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Pine Tree ISD shakes up leadership

By Christina Lane
Jan. 16, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Pine Tree ISD is closing one assistant superintendent position while transitioning an administrator to new duties as a leadership coach, Superintendent T.J. Farler said Monday night.

K'Dawn O'Rear has moved from assistant superintendent of human resources to a leadership coach and assistant principal stationed at Pine Tree Elementary School, Farler said. The assistant superintendent position will be eliminated, she said.

Assistant Superintendent James Skeeler will take on a majority of the human resources duties while continuing to oversee student services. Farler said O'Rear's duties will also be spread to Assistant Superintendent Nate Carman, who oversees curriculum and instruction, as well as herself.

The transition was partially O'Rear's idea, Farler said. O'Rear was not at Pine Tree's school board meeting Monday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

In her new role as a leadership coach, O'Rear will mentor some of Pine Tree's principals. Melinda Tidwell is new to her role as the acting principal at Pine Tree Elementary School. She took over the position after Suzanne Mitchell retired earlier this year. In 2010, Becky Balboa became principal of Pine Tree Primary School and Kim Chatman was selected to lead Pine Tree's new ExCEL High School.

Farler said providing mentoring, support and coaching to newer principals will move the district forward and help everyone toward becoming "as successful as possible."

Pine Tree, like all other districts in the state, will face budget cuts in the second year of the biennium. Farler said as far as staffing is concerned, the district plans to evaluate every position.

She plans to close the assistant superintendent slot and consider hiring a director in the summer to assist with the duties from O'Rear's position.

At the school board meeting Monday night, trustees formally approved a contract with Gallagher Construction for construction services on the district's bond. The company will be responsible for securing bids and bringing trustees a guaranteed maximum price on projects, such as building Pine Tree's new athletic complex.

The school board also selected attorney Joe Canterbury to represent the district should it encounter any litigation.

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