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North Marion School District shuffles administrator duties

Starting next year, North Marion School District is restructuring its administrative team, aiming to improve the flow of duties but not to disrupt learning.by: LINDSAY KEEFER - (From left) Desiree Kiesel, Caan Zarosinski and Barb Keeton will have their admin roles at North Marion School District change again this summer: Kiesel will be director of secondary teaching and learning, Keeton will be assistant director of teaching and learning and Zarosinski will return to his former position as student advocate/counselor. Keeton was interim middle school principal, so that position will be filled by mid-April.

North Marion High and Middle Schools will each have their own principal who is in charge of discipline and day-to-day operations. At the high school, that will be Principal De Ann Jenness. At the middle school, it’s undetermined who will fill that role. Next year, interim principal Barb Keeton will fill a newly created position as assistant director of teaching and learning under Desiree Kiesel, who will move from vice principal of teaching and learning to director of teaching and learning. Andy Jones will serve as athletic director for grades 6-12. And Caan Zarosinski, who has filled in as vice principal at the middle school this year, will go back to being a student advocate/counselor this summer.

The changes are a continuation of last summer’s shift, after Laurie Cooper resigned from being North Marion Middle School principal to become director of teaching and proficiency learning in the Woodburn School District.

“We always intended to post that position since Laurie left, so we had an interim in Barb,” said Superintendent Boyd Keyser. “We are very proud of the work she’s done, but she really has a strong background in curriculum and instruction. I told her she’s welcome to apply for the middle school principal position, and she said she can serve best as an assistant director.”

The posting for a new middle school principal will be up by the end of the month, with a candidate selected by mid-April, if all goes well, Keyser said.

While this change won’t really affect students, the supervisory structure for teachers will be dependent on specific needs. For example, if a high school teacher has a curriculum issue, they would report to Kiesel; if the issue has to do with the daily operations of school, Jenness would be the contact.

“The value of it here is we don’t have a sufficient amount of support for all the things that are happening,” Keyser said. “The advantage of having those teaching and learning positions is they’re embedded in the buildings, not off at an office. That helps with requirements for evaluations and other things.”

At the moment, Keyser, who serves as curriculum director in addition to superintendent, is handling K-5 teaching and learning, but he said he hopes to have a similar setup at that level too.

“We have a common vision, but there are different school policies, so we’re thinking about how to operationalize a similar system at those other schools,” Keyser said.

The new structuring will cost the district $17,266, with the elimination of a middle school vice principal making $74,084 and the addition of a director of teaching and learning making $91,350. It’s a pay raise for Kiesel, whose former pay of $80,747 will be given to Keeton as assistant director.

“My hope is it’s a seamless team,” Keyser said. “It looks like it’s a big change, but really it’s not a big change.”



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