FAIRFIELD — Administrators in Fairfield-based School Administrative District 49 have mostly been quiet about changes that would cause some to lose or have to re-apply for their jobs, though one administrator said she supports the changes.

“I have nothing negative to say whatsoever,” SAD 49 Director of Technology Lori Faulkner said. “I like the new superintendent a lot and think he has some great visions and a great plan for the district. I’m happy about it.”

Faulkner’s job is one of several administrative positions changing under a restructuring proposed by Superintendent Reza Namin and approved by the school board.

In addition to Fairfield, the district includes the communities of Albion, Benton and Clinton.

Faulkner, the only one of 13 employees affected by the changes who agreed to talk about them, will get to keep her job and see a small raise, though others are not as lucky.

Under the plan, three administrative jobs will be eliminated, five others will be restructured and advertised for, and two new jobs will be added. Five additional employees, including Faulkner, will be given new job descriptions and titles. All the changes are scheduled to be in place by July 1.

The jobs that will be eliminated are principal of Lawrence High School, the principal of Lawrence Junior High School and the director of operations.

Lawrence High School Principal Mark Campbell, Lawrence Junior High School Principal Sean Boynton and Director of Operations Cheryl Brackett did not respond to phone calls or emails seeking comment this week.

The jobs that will be re-defined and advertised for are that of assistant principals at the high school, the junior high and Benton Elementary School; transportation supervisor; and director of special education.

Those administrators also did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment this week. The assistant principal jobs will each be replaced with a dean of students, a job Namin said will involve more focus on outreach and community connections as opposed to discipline and supervision.

“The difference is we need to find someone who has the ability to reach out to families, understand the social factors involved with students and have an in-depth understanding of the community,” he said. “It will require a lot of outreach and support, including working with the school psychologist, social workers and homes.”

Two new positions — a human resources specialist and a principal for grades 7 through 12 — also will be created.

Search committees will be formed and the community will have the chance to weigh in on the job descriptions and what is important before decisions are made on the new hires, Namin said.

In addition to the technology director’s job, changes also are being made to four positions in the district’s business office.

Abby Violette, the district’s business office assistant, declined to comment on the changes Monday. Her job is changing to that of “accounting coordinator.”

None of the administrative jobs are represented by a union, and Violette would not say how the people who hold them were made aware of the changes.

A phone message left for Finance Director Tara Thompson was not returned.

In the technology department, Faulkner said she received a copy of her new job description Tuesday and was still looking it over but did not see any major changes. A raise will bring her salary up to $84,500, which she said is on par with the pay for other district technology directors in the area.

“I completely support the superintendent,” Faulkner said. “I think he has some great ideas and I think we will make it through as a district. It’s just a matter of having to make some adjustments, learn new things and go from there.”

She said she has not discussed the changes with either affected principal, but added that it is not unusual for schools in Maine to have a single principal oversee both middle and high school students.

“If you look in our area and around the state, there’s been a lot of consolidation,” Faulkner said. “To me, putting the middle and high school principals together, that’s not an abnormal thing, especially where the buildings are connected. I don’t want to see any of them go — absolutely not — but I’m not sure what will happen.”

Namin, who started working for the district in September, has said all the changes are intended to improve performance of the school district. In addition, he is also aiming to move all sixth-grade students in the district to Lawrence Junior High in September.

The restructuring is estimated to generate about $113,000 in savings, which Namin said he intends to put toward the hiring of three additional elementary and junior high teachers.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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