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District may reshape staff

The ranks of Hillsborough schools' top administrators may be reorganized.

By MELANIE AVE, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 30, 2002

The ranks of Hillsborough schools' top administrators may be reorganized.

TAMPA -- Hillsborough superintendent Earl Lennard will recommend a reorganization of his top administrators to the School Board on Monday, three months after a state audit criticized the school district for being too top heavy.

Details of the plan will not be released until next week, but Lennard said the changes are in reaction to the July audit by the state Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability and the coming "controlled choice" student assignment plan, which will replace busing in 2004.

"One of my goals is to become as efficient as possible," he said.

As part of the reorganization, Lennard will name a person to oversee the implementation of the choice plan, the largest overhaul in the way students are assigned to schools since busing began in 1971. Currently the duties have been handled by a variety of administrators.

School Board members said Lennard is also considering eliminating one of two deputy superintendent positions through attrition and reassigning the responsibility of the other position.

The positions are now held by Jim Hamilton and Beth Shields, who is planning to retire.

Lennard would not confirm his recommendations, saying they remain preliminary. But he did say he hopes to take advantage of administrator retirements.

Board member Jack Lamb said the changes will be phased in this school year.

"I'm just anxious to get things going," Lamb said.

Board Chairwoman Doris Ross Reddick said she likes what she has seen, based on Lennard's proposal.

"You're always looking for a better way to do things," she said.

Glenn Barrington said Lennard has been working on reorganizing for several years.

"All I know is that it's going to save money," he said.

The School Board will meet at 10 a.m. Monday at the administration building, 901 E Kennedy Blvd. Members will discuss the choice plan and reorganization.

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