CHESTER – The school board granted new superintendent Darrell Lockwood the authority to hire professional and support staff in July and August without its prior approval.
The school board will review the hires after the fact.
School board chair Royal Richardson said at the July 9 meeting that as he understood the board’s tradition, former interim superintendent Jim Gaylord would present potential hires but not offer them a position before school board review. Richardson conceded that he wasn’t sure about that, and it may have been during the summer that the hires were made and reviewed post-hire.
Lockwood said school districts vary in how they handle summer hires, but he was used to hiring during the summer months without school board approval. He noted that Chester Academy had a couple of math and science positions open and with how sought after those teachers are, he wanted the ability to make prompt offers, pending background checks and similar review.
Salaries would not require specific board approval, Lockwood explained, because all would fall into the district’s pay matrix, already approved by the board.
Richardson made a motion to allow the new superintendent to hire staff prior to school board approval, and received unanimous support.
“We may have been doing it this way all along and I just didn’t know it,” said Richardson.
School board member Mike Romick said he thought the superintendent already had such authority.
Lockwood said both he and the board had traditional ways of handling their roles and it would take some getting used to each other as the relationship progressed.