Florida Keys News
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
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District steps up hiring of new deans

Monroe County Superintendent of Schools Mark Porter recently asked for, and received, approval by the school board to hire three dean of students/emerging leader positions for district schools without assistant principals.

But what exactly is this position, and what does it entail?

"Under the direction of the principal, the dean of students serves as an instructional leader in the planning, coordination and administration of school activities and programs, including curriculum, instruction, assessment, student conduct and attendance, athletics and extracurricular programs, school plant operations, and the supervision and evaluation of assigned personnel," according to the district's general description found online. "The position is responsible for all issues relating to the well-being of the students during their attendance at the school."

The general description is a compendium of elements drawn from districts around the country, but developed in-house by Executive Director of Human Resources Ramon Dawkins according to the needs of the schools.

"You'll notice that we're only including deans in those schools that don't have assistant principals allocated to them," Porter said Tuesday. "One of the reasons we're doing this is that we need some backup leadership. We expect principals to be instructional leaders, which means they need to be out in classrooms as much as they can to support effective teaching. That's very difficult to do when you're the only person in the building who can deal with all the unexpected circumstances which can arise.

"As to the emerging leaders part of the job title, we need to be growing and developing our leaders for the future. This is one of the first steps in the process of developing future principals," Porter said.

The positions are being hired at the district's instructional masters pay grade, which has a range of between $46,708 to $67,182, plus benefits.

"We have three different benefit plans to choose from, so the cost of the benefits will vary," Ramon Dawkins said. "But very generally, the district pays 2.7 percent of the employee's salary worker's comp, 7.6 percent to FICA, which covers Social Security and Medicare, and 7.37 to the Florida Retirement Plan, for a total of 17.72 percent on top of salaries. Plus, the district's health insurance contribution for single employees is on average $9,558, and for a family, $10,659.40 annually. Those who don't elect for health insurance coverage, will also receive an additional $750 annually."

At the next school board meeting at 10 a.m. July 22 in Marathon, Porter plans to recommend the following dean of students/emerging leader hires to the board:

• Leslie Holmes, currently the program coordinator at Take Stock of Children Monroe County, will be tapped as the dean of students/emerging leader at Poinciana Elementary School.

• Kyle Shear, currently an employee of the Hillsborough County schools, will be recommended as the dean of students leader position at Gerald Adams Elementary School.

Porter also said he hoped to be able to make dean of student position recommendations for Plantation Key School and Stanley Switlik Elementary School at the July meeting.

tschmida@keysnews.com

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