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Ironton School Board airs moving administrators, but no action taken yet

The possibility of administrators moving into different buildings was brought up at the Ironton school board meeting last night.

No drastic administration changes have been made at this time.

Superintendent Stephen Kingery said moving the three administrators at Ironton Junior High -- the principal, the guidance counselor and the secretary -- to the middle school had been

discussed. At this point in time, it will not happen, he said.

"Every year, I do a staffing analysis. The district has been through financial hardship, so I try to utilize existing personnel without adding new people," Kingery said.

Some board members, such as Kathy McGinnis, did not support moving the administration at this time.

"These moves are not in the best interests of the students, the administrators, or the teachers," said McGinnis. "We have promised to have

committee meetings before things like this could happen. We want to involve the public in decisions that could affect the children."

Junior high employees are pleased that the school's administration will remain.

"I am very happy to hear that this is not going to happen," said Mary Ann Philabaun, the junior high building representative. "We feared we would have an entirely new staff -- no one with experience of the daily running of the school."

"I would like to remain the administrator of my building," said Jerry Watson, Ironton Junior High principal. "I think I've done a good job there, and I love the kids."

Nevertheless, Ironton staff could be moved in the future.

"There's going to have to be some changes made because we are losing enrollment," said board member Robert Pleasant. "However, things need to be done with the best interests of the students in mind. We need to take time and study every area before making a decision."

During the meeting, board member Teresa Parker said, "The board has to listen to everybody. Communication has to be wide open, and we don't want to leave anybody with an 'us and them' mentality. We just want to do what's best for the children."

"The decision is ultimately up to the superintendent," added Bill Dressel, assistant to the superintendent and principal at Ironton Middle School. "Change is not always a bad thing, and we as a team should support him."

Junior high teacher Lee Anne Stumbo said she hopes the board will keep an open mind during possible administration moves.

"I hope they will consider all options before making a move," she said. "I agree with the statements made about keeping the students' best interests in mind. I do believe the board will consider all possibilities."

Also last night, the board approved the resignation of Lawrence S. Stall, the director of federal programs. Stall's position will not be filled at this time.

Kingery said not filling Stall's position will save the district approximately $85,000 a year, which was Stall's salary along with other benefits. Amelia A. Pridemore/The Ironton Tribune