Ackerman announces retirement; district to restructure other leadership positions, personnel

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(May 4, 2012) Veteran Westerville City School District (WCSD) educator Barry Ackerman recently announced his retirement effective at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Ackerman’s retirement is the first of many changes that will reshape WCSD’s leadership team next year.

Ackerman, who has served as principal of Genoa Middle School since 2008, has been with WCSD since 1979 when he began his educational career as a science teacher. District officials will begin the process to identify Ackerman’s replacement immediately.

“The departure of a leader like Barry will leave a ripple effect throughout our organization and community,” said Superintendent Dr. Dan Good. “He is such a tremendous ambassador for children, for our schools, and for education that his absence will be felt in many aspects of the Westerville City Schools. We will miss him and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

According to Good, additional changes to the leadership team’s structure and individuals’ responsibilities are necessary due to reduced administrative staffing levels and the need to support re-imagined academic programs and services. The following changes will be in effect for the 2012-13 school year.

Kenny Lee has served as the Blendon Middle School assistant principal for the past two years as part of an administrative internship that is concluding. He will be leaving that position and the resulting vacancy will be filled by current Hawthorne Elementary School Principal Fred Tombaugh. The vacant Hawthorne principal position will be filled by Brett Gambill, who has been with the Westerville City Schools since 2001 and most recently served as the assistant principal of Huber Ridge Elementary School.

Dr. Aloma Gibbs, who most recently served as the assistant principal at both Wilder and Hawthorne elementary schools, will become the assistant principal at Huber Ridge Elementary School. The vacant assistant principal position at Wilder and Hawthorne elementary schools will be filled by Chris Doolittle, who has been a curriculum coordinator for the district since 1999.

With the closing of Central College and Longfellow elementary schools, Math/Science Magnet Program Principal Dr. Scott Ebbrecht will fill the vacant curriculum coordinator position for the district. A vacant Special Education coordinator position will be filled by Suzanne Kile. The position became vacant in January due to a resignation. Ms. Kile since then has temporarily filled the position, which serves Cherrington, Hawthorne and McVay elementaries, as well as Blendon Middle School.

Heritage Middle School Physical Education Teacher and Athletic Director Vicki Saunders will continue as Director of Athletics and Activities at Westerville North High School while former WNHS athletic director Jeff Will continues providing administrative support for special projects across the district. The physical education vacancy at Heritage will be filled according to Reduction In Force provisions within the Westerville Education Association’s negotiated agreement.

“These leadership reassignments will provide much needed support in specific areas as we implement re-imagined academic programs and begin several significant projects next year,” Good explained. “We’ve reduced our management staff by four full-time-equivalent positions, so restructuring the roles and responsibilities of our remaining administrative employees became a critical step in this process.”

Administrative reductions and restructuring is anticipated to save the district more than $300,000 next year.