Saturday, April 21, 2001

Second principal post to be added at middle school

By Lori Hayes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ALEXANDRIA — The largest middle school in Northern Kentucky is likely to get a second principal's post.

        The Campbell County school board is expected to approve the plan Monday night.

        The two administrators would work together to run the school as co-principals — an unusual approach to a common complaint that principals don't have time to be instructional leaders and building managers.

        Campbell County Middle School is proposing a new associate principal position to take over the management and day-to-day operations at the school so the head principal could focus on instruction and curriculum.

        “It's real difficult for one person to oversee all the teachers and staff and support the students, as well as take care of all the physical things that come up in the building,” said Patsy Hamilton, a seventh-grade math teacher and member of the school council.

        Under the proposal, the principal would supervise teachers, instruction and programs aimed at helping students achieve. The associate principal would oversee building operations and facilities maintenance. The school would also keep its two assistant principals, who focus on discipline and attendance and who would report to the principal and associate principal.

        The increasing responsibilities of the principal's job is a common concern among school administrators, particularly in middle schools, which often lag behind elementary and high schools in student performance.

        In 1997, the district merged its two middle schools into one 1,100-student school. The size of the school puts too many demands on Principal Joe Loechle, school officials said.

        Mr. Loechle was unavailable for comment Friday. However, he recommended the proposal to the school board earlier this month.

        “There are so many aspects of his job that his time can't be used efficiently,” Ms. Hamilton said. “He needs to get out of the office a little more and get to the teachers' team meetings.

        “We feel like he wasn't able to be visible enough to the students. The demands of the building management were taking up all his time.”


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