School Board Ponders Replacing Counselor

Aug. 28 agenda includes possible new hire at middle school

Rim Country Middle School

Rim Country Middle School Photo by Andy Towle. |

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After parents repeatedly asked the Payson School Board to reinstate a counselor position to Rim Country Middle School, the board will consider approving the idea at its Aug. 28 meeting.

The agenda also includes a continuing discussion of board goals and an update on the annual financial audit.

Parent Lynnette Brouwer and other supporters came to multiple school board meetings outraged that the district would summarily abolish a counselor position at the junior high school. Brouwer said during the constituent comments portion of the meetings that her daughter received help from past counselor Byron Quinlan, which enabled her daughter find success at the middle school.

The board had agreed to put the issue on the agenda, but Brouwer continued to press the issue. Behind the scenes, Superintendent Ron Hitchcock worked to address the issue. He met with the principal of the middle school and hammered out a position and funding sources.

Hitchcock said the board must now approve the concept.

“This is a formal step for Will (Dunman, RCMS principal) to come talk about the position, but it has to be a titled position and a plan has to be in place before the position is posted,” said Hitchcock.

If the board approves the position as a non-certified post, which would only require a bachelor’s degree, Hitchcock hopes to post it internally.

“We prefer internal candidates with the capacity to connect with the kids and staff and Payson policy,” said Hitchcock.

Two goals the board will also discuss include identifying and measuring student achievement.

To give the board the best perspective, Hitchcock has asked students and former school board member and current teacher Kristi Ford to present their ideas about student achievement.

Hitchcock has also asked Director of Technology Joni de Szendeffy and Director of Facilities Todd Poer to offer their suggestions on goals.

de Szendeffy will discuss technology infrastructure and hardware required for teaching and Poer will give a facilities update.

Business Manager Kathie Manning will bring the board up to date on the annual audit of the district finances.

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