Though Fred Hayes hasn’t had his first day of school, the district is already seeing a difference.

Hayes, the new superintendent of Athens ISD who officially starts work Monday, reassigned several faculty members to new positions earlier this week. The changes were revealed at Thursday’s meeting of the AISD school board.

Director of Human Resources Mike Green was appointed assistant superintendent. In addition to his new position, however, he will maintain his duties as personnel director.

Green will begin in his new position Nov. 6.

“I think they made the decision about a week ago,” Green said. “I think I can serve the district in this capacity.”

Some campus administrators will also be working under new job titles beginning Monday. Athens Middle School Principal Annette Faulk, Annex Principal Diana Vaughn and R.C. Fisher Assistant Principal Mark Castleberry have been reassigned to other areas in the district.

Of the three, Vaughn and Castleberry will continue to work as campus administrators. Vaughn will be the new principal of Athens Middle School, while Castleberry will serve as assistant principal of the Annex. Athens High School Principal Tod Nix will be acting as the head administrator of the Annex.

“Mrs. Vaughn is a qualified and seasoned administrator,” Hayes said. “I know she’ll be very effective in her new position. And Mr. Castleberry has had experience working with high school students. He brings some good stuff to that job.”

Faulk was reassigned to the position of Human Resources coordinator, working directly beneath Green. Hayes said her duties will include recruiting new personnel and ensuring the district staff remains eligible for certification from the Texas Education Agency.

“We’re trying to find the best place for (Faulk’s) effectiveness,” he said. “She’s a very intelligent person who’s committed to the district.”

The principal reshuffling has left an assistant principal job opening at R.C. Fisher. Hayes said the assistant principal position at R.C. Fisher will be open to applicants from inside and outside the district.

“We’ll post the position for 10 days,” he said. “I’d say after Thanksgiving is when they will start.”

AISD Director of Curriculum Jackie Cunningham and Director of Special Programs Karen McAtee will also see a change in their duties. Cunningham will be the Director of Elementary Education, while McAtee will be the Director of Secondary Education. Hayes said their new positions will require them to deal more directly with campus faculty.

Hayes said he first began discussing the district reorganizations with the AISD school board on Monday. He began informing the campuses of the intended changes the following day.

“The Athens Middle School staff was contacted Tuesday afternoon,” Hayes said. “The Annex was contacted that same day.” He met with the AMS faculty a second time Thursday afternoon.

Early in Thursday’s meeting, local residents Todd Hutson, Debbie Reeves, Trish McGuffey and Carter Torres expressed their reservations with the reorganizations.

“Based on the agenda, it does appear the board is going to rule on (the personnel reassignments),” Hutson said. “I would like to ask, why at this time? We have a brand new superintendent starting Monday. I think we should wait until (he gets better-situated).” Hutson urged the board to consider the legal and taxpayer implications in the reassignments. He further requested that any board members with personal feelings about the reorganization refrain from ruling in the process.

The rest of the speakers expressed displeasure over Faulk’s reassignment.

“As you can see, we have people who’ve grown concerned and unhappy about a change that was announced last week,” Reeves said. “I think this week, there may have been actions and judgments made a little too quickly.”

“We feel the person who was rearranged was the most dedicated employee the district has,” McGuffey said. “She dedicated herself to the district and to making whatever campus she was on the best.

“I’d like for the board to consider that and not make rash judgments.”

“I’ve had a lot of contact with the principal of the middle school,” Torres said. “If a principal could get five stars, that principal would get five stars in my book.

“That principal makes the best decisions I’ve seen.”

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e-mail dgordon@athensreview.com

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