Future superintendent Michael Sawyers wants to restore the New Albany-Plain Local School District's curriculum department as part of his administration-reorganization plan.

Future superintendent Michael Sawyers wants to restore the New Albany-Plain Local School District's curriculum department as part of his administration-reorganization plan.

Sawyers said he would abolish his current role of chief of operations and strategic development, distributing the work among himself, treasurer Becky Jenkins, the assistant superintendent and others.

Marilyn Troyer, chief of innovation, improvement and human capital, will transition to assistant superintendent, said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway. Troyer will retain the responsibilities of her current role, which will not be filled, he said.

Sawyers said he plans to search for candidates to fill two curriculum roles: the director of elementary education, responsible for kindergarten through grade five; and the director of secondary education, responsible for grades six through 12.

With all that's required to support district curriculum and state assessments, the work "can't be done by one person," he said.

The two positions would support each other but split the grades in a way that will make the work manageable, he said.

District officials eliminated a director and coordinator in the curriculum department as part of cuts made in connection with the 2014 levy failure, Sawyers said. Voters rejected a 6.9-mill operating levy and a 2-mill permanent-improvements levy. Both would have been permanent.

Those positions were eliminated last June, Sawyers said. Since then, the district has contracted with the Educational Service Center for curriculum services.

Sawyers said he anticipates a six- to eight-week hiring process for the candidates, though he said he's not going to rush.

"I have to know I have the right person," he said.

The positions will have salaries of $100,000 to $115,000, he said.

Entry plan

As part of his preparation for his new role, Sawyers drafted an entry plan, which he said responds to the statement of purpose that board members agreed to prior to beginning the superintendent hiring process.

That statement said the plan was "to create a culture of accountability that achieves the best academic and developmental outcomes for each student."

Sawyers said he also wrote the plan using the responses from the leadership profile report conducted by executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates as part of its superintendent-search process.

From both the statement of purpose and survey results, he included in his plan five areas, including governance, organizational capacity and alignment, student achievement, communications and engagement, and finance and operations, Sawyers said.

Among the goals he outlined for the first 30 days after his hiring are meet-and-greet sessions and analyzing student enrollment by grade level. Between May and July, the plan outlines a goal of creating a superintendent transition advisory board.

Sawyers said he wrote the plan in the spirit of continuous improvement, to identify specific areas to increase the district's culture of accountability and academic achievement. Students come first for him, and the community has high expectations, he said.

"I don't want to rest on our laurels," he said. "We have more to do."

Board President Laura Kohler said Sawyers' plan is helpful in reminding her of exactly what needs to be accomplished to generate better academic and developmental outcomes for students.

"While people tend to think of Michael as an operations guy, the level of knowledge he showed in the academic section of his plan demonstrates his level of understanding about the academic side of district management," she said.

Board member Debbie Kalinosky said one of the reasons she was so supportive of Sawyers for the superintendent position was because he could hit the ground running.

"I think the plan really demonstrates his firsthand experience in the district," she said.