources. The title will change from assistant superintendent of human resources to director of human resources, but more specific details about the position change are still being determined, Baumstark said.

Before becoming the assistant superintendent of human resources, Clippard served as an elementary school teacher, a special education teacher, a literacy coach, and director of special services, according to the Columbia Public Schools website.

Baumstark said the purpose of the reorganization is to "streamline things for better alignment and create efficiency." She said each time a new superintendent is appointed, that person is responsible for outlining specific goals to accomplish, and Stiepleman's reorganization reflects his focus on academic achievement. Baumstark said consolidation of positions will "ideally contribute to cost saving," but the exact number cannot be determined yet.

Although the restructuring of district positions is ongoing, Baumstark said the two positions that will need to be filled so far are director of human resources and assistant superintendent of elementary education, currently held by Stiepleman.

Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.

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