Hillview Middle School principal Erik Burmeister will become the Menlo Park City School District's assistant superintendent next fall, if a proposal made by district Superintendent Maurice Ghysels on April 14 gets final school board approval. The position doesn't exist in the district, but has in the past.
Saying that the district has a lot of work ahead, including hiring the staff for the new Upper Laurel School, and several new programs, Superintendent Ghysels proposed to the board that the new assistant superintendent's job would include the strategic parts of the district's human resources job, including recruiting, evaluation, collective bargaining and personnel matters.
In addition, the assistant superintendent would also supervise the human resources manager, the director of curriculum and instruction, and the director of student assessment. Superintendent Ghysels said total compensation, including salary and benefits, for the position would be just under $215,000.
"My recommendation is that we appoint Erik Burmeister as assistant superintendent," Superintendent Ghysels said. "What I want to do is make sure that he's fulfilled in his career path," he said, "and simultaneously keep him."
While the item was not on the school board's April 14 agenda for a vote, board members were very supportive of the concept.
Board member Terry Thygesen said she is "enthusiastically in favor" of the promotion. "In this role, Erik will have even more impact in our district by leading curriculum and instruction efforts across all four of our schools," she said. "This is a great move."
"I don't need further convincing," said board member Joan Lambert. "I think it makes a lot of sense."
Mr. Burmeister, who came to Hillview from the Union Middle School in San Jose in August 2012, said that while he will miss working at Hillview he wants the new job.
Working at Hillview, he said, "is the best job I've ever had." One reason he is willing to leave, he said, is because Hillview is well organized to continue the work he began there. He will still be around to "make sure Hillview continues exactly in the direction in which it is already headed," he said. "We have put the infrastructure in place" to keep the school going forward."
The school board plans to vote April 27 on Mr. Burmeister's appointment and new job description so the district can formally begin the search for his replacement, Superintendent Ghysels said. In addition, the district will be hiring a new human resources manager as current manager Kathryn Christopherson will be leaving the district to attend law school, it was announced at the board meeting. The job description for the position will change, he said.
Superintendent Ghysels said he hopes to have a candidate for the Hillview principal post ready for board approval by early June.
"The process will start with input sessions with parents, teachers and staff, and the posting of the position; qualified candidates will then interview with a committee comprised of members of the Hillview community before I make the final selection for board approval," Superintendent Ghysels said in an email sent to district parents on April 15.
The proposal was part of a study session on staffing for the 2015-2016 school year.
Other changes recommended by Superintendent Ghysels include a $10,000 increase in total compensation for the district's director of curriculum and instruction; a little over $9,000 increase for the director of student assessment; a decrease of $15,660 in the total compensation for the human resource manager; and the addition of a half time instructional technology coach for teachers at each elementary school, with total compensation of $180,000. The changes, including the new assistant superintendent add up to close to $398,000.