Brookfield Board of Education has created a new administrative position but has not added another administrator.
Instead, Adam Lewis as director of teaching, learning and accountability will be taking on some of the duties of the assistant principal for the high school and middle school – the position that was abolished – with a big addition.
“Primarily, moving us in the right direction on the state report card is my main focus,” said Lewis, who is stepping away from high school principal to take on the new role.
The state report card grades schools on student test scores for the past year and over time; attendance; graduation rate; closing the gap in meeting the needs of vulnerable students; improvement among the youngest readers; and preparation for success. In the last report card, Brookfield scored Bs in progress and graduation rate, a C in gap closing, Ds in achievement and reading improvement and an F in preparation for success, with an overall grade of C.
Lewis said he will be “looking at our test scores, making sure that we have the appropriate resources, to put those in teachers’ hands, to work with the building principals to ensure that teachers are doing what they’re supposed to be doing to give our students the best instruction they can.”
He is taking on a role that building principals have done in the past.
“As a building principal, you wear a lot of different hats, and one of those hats is making sure you’re hitting your achievement marks,” Lewis said. “Things fall between the cracks sometimes, and I think this position allows us to streamline that process, get all three buildings going in the same direction. We’re all under the same roof, but sometimes we operate independently.”promo
“It helps the principals lead their buildings,” he said, “because I’m gonna be a huge resource for them as far as staying on top of them about making sure things are getting done, that they’re following through with everything. That’s no fault to any principal, but it’s easy to do as a building principal because you just … I don’t think people realize how many different things you do on a daily basis. It’s unbelievable.”
Middle School Principal Toby Gibson, who will become superintendent on Aug. 1, said having Lewis in his new role “takes one of those hats off of my head. Here’s a guy who’s strong in academics and professional development, and for him to take that on frees up time for me for facilities, community engagement and all the other meetings that I’ve been involved with.”
The position came about as a collaboration between the school board and the administration, Gibson said.
“The idea was presented, I think, by the board, but it’s also something that we have been talking about over the course of a year or so, at least, strong the last six months,” he said. “With all the academic initiatives the state keeps pushing at us, how best to utilize the staff we have and get some professional development help and resources.”
Lewis will take on the state attendance requirements that Kristen Foster, who has become the high school principal, had been doing as assistant principal, and will have a hand in student discipline.
“He’s gonna be hands on,” Gibson said. “He’s gonna be in the hallways, in the classrooms, helping out with observations and sharing data with teachers, which takes that off the principals, to allow them to connect with students and carry out the (positive behavior) initiative and culture of the buildings.”
For Lewis, who unsuccessfully applied for the Brookfield superintendent position awarded to Gibson, the new position gets him back to what he loves about education.
“I started in curriculum, then I was an assistant principal at Boardman, then I was head principal here, but my heart is in the curriculum,” he said. “I’ve wanted a job like this for a very long time. I’m very fortunate that it came about this way. I’m excited to get started, excited to work with Toby. I’m glad we’re able to keep everybody together, just in different capacities. I think Kristen is a great fit at the high school. When you start having high turnover with administrators, you’re almost setting yourself back a year because they have to put in their procedures. I don’t think that we’re gonna run into that so much. I just think we’re just gonna keep on moving forward.”
Lewis will be paid $80,160.