Why RSS now has seven people with superintendent in their titles

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 12, 2020

SALISBURY — Some titles have changed for top administrators with Rowan-Salisbury Schools, resulting several more people with assistant or associate superintendent in their titles, and the changes are part of the district reorganizing itself to meet renewal goals.

Seven people on the district’s executive leadership team now lead an area of the district. This includes some new faces like Associate Superintendent of Schools Kelly Withers, who was promoted from the principal position at South Rowan High School and some people whose titles and jobs have changed little as a result, like Associate Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann, who is still overseeing the daily operation of facilities..

April Kuhn, formerly the district’s Chief Legal Officer, is now the Assistant Superintendent of Advancement, which is a new title and job that places her over district focus areas such as professional development and exceptional children.

Carol Herndon, formerly the Chief Financial Officer, is now the Associate Superintendent of Resources, and is directly over human resources as well. The director of that department, when it is filled after Kristi Rhone’s recent departure, will report to her.

“We did it in a way so that it responds to renewal,” Superintendent Lynn Moody said, adding the district has been working on the changes for a year and it makes the district more effective as all seven provide leadership for a large body of work.

Other related areas like equity and remediation, which may have had connecting silos in different departments before, have been placed under the same leadership.

The executive leadership team now meets each week for about four hours.

“There might be confusion just because it’s new and different, but that’s kind of true of everything we’re doing with renewal,” Moody said. “You can’t look for a different outcome and keep everything the way it is.”

The planning process involved thinking and conversations between Moody, the Board of Education and others in the district before the rollout of new titles. The goal was to make clear which superintendent was in charge of what.

Assistant Superintendent of Transformation Andrew Smith, for example, who was formerly the district’s chief strategy officer. He is still previewing school renewal presentations at board meetings, and on Monday he presented  the result of a survey the district gave to parents about the options and state guidance on re-entry into school facilities in the fall, which is dominating thought and planning for public education in the state.

Moody admitted there could be kinks the district has to work out with the organizational changes, but reception for the changes has been positive so far and they have merit for what the district is trying to accomplish with renewal.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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