YOU ASKED: Assistant superintendent keeps very busy

Published 10:01 am Saturday, April 2, 2011

You asked: With student enrollment being less than 2,000, does Franklin Public Schools need an assistant superintendent?

FRANKLIN—The assistant superintendent is a busy man, said Franklin Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michelle Bell.

In addition to handling personnel issues as head of the district’s human resources department, Dr. Walter Clemons is in charge of student services, board policy, food services, attendance and truancy, Belle said.

“With the number of employees in this division, someone is needed to handle human resources,” Belle said.

Clemons, who is paid more than $90,000 annually, also handles teacher licensing for the district, which will become even more important as Virginia looks at tying student achievement into teacher evaluations.

“No one new can walk into this role,” Belle said. “It has to be someone with some experience. I’m glad to have someone with expertise.”

She said regardless of the size of the district, the job still has to be done.

School Board Chairman Bill Scarboro said the board would continue to do what is best for the students of Franklin.

“Education is all encompassing, and it includes the teachers, administrators, and the staff to provide and effectively manage instructional programs, student transportation, school safety, buildings, utilities, extra-curricular activities, food services, custodial work, maintenance, accounting, and many others,” Scarboro said. “Our funding provided by local, state, federal, and private sources defines the budget. It is ultimately the board’s responsibility to decide the best way to provide quality education to our students within that budget.”

Clemons has been with the district for 12 years, including five years as principal of Franklin High School. Belle said he knows the community and knows the students.

Clemons was hired as assistant superintendent in 2005 to replace the outgoing head of human resources for the school system, but took on additional responsibilities as well.

“I came here to fill another full-time position, but with a wider scope and greater responsibility,” Clemons said.

He said it is important to look at the function of the position instead of just the position itself.

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