Deputy Super

Wood County Board of Education members will meet this evening to discuss, among other things, a plan by incoming superintendent John Flint that would not only reorganize the central office, but create a new position – another layer in the bureaucracy.

In addition to replacing the outgoing assistant superintendent of pupil and personnel services with a director of human resources, Flint would also like to create an entirely new position – deputy superintendent. The person he describes would have a reach that does not seem to exist in any single position at the moment.

“This position gives them a person who has the power to go into every director’s area and find out what is going on,” Flint said last month. He said creating such a new position would mean problems could be addressed in a timely fashion, and answers could be given more quickly.

In fact, Flint claimed that under his proposed new system, “what you have is a group of people who are involved and looking after each other based on a need, and the bow that ties this thing together is the deputy superintendent.”

Board members will be well within their rights this evening if they are under the impression Flint – the superintendent of schools – was supposed to be the bow that tied everything together. A great deal of his description of this new position sounds like the job for which he was hired.

Flint is to be credited for understanding the enormity of the task in front of him, and the need to find new approaches to old problems. But he must also understand adding a potentially sound-proof layer between himself and the needs of Wood County Schools might not be the best answer.

Of course, the matter of how to pay the salary of any new deputy superintendent complicates the discussion even further.

“If we get eyes on problems, we can solve them,” Flint said in May.

Wood County Board of Education members wanted Flint’s eyes on the problems they trust he can solve, and should think very carefully before adding more.