Changes bring 'hectic time' for city schools

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Petett to serve as director of district-wide services

By Calen McKinney

When heading back to class in August, Campbellsville Middle School students will have a new principal.

David Petett, who has served as CMS principal since July 2010, is now director of district-wide services for the Campbellsville School System.

Campbellsville Superintendent Mike Deaton said the change will allow Petett the opportunity to impact the entire district, not just CMS students.

The director of district-wide services position was created during last month's regular Campbellsville Board of Education meeting.

During the meeting, Deaton said the person hired for the position will oversee federal programs and their implementation. The director will also oversee school improvement plans and subsequent implementation of those plans.

The director will also be responsible for professional development, extended school services to help students having difficulty, a new principal evaluation tool, public relations and the gifted and talented program and will be responsible for the annual school report card.

Petett will work on a 230-day contract and receive an $8,996 stipend in addition to the base pay for the position. The pay depends on experience and rank.

With Petett in his new position, Deaton said, that means there is an open job at CMS. Applications are being accepted, he said, through June 23.

"The CMS [Site-Based Decision Making Council] is collecting input from its staff and parents to determine the criteria they want from their next principal."

The SBDM group will meet today at 5:30 p.m. for those interested to give their opinions on what qualities the next principal should have.

Deaton said the hope is to have a new principal by July 1. He said the district has already received several applications for the position.

According to the district's website, the CMS principal position was posted May 23.

The posting states that applicants must have a valid Kentucky teaching certificate and school administration certification. Experience with overseeing middle school grade students is preferred.

Deaton said there are a few other positions open in the district and SBDM members are working to fill those.

He said there should be more information to report at the Board's regular meeting next Monday at 6 p.m. at the Board of Education office. That meeting is open to the public.

According to the district's website, open positions in the district are for boys and girls tennis coaches, a food services employee and an eighth-grade language arts teacher.

According to Chris Kidwell, the district's finance director, the CMS principal position salary varies based on experience and rank. The position is a 240-day contract with a $10,745 stipend.

Kidwell said the salary could range between $60,000 to $75,000 or more, depending on education and years of experience.

Petett became CMS principal in July 2010 after Kidwell, who was principal at CMS, became finance director. The former director, Gayle Newton, had retired.

Petett was principal at Campbellsville Elementary School at the time. Ricky Hunt was chosen to replace Petett.

In an emailed response received Friday evening, Petett wrote, "The opportunity of director of district wide services presented itself and I felt it was a great opportunity for me. I have just completed my fifth year as principal and felt like the timing was right to make a change and take on a new role within our district.

"I have truly enjoyed the past five years and cherish the relationships I have developed with my students and staff. I have been able to be a part of an amazing run in the Campbellsville Independent Schools and this new role will allow me to continue to create an atmosphere of success throughout the district.

"I will wear several different hats at the district level including overseeing public relations, gifted and talented, title I, ess, and professional development.

"I want to thank the students and staff that I have worked with over the past five years for believing in me and the schools that I have served as principal. It's a great day to be an Eagle and I look forward to serving in my new role with CISD."

School Reconfiguration on Schedule

Progress to reconfigure the district's school buildings is now in high gear, Deaton said.

" ... With rooms being physically moved into their new locations. The administrative offices have just been moved so that the principals and their assistants can begin working in their new 'homes' and also allowing everyone to get accustomed to the new environments for CES and CMS before the new school year begins."

Deaton said the move has created a very hectic time for the district.

" ... But our maintenance and custodial staffs are right on schedule to have the switches complete by the end of June. They are doing a [phenomenal] job, along with the technology staff, of making things as smooth as possible."

Once the move is complete, students in preschool through third grade, who currently attend school at a house beside the elementary school and the elementary school itself, will move to the current Campbellsville Middle School building.

Those in grades five through seven will attend school at the current elementary school. Fourth-graders currently attend school at CES and will remain there.

Eighth-graders will attend classes in the space between the current elementary and high school buildings. High school students will continue to attend class at the CHS building.

A couple of years from now, Deaton said earlier this year, fourth- and fifth-grade students will be moved to the current middle school, after renovations at the current elementary and middle schools are complete.

At that point, students in preschool through fifth grade will attend school at the current middle school and those in grades six through eight will attend at the current elementary school.

Deaton said the goal of the reconfiguration is to maximize facilities and staff members. He has said the move will cost the district less than $40,000, and will be paid with the district's general fund.