2006-12-28 / News

Year in Review

Major changes in school administration

Beginning in January, the School Committee began talks to change the school’s administrative structure to cut costs in light of declining enrollment.

At the time, Superintendent Katherine Sipala supported the idea of a full-time principal at the Lawn Avenue School, knowing that it might reduce the role of the superintendent to part time. She said that her dual role as both head of schools and principal at Lawn Avenue did not allow her “to focus on instructional leadership, teacher evaluation . . . and program implementation” because her focus was on management of the district.

In June, Sipala announced her resignation as superintendent of the Jamestown district to take the comparable position in the town of Narragansett, which has about 1,600 students.

At its June 15 meeting, the school board decided on a new administrative structure that would carry the district into the post-Sipala future. The board decided to hire a part-time superintendent and have both a principal and an assistant principal to run both schools.

Melrose Avenue principal Kathy Almanzor was tapped to take over as principal of both schools. Mike Franco was named assistant principal in July.

On Aug. 3, the School Committee named Dr. Robert Power to the job of part-time superintendent. Power retired in 2005 as assistant superintendent for the city of Newport. He was hired to work 90 days per year at a per diem rate of $500 with no benefits. His salary is less than half of what the town paid a full-time superintendent.

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