New Albany News

Teaching and learning post now is two jobs

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The New Albany-Plain Local school board on April 28 divided the duties of the director of teaching and learning position into two jobs.

Neil Gupta, who was hired as the director of teaching and learning in May 2012, will share duties with Marcy Raymond, who was hired April 28 by the school board.

Gupta's title will change to director of assessment and programming, and Raymond will be the director of curriculum and innovation.

Superintendent April Domine said the positions are important to the district, calling this "a significant period in educational history" for curriculum and assessments.

Gupta said he and Raymond would work closely because curriculum and instruction are intertwined with assessments but, he said, the district's expansion has made it difficult for one person to do all parts of the job.

Gupta said his new job would include after-school programming.

He said he would take over the IMPACT program, which offers after-school recreational and educational opportunities to elementary students. The program was organized by Judy Ankerman, whose contract was suspended by the board April 28 "as a result of reorganization of administrative staff functions," according to the board's agenda.

Gupta said the Ohio Department of Education Straight A grant the district recently acquired would help expand the Robotics II program and create an MIT "fabrication laboratory," both of which could be used by more students if the programs are open after school.

"I think we'd like to broaden (the IMPACT) program to make it K-12," Gupta said.

Raymond, who is leaving her position as director of secondary schools and STEM programs in the Reynoldsburg school district, said she hopes to work on curriculum and instruction, "maximizing education opportunities for each child, maximizing their growth and enrichment."

She said she would use the assessment data collected by Gupta to determine "the most effective way of augmenting teaching strategies for development."

"I will focus more on how teachers teach and how the students receive the information and the opportunities available to them because of that," Raymond said.

Raymond currently works with the Ohio STEM Learning Network and founded the Metro School on Kenny Road in Columbus. The Metro School offers STEM instruction to high school students in central Ohio.

The school board on April 28 approved a two-year contract for Gupta's new position. He will earn $105,000 annually and the district pays $46,600 in benefits for him.

Gupta was earning a $109,650 annual salary.

The board also approved a 25-month contract for Raymond, who will earn $110,000 annually starting July 1. She will be paid a $423 per diem rate prior to July 1.

Her full benefits package has not been calculated, but State Teachers Retirement System, Medicare and workers' compensation contributions for her are approximately $32,350.

In other business April 28, the school board accepted 2-5 elementary assistant principal Steven Lesco's resignation.

Lesco said he accepted a principal's position with Eastgate Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash. He said the school has 450 students.

Andy Roeth, who was the elementary dean of students, will become the new assistant principal.

The school board on April 28 approved a two-year contract for Roeth to earn $83,000 annually. The district pays $29,029.46 in benefits for him.

District spokesman Patrick Gallaway said the district will post the elementary dean of students position and will advertise for a third elementary assistant principal.

Jennifer Denny is the elementary head of schools and principal of the 2-5 elementary building and Scott Emery is principal of the K-1 elementary building.

Denny had worked with two assistant principals: Lesco and Diana Smith.

"When this additional (principal's) position is filled, we will have three assistant elementary principals for our K-5 program. One of these individuals will assist in the K-1 program, working with K-1 principal Scott Emery, as well as assisting in the 2-5 program," Gallaway said in an email.

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