By KEVIN HOWELL
BELOIT - The West Branch school board Thursday night set up the middle school administration for the coming school year.
The board re-assigned Matt Manley from middle school principal to staff development coordinator and Roger Kitzmiller from Beloit Elementary principal to middle school principal, and named middle school head teacher Aaron Walker as middle school assistant principal. Earlier this year, the board eliminated Beloit Elementary and moved all fifth-grade students to the middle school.
Manley, who has served as middle school principal the past 10 years, will accept the newly created, full-time one-year assignment made possible through federal funds to oversee a series of ambitious initiatives instituted by the state in areas of curriculum and instruction, technology, testing and teacher evaluation, according to schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Weingart.
"I've been an administrator for over 20 years and I have never seen anything this ambitious," Weingart said in a written statement released at the board meeting in his absence. "It will require a great deal of in-service training for our teachers and administrators. We are looking at a total revamping of our state tests, the core standards that drive
what we teach and a whole new evaluation system that each district must create and have in place for the 2013-2014 school year.
"It is a massive undertaking and we needed someone to devote full time and energy into helping us make these changes. Mr. Manley has the experience and the skills to help our staff adjust to new learning goals and teaching techniques."
Kitzmiller played an instrumental role in the reconfiguration which left the district with K-4 elementary schools (Knox and Damascus) a 5-8 middle school and 9-12 high school beginning this fall. Walker has taught both elementary and middle school music in addition to serving as head teacher at the middle school the past two years.
Kevin Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org