East Sac, South Central will not share superintendent
May 14, 2014
Kevin Fiene, who has been East Sac County superintendent for four years, announced in April his intention to resign and take a position with Interstate 35 schools.
To avoid any fear of a future consolidation, the South Central Calhoun school board has opted not to share its superintendent with the East Sac County Community School District.
South Central Calhoun will instead share superintendent Jeff Kruse with the Laurens-Marathon Community School District, located about 40 miles north of Rockwell City. The two districts are separated by parts of the East Sac County, Newell-Fonda and Pocahontas school districts.
Under current Iowa law, districts must be contiguous in order to share grades, often viewed as the first step toward a consolidation. They do not have to be contiguous to share administrative positions.
South Central Calhoun is one of the state's newest districts - the result of a consolidation between Southern Calhoun and Rockwell City-Lytton districts that will officially begin July 1.
"Since we just consolidated, we thought it would be better not to share with a contiguous district," said Kruse of the board's decision not to pursue an agreement with East Sac County schools. "There was concern people might think it was leading to whole-grade sharing, which is not the intent."
Kruse - who has been a superintendent for nearly 18 years and a shared superintendent for nearly a decade - will spend 60 percent of his time in the South Central Calhoun district and 40 percent of his time in the Laurens-Marathon district. By sharing a superintendent, both districts qualify for up to $50,000 per year in operational-sharing incentives from the state, available for up to five years.
The roughly 900-student South Central Calhoun district will also share two other positions with the roughly 300-student Laurens-Marathon district, said Kruse. The South Central Calhoun business manager and human relations director will each spend 20 percent of their time in the Laurens-Marathon district.
East Sac County has been working to fill its open superintendent position since Kevin Fiene announced his resignation in early April. Fiene will be taking a position as superintendent in the Interstate 35 district, located about 30 miles south of Des Moines, in order for he and his wife to be closer to their three adult children in West Des Moines and Centerville.
When South Central Calhoun opted to share with another district, the East Sac County board had three options to fill the position, said Fiene - continue to look for a sharing partner, advertise for a one-year interim superintendent or hire a search team to fill the position traditionally.
In a special meeting Monday afternoon, the board voted unanimously to hire an interim superintendent.
The job opening was posted on TeachIowa.gov Tuesday morning.
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