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Thursday, May 5, 2016

GCSC begins search to fill Smith's, Sigworth's shoes

Saturday, October 13, 2012

With any school board meeting comes the monthly personnel report and the comings and goings of employees it entails. But rarely does that report leave quite the hole to fill of Wednesday's Greencastle School Board meeting.

The board accepted the retirements of veteran high school guidance counselor Bill Smith and technology coordinator Jeff Sigworth, both effective within a month.

Smith's retirement comes on the heels of the summer resignation of fellow former counselor Shannon Fritz, leaving the high school without significant experience in the guidance department.

Once Smith's retirement becomes final at the end of the day on Friday, Nov. 2, Jennifer Zigler, who was hired in August, will be the remaining counselor.

In Smith, GHS is losing a counselor who has been with the corporation for more than 18 years.

All told, Smith has more than 30 years of experience, both in education and as a counselor.

A couple of parents present at the meeting expressed their concerns about getting an experienced counselor into Smith's position. School board members agreed, but seemed generally positive about the prospects.

"I totally agree that those shoes will be hard to fill," Council President Mike Dean said.

Superintendent Dr. Lori Richmond told the Banner Graphic the search is already under way, with the guidance job posted on the corporation website.

Likewise, the search for a replacement for Sigworth has begun. The technology coordinator's retirement is officially on Thursday, Nov. 1, and the board is working within the window of the remainder of the year to find a permanent replacement.

Options for the technology department include hiring someone for Sigworth's position as well as hiring an outside firm to handle the school's technology needs.

"We're looking at all of our options," Richmond said.

One of those options is Five Star Technology, which has submitted a proposal to the corporation for its services.

Five Star, which is utilized by the other three corporations in Putnam County, serves as an outside company, but keeps fulltime personnel on site for the schools it services.

CEO Jim Benson and Director of K-12 Services Steve Ricketts told the board using an outside company can promote efficiency for the corporation. If more employees are needed for a major project, they can be called in from elsewhere at no extra charge to the school.

Additionally, any new training required for the technology personnel would be handled by Five Star, not the school.

Benson also emphasized that if the fit is right, any school technology employees would be transitioned to Five Star employees, thus no one has to lose their job.

The board did not make a permanent decision to go with Five Star, but will work with them temporarily during November and December, giving them time to choose a permanent solution.

"I want to make sure our students and staff are supported," Richmond said.

The board will revisit the issue in coming meetings, with plans to have a permanent solution in place by Jan. 1.

One void that was filled on Wednesday is that of financial manager. Formerly referred to as both chief financial officer and treasurer, the role will be filled by Jayme Barber.

Barber has served as human resources director since February and was previously the payroll clerk.

"I am very excited," Richmond said. "She is a phenomenal employee."

Barber will take over the position on Dec. 15. Until then, Pat Green will continue to serve as the interim financial manager, as she has since the July firing of Clay Slaughter.

The corporation has now posted the human resources job opening.

The board approved a number of other personnel items:

* Resignations: Robert Walls as media specialist, Lesley Neiner as alternative school noon aide, Diane Pierce as GHS secretary, Mike Phillips as Tzouanakis custodian.

* Transfer: Leslie Neiner from GMS part-time custodian to Tzouanakis full-time custodian.

* Hires: Heather Huber as Tzouanakis speech aide, Nash Firebaugh as lifeguard student worker, Tonya King as part-time GMS middle school custodian and alternative school noon aide, Gayle Hansen as Ridpath part-time high-ability instructor, Brenda Meyer as GHS instructional assistant.

* Maternity Leave for speech pathologist Lindsay Garner, effective Nov. 25-Jan. 6.

* Extra-curricular: Garry Anderson hired as GHS girls' and boys' track coach; Jana Boggess, transfer from freshman girls' basketball coach to seventh-grade girls' basketball coach; Stephanie Weathington hired as freshman girls' basketball coach; Ryan Gullett approved as volunteer seventh-grade basketball coach.

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