Retired school leaders return to fill top jobs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 27, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — Two retired administrators will return to the Rowan-Salisbury School System at the start of October to fill top positions.
The Rowan County Board of Education approved a temporary restructuring of administrative duties during its meeting Monday.
“It’s very much need-based,” Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom said. “Fifty percent of our administrative level is gone and we don’t have anybody else to pick up the jobs. Everybody else is already so overwhelmed because they have already taken over everybody else’s jobs.”
Gene Miller, who left the system at the end of July, will assume his former duties as assistant superintendent of operations.
Former Carson High School Principal Henry Kluttz, who retired in the summer of 2010, will take over several of the duties currently performed by Dr. Walter Hart. He will handle student discipline, athletics, transfers and health.
Hart, the assistant superintendent of administration, resigned earlier this month to become the superintendent of Hickory Public Schools. His last day is Oct. 31.
The child nutrition and risk development departments currently being supervised by Hart will be taken over by Miller. He will also be assisting the district with special projects.
Grissom did not specify which projects Miller will work on. She said there are special projects going on at nearly every school.
Miller is expected to be working for the school system for an undesignated amount of time that could last up to nine months.
The district does not plan to hire anyone to permanently replace Miller’s as superintendent of operations. The position has been frozen as a cost-saving provision.
Kluttz will be employed with the system until a new superintendent of administration is hired.
Both Miller and Kluttz will be paid according to salary schedule they were on when they retired.
Miller’s salary last year topped $123,000. Information about Kluttz’ salary was unavailable Monday.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
In other business
The school board also:
• Received an update about the latest central office proposal from Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom. 
Grissom said the district is currently gathering items to send to the Local Government Commission. 
The board approved a predevelopment agreement with private developer Bryan Barwick earlier this month for a lease/purchase option for a consolidated office in downtown Salisbury. 
After questions about financing arose, the board decided to hold off on sending the predevelopment agreement to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners for approval until it receives a nod from the Local Government Commission that the financing options are sound. 
Two Rowan County residents spoke in opposition to the central office proposal during public comment periods Monday. 
John Bare said the deal is not transparent enough and requested more information be given to the public. 
“Someone must know the details, why do the citizens know so little about it,” he said. 
William Peoples, past president of the Rowan County NAACP, said he is perplexed about the news of building a   central office in downtown Salisbury since the district doesn’t own the land. 
“How can you talk about building this central office on this property which you do not own?” he asked. 
The plan calls for the city of Salisbury to donate the land to the district, but City Council has not discussed it. 
• Passed a beginning teacher support plan as required by the State Board of Education
• Approved several new policies in response to legislative changes made over the summer. 
A policy regarding concussion and head injury directs school employees to comply with concussion safety requirements for interscholastic athletic competition as defined in the a new state statute in order to reduce the potential for short-term or long-term effects of such head injuries.
Another policy outlines protocol for pregnant and parenting students to prevent discrimination. 
The policy on due process and disciplinary actions outlines the rights of students who face disciplinary consequences. 
The information about the new policies will be sent home with each student and the district will use its ConnectED system to contact parents about the changes. 
• Received a presentation about the United Day of?Caring from district spokeswoman Rita Foil. 
Projects were performed at every school in the district except for the Rowan County Early College, which is on the campus of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. 
Foil said there were more than 500 volunteers at the 34 schools doing projects ranging from spreading mulch to building basketball courts. 
She estimates that the day brought $250,000 worth of donated man hours to the system.