It's official: Burmeister will be new assistant superintendent

Menlo Park district school board casts unanimous vote

The governing board of the Menlo Park City School District made it official when it met on April 27: Erik Burmeister, currently the principal at Hillview Middle School, will become the district's new assistant superintendent when the current school year ends.

The district has begun searching for a new Hillview principal and hopes to bring a candidate to the board for approval at its June 9 meeting.

Erik Burmeister (Photo: Menlo Park City School District.)
According to the three-page job description approved by the board, the assistant superintendent will be "responsible for the overall quality of teaching, learning, and assessment." Mr. Burmeister will take on human resources activities, including being in charge of employee recruitment and selection.

He will fill in for the superintendent as needed, as he did recently when Superintendent Maurice Ghysels was out on sick leave.

Mr. Burmeister said he sees the job as helping to manage all the changes currently taking place in education, including what students are learning, how learning is measured, and the materials and technology used for teaching. Part of his job will be to make "sure we don't get hung up on ... the sheer volume of tasks that we have to accomplish" over the next several years, he said.

The school board's vote was unanimous.

The district will hold two community meetings in the Hillview Performing Arts Center to get input on hiring a new Hillview principal. Sessions will he held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30; and from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 5.

Board members said the additional administrative support Mr. Burmeister will provide is necessary to help carry out many of the policies the board and administration have recently adopted, including allowing principals to make more decisions for their own schools.

Board president Maria Hilton said hiring Mr. Burmeister as assistant superintendent should make "the difference between being busy and productive."

Mr. Burmeister agreed. "The biggest obstacle to innovation is the urgent replacing the important," he said.

Candidates will have until May 19 to apply for the Hillview principal job, Superintendent Ghysels said.

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