School system replaces assistant superintendent with executive director

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2014

April Kuhn will officially join the Rowan-Salisbury School System as the executive director of administration and legal services, a role which she has been serving as an interim since mid-October.

“I am excited about what I see going on in this school system,” Kuhn said. “I’m excited to be a part of it.”

After Assistant Superintendent of Administration Nathan Currie resigned late in September, the board decided to redefine the role of his position.

“For the most part, things will remain the same,” said Executive Director of Human Resources Kristi Rhone, adding that some duties and responsibilities will be handed to assistant superintendents Anthony Vann and Dr. Julie Morrow.

Kuhn’s duties will “focus mainly on the student services piece,” Rhone said.

Many of Kuhn’s duties will closely mirror Currie’s – she will oversee student appeals and hearings, amendments and revisions to policies, monitor the General Assembly and prepare responses to subpoenas and Freedom of Information Act requests.

She will be a 12-month employee.

Unlike Currie, Kuhn won’t serve as an assistant superintendent. This change has shifted the district’s organizational chart. The executive director position falls right below an assistant superintendent, but still reports directly to Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody.

The Rowan-Salisbury School System will now only have two assistant superintendents – Dr. Morrow, who oversees curriculum, and Vann, who directs the district’s operations.

Kuhn also won’t be responsible for any of the district’s athletic programs.

“That athletic piece is not there,” Rhone said.

John McNeil, from East Rowan High School, was hired as a part-time countywide athletic director in September, and has taken over the athletics portion of Currie’s duties.

Kuhn will make $85,000, and Currie was making $106,000 at the time of his resignation.

Kuhn is a Rowan County native and a product of the Rowan-Salisbury School System, having attended Granite Quarry Elementary School, Knox Middle School and Salisbury High School. She is a 1995 graduate of Salisbury High.

“One of the things that is unique about me is my connection to this community,” she said.

“I grew up in Rowan County,” Kuhn said, adding, “I already had a connection to the county.”

She is a lawyer, focusing in education and business law, and estate planning.

From 2007 to 2013, Kuhn served as the Uniserve director and a labor consultant for the North Carolina Association of Educators in Charlotte. She handled advocacy, professional training and organizational development.

From 2004 to 2007, Kuhn taught English at Salisbury High School. The year before that, she was an English instructor at Livingstone College.

“That’s where my passion has always been – in education — period,” she said.

Kuhn added that she’s well-suited for the position with her legal background in education law.

After Currie resigned, Kuhn volunteered to help fill the gap as the district decided how they wanted to proceed with the new position.

“We were searching for something different in that role,” Rhone said.

During her limited time in the role, Kuhn has already built a strong rapport with district principals.

“There were a lot of compliments from the principals,” Rhone said, adding that they commented on her familiarity with the law and her passion and compassion for students.

“I think she’s truly going to be an asset,” Rhone said.

There were 36 applicants for the position.

Board of Education Chairman Josh Wagner, Vice Chairman Dean Hunter, Dr. Richard Miller, Jean Kennedy, Susan Cox and Travis Allen voted in favor of hiring Kuhn. Chuck Hughes opposed the motion and asked for the vote to be delayed until the board’s January meeting, in order to give the board more time to review the job description.

The board also re-approved a one year extension to Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody’s contract until June 30, 2018, and gave her additional time to use compensation hours for working overtime.

The board was also informed that board members would receive a pay raise beginning in January. No action was needed.