School board to offer David Ulrich superintendent’s post | CraigDailyPress.com

School board to offer David Ulrich superintendent’s post

School board also approves preliminary budget proposal

Michael Neary







— The Moffat County School District Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday night to give Board President Darrell Camilletti authority to enter into negotiations with David Ulrich for the superintendent's post, slated to start on July 1.

Ulrich is the deputy director of secondary education at North Kansas City Schools, in Missouri.

"He was very well-prepared," Camilletti said after the meeting. "He had done a lot of research on the community. He seemed to be extremely enthusiastic about the move and very well-qualified."

Camilletti said Ulrich also "addressed the fact that you can't sustain deficit spending."

Board Vice President JoBeth Tupa also commented on Ulrich's preparation.

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"He did a fair amount of research on our district," Tupa said. "He was very knowledgeable. He absolutely put himself into the community, and he was emphatic that he was ready to come here."

Morris Ververs is currently serving as an independent contractor for the district, in the role of interim superintendent, through June 30.

Ulrich and three other candidates visited the area earlier this week for a meet-and-greet with the public and a round of interviews. During the meet-and-greet session on Monday, Ulrich recounted some of his professional experience. Before accepting his current post, he explained, he served for six years as a high school principal, and he's also served as an assistant principal and as a teacher.

Camilletti announced Thursday that one of the candidates who visited, Tom Meyer, had withdrawn his application. The others were Timothy Bronk, superintendent for Laurel Public Schools, in Montana, and J.T. Stroder, the superintendent of Gardiner Public Schools, in Montana.

Board agrees to preliminary budget recommendation

A unanimous vote on a proposed budget preceded the decision regarding the superintendent.

The board agreed to a recommendation by Ververs for a general fund budget of $19,807,367 in the coming school year. The recommendation, according to the interim superintendent's report, continues the employment of instructional coaches, full-day kindergarten, current class size range — along with a number of other factors.

The final budget has not yet been adopted, and a public input session is planned for June, for a date still to be determined.

After the meeting, Ververs said one goal of the proposal was to balance the budget — something he noted the group did not ultimately do.

"The second thing we wanted to do was make sure we provided the youth of this community with a good education," he said.

Ververs developed the recommendation in collaboration with district administrators, including principals and program directors.

"We had to cut in places that were the least damaging to the kids," said Morris Ververs. "That really did drive our discussion."

• The proposal does not fund six full-time equivalencies among classified staff members — one per school. The estimated level of savings is $224,000.

• It also does not fund staff development "at the previous level," or "purchased services for professional development at the previous level." The estimated savings for those areas add up to $50,000.

• It decreases, by $128,000, "the amount traditionally budgeted for special education in the overall budget," while meeting federal Maintenance of Effort requirements.

• It also does not increase salaries, for the third straight year. It does "support a reduction of two contract days" for certified employees — a recommendation that came from the district's Interest Based Strategies team.

• It subtracts $113,000 from instructional directors by "merging the director of curriculum and the director of educator effectiveness."

Amy Ward, the current director of curriculum and assessment, has accepted the position of director of academic affairs for Salida School District R-32-J, to begin on July 1.

"It's very similar to my position now — it's curriculum and assessment," she said. "I'm very excited about it."

Zack Allen is the district's director of educator effectiveness.

• The budget recommendation slows the purchase of new desktop computers for computer labs and reduces the number of new grade levels slated to receive iPads. Next year, under the proposed plan, Advanced Placement students and four grade levels — rather than the earlier-proposed five — will have iPads. Currently, iPads are used in fifth grade, eighth grade and AP classes.

About 200 students are slated to take AP classes next year, compared to about 100 this year.

• The plan adds $250,000 for maintenance and transportation and $95,000 for the "modified tech lease" associated with desktop computers and iPads.

• The plan spends about $200,000 from the reserve fund.

During discussion, Board Secretary Charity Neal voiced concern about the reduction of classified staff members — reductions that include those who work with health. Neal noted that such staff members are in a position to forge "one-on-one relationships" with students.

"It's something that we'll continue to evaluate," Neal said after the meeting. "The entire budget is something we'll continue to evaluate, but this gives us somewhere to start."

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.