As we conclude a very successful school year, our planning for next year is well underway. This year, we had three retirements from our administrative team. We will miss those who are leaving and wish them the best. Internally, we are in a position to restructure our administrative positions and responsibilities while maximizing our team’s strengths.
Our administrative structure should mirror the needs and expectations of our students, parents and staff. Our goal is to provide the focus and attention to detail necessary to continue to move us forward. The central office realignment will provide clear areas of focus for the administrators and will align with their areas of expertise. It also provides clarity to principals, staff and parents about who is responsible for particular grade levels.
Jim Collins shares a concept in his book Good to Great that it is not only important to have the right people on the bus, but also to have them in the right seats.
“We have some very talented leaders in our district,” Scott Goggin, Westlake Superintendent said. “These changes will place people in the best position to thrive and allow us to utilize the strengths of our leaders in a way that best serves our students, parents and staff.”
Among the changes:
Kathi Maxwell will assume duties as Associate Superintendent of Instruction, with a focus on grades 7-12. Maxwell has been directing most of the educational services in the district for the past three years as Academic Services Director. With a teaching and administrative background in secondary education, she will focus on grades 7-12 and continue to monitor instruction throughout the district.
Alex Fleming will assume the position of Director of Academic Services for grades PK-6. Fleming’s teaching and administrative experiences have all been with the lower grade levels, including the roles of Bassett Elementary principal and, most recently, principal at Dover Intermediate School (DIS). Fleming will be responsible for working with elementary principals and staff to build a transition plan to align the elementary practices and curriculum of our four elementary buildings as they become one building in the 2019-2020 school year. He will also continue to provide direction and support for DIS.
Nick Miller will assume the role of DIS principal. Miller will provide consistency in leadership, having served as assistant principal the past two years. Miller is an emerging leader who has been with the district for 11 years as both a teacher and administrator. He has established relationships with students, parents and staff and he will continue to work with Fleming to provide direction for DIS.
Additional previously announced changes include Beth Dagostino moving into the role of Holly Lane Elementary principal, Amanda Musselman as principal at Lee Burneson Middle School (LBMS), and Paul Wilson leading Westlake High School as principal.
Dagostino’s combination of leadership and expertise in elementary instruction for all children will greatly benefit Holly Lane. Musselman’s entire career has been in the middle grades, with experience as an assistant and principal. Wilson’s familiarity with the high school – he was previously an assistant principal – and his ability to provide positive leadership and work with others make him an ideal fit for the high school.
The search for assistant principals at LBMS and DIS will begin immediately and will include input from a team of administrators, staff and parents.
“These changes will help the district establish clear, focused roles for our team and direct lines of communication,” Goggin said. “People are being placed in areas where they can really excel. This sets us up structurally to be able to build upon an already strong school district.”