School board will not fill vacated transportation director’s position

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By Mallory Bilger

The Spencer County Schools transportation director position will be vacant at the end of the month, but will not be filled to help curb spending not directly associated with student instruction.
The Spencer County Board of Education voted 3-2 at a recent meeting to eliminate the district’s transportation director position after current director Jack Senior retires at the end of this month. It was a decision made to cut costs, according to district leadership, but not all board members were in agreement about having other district employees absorb the duties that currently take a full-time employee to complete. Those duties include supervising all district transportation personnel, including bus drivers, and the facilitation of all essential training for transportation personnel and annual performance evaluations.
The proposal before the board included changing two job titles to accommodate the absorption of responsibilities that Senior currently handles. The approved titles included Director of Maintenance and Facilities and Director of Operations and Transportation.
Superintendent Chuck Adams confirmed via email following the meeting that the district’s current director of operations, Brett Beaverson, would be absorbing the transportation duties, while Jim Oliver, the district’s maintenance manager, would now be in charge of overseeing the district’s facilities in addition to maintenance management. Both Beaverson and Oliver work full time for the district.
Board members Jeanie Stevens, Janet Bonham and Debbie Herndon voted in favor of approving the altered job titles and descriptions, while members Sandy Clevenger and Ange McKinney voted against the motion.
Senior said in an earlier interview with The Spencer Magnet regarding his retirement that his duties often required that he work more than 40 hours a week and that he fielded phone calls 24 hours a day from drivers, parents and others.
Those issues caused Clevenger and McKinney to disagree with eliminating Senior’s position.
“I still have some concerns, just about the amount of work and being able to get it done in the same amount of time,” Clevenger said at the May board meeting. “It kind of comes across to me that . . . the head of maintenance job and the transportation job really weren’t full time.”
Adams said in an email that there would be a transition time while both Beaverson and Oliver were adjusting to their new duties.
“This was done to absorb Jack’s salary as another strategy of cutting costs not directly associated with instructing children,” Adams said.