Brookville Area Realigns Administration, Talks Transparency

Brookville Area High SchoolBROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – In an effort to “tap into the strengths of our current administrative staff,” the Brookville Area School District is realigning the roles of its four principals.

The district will move away from the traditional model of a principal and assistant principal at the high school level and at the elementary school level, a move proposed by District Superintendent Robin Fillman.

“We’re trying to create job descriptions that match their areas of expertise,” Fillman told

Following nearly half an hour of discussion and debate on the matter, the Brookville Area School Board July 20 approved making changes to the job descriptions for the four principals, allowing the realignment to move forward.

The move gives Fillman the ability to realign the current administrative staff into the roles as she sees fit.

The district will now have four principals in the following roles (the links lead to full job descriptions): K-12 Principal of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; K-12 Assistant Principal of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; K-12 Principal of Student Services; and K-12 Assistant Principal of Student Services.

The measure passed by a six to three vote. Voting in favor were board members Gina Santaniello, Carol Schindler, Mike Smith, Kerith Strano Taylor, Marjorie McKnight, and Steve Neil. Voting against were board members Frank Bartley, Roberta Ganoe, and Fred Park.

Fillman said she understands it wasn’t an easy decision for the board to make.

“It took a while for the board to make that decision tonight,” she said.

This was the second action the board took on the matter, previously voting down a motion by Bartley to postpone the move for a period of one year.

Smith said the current alignment of administrators isn’t working and asked his fellow board members to get behind Fillman’s plans.

“We hired her and ask that she think outside the box, and the same thing just isn’t working. We need to do something different,” Smith said.

Bartley said he had three reasons for disagreeing with the move: The pending retirement of Director of Education Deanna Sintobin; the need to hire a new assistant principal who would then come into a newly defined role; and the possibility other personnel could leave the district.

“If a key person leaves, and no one knows that at this point, then we’ve got three brand new staff members on top of this,” Bartley said.

Public Transparency

The issue appears to have divided not only the board but members of the public who spoke before the meeting, with one calling on the board to be more transparent with the public.

“The transparency here is as thick as the London fog,” she said.

Park said he is concerned about the lack of transparency on the board’s part.

“We have not done a good job with that, and certainly we hope to do better next time,” Park said. “We should have made this decision two to three months ago, so we’d have a proper transition. We need to do it in a way to bring everyone on board at the right time.”

Schindler said while the board had its own discussions, it only discussed job description changes with the public.

“It is a major overhaul,” she acknowledged.

McKnight said the board simply couldn’t discuss everything with the public right away.

“We could not present this to the public until we knew five members supported (Fillman’s) vision,” McKnight said.

Fillman acknowledged things went differently than she envisioned.

“My wish was that I would have started with the board, then spoke with the administrators and then communicated that to the community and the students, but it didn’t go that way. While the board was discussing this, some people in the community found out, but I couldn’t really communicate it to the community without board approval,” Fillman said.

The district now plans to make efforts to ensure the community understands the change, Fillman said.

“I will be going out to the community, we will be talking to the teachers, the students, and the community now that the district is moving forward with this,” Fillman said.

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