Leadership Shuffle Ends At School District

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Sue Myers District Administrator

Since the unexpected resignation of Payson schools superintendent Herb Weissenfels May 5, the district has been playing musical chairs --n all, job changes are in store for four administrators at four schools and the district office.

Following Weissenfels' resignation, the school board immediately selected Payson High School principal Sue Myers to replace him.

But because Weissenfels' contract does not expire until June 30, Myers will serve as district administrator, rather than superintendent, until that date. When Weissenfels' resignation is official, Myers will become superintendent and serve on an interim basis for one year.

Less than a week after Myers took over as district administrator, the school board accepted her recommendations to have Payson Elementary School Principal Roy Sandoval become principal at the high school and appoint PHS special education teacher Will Dunman the principal at PES.

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Roy Sandoval PHS Principal

At a May 23 board meeting, members again followed Myers' recommendation and named Payson Center for Success principal Monica Nitzsche the new principal at Rim Country Middle School. She will replace Frank Larby who resigned May 2 after serving seven years as head of the school.

The only district administrative positions that are not yet filled are Nitzsche's replacement at PCS and an additional curriculum coordinator. The board approved the new position at its May 23 meeting.

Bill Lawson has been serving as curriculum coordinator for the entire district but, according to Myers, the job responsibilities were overwhelming for one person.

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Monica Nitzsche RCMS Principal

Lawson will now become director of curriculum instruction and special programs and oversee grants, career education, No Child Left Behind mandates, the Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology and English Learner programs.

The new curriculum coordinator will be responsible for classroom instruction, teachers' professional development and student assessments in the five district schools.

Myers anticipates the new PCS principal will be selected at the June 6 board meeting but the curriculum coordinator position will probably not be filled until later this summer.

Myers agreed that the wholesale changes in the district have had administrators scrambling.

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Will Dunman PES Principal

"It's been a challenge, but it proves what a wealth of talent we have in the district," she said.

Sandoval, Dunman and Nitzsche say they are looking forward to the challenges of their new positions and agree the shifts that Myers recommended, and the board accepted, were in the best interest of the district.

"I'm excited for the opportunities I've been given," Dunman said. "PES has a really good staff and we'll learn from each other and keep on educating kids."

Sandoval, Nitzsche and Dunman assume their new jobs July 1.

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