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New superintendent reshuffles CCSD administrative hierarchy

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Steve Marcus

Pat Skorkowsky, Clark County School District superintendent, responds to a question during an editorial board meeting at the Las Vegas Sun offices in Henderson June 11, 2013.

Updated Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 | 11:23 a.m.

Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky is reorganizing his administrative staff.

He announced the reorganization today in a workshop with the CCSD Board of Trustees.

Under the new scheme, Skorkowsky will have five deputies instead of a single deputy superintendent. The five cabinet-level officers, all of whom already are with the district, will likely get raises, but Skorkowsky maintains the reorganization will be "cost neutral" because of retirements and resignations.

The new organization chart is flatter, with some positions eliminated and others “realigned,” Skorkowsky said. The reorganization will allow the five cabinet-level members to work closely together to help boost student achievement, he added.

The new officers are:

• Mike Barton, associate superintendent, instruction services, will be the chief student achievement officer;

• Staci Vesneske, the district’s chief human relations officer, will be chief human capital officer;

• Andre Denson, associate superintendent of the academic services division, will be the chief educational opportunity officer;

• Jhone Ebert, chief technology officer, will be chief innovation and productivity officer;

• Kim Wooden, student services officer, will be deputy superintendent of educational and operational excellence.

Barton will be in charge of increasing student test scores and graduation rates. The district's 16 academic managers overseeing the district's 13 school zones, the turnaround schools, "Zoom" schools for English language-learners "Prime Six" schools in West Las Vegas and the career and technical academies will report to Barton.

Vesneske will be in charge of developing the district's teachers and principal talent. Her focus will be on hiring the best quality teachers, offering good professional development and encouraging more diversity in new teacher hires.

Denson will be in charge of trying to ensure equity between different student groups by addressing the "achievement gap" between black and Hispanic students and white and Asian-American students. He will also work on reducing the disproportionate number of suspensions and expulsions reported among black students.

Ebert will be in charge of cultivating a "culture of innovation" within the school district, whether that is technology, academics or operations. She will also be responsible for seeking outside funding for these innovations that would help the district's operations and students' academic results.

Wooden will be in charge of ensuring all departments are working efficiently and are accountable. She will monitor what the returns are for every dollar spent on various programs and services at schools.

Notably, three of the five cabinet-level officers were nominated in March as candidates for the interim superintendent position. Ebert and Denson accepted the nomination and were in the running for interim. Barton was nominated, but declined to seek the post.

Some positions were eliminated as a result of the reorganization, such as Wooden's former position of student services officer. The School District did not release salary information for Skorkowsky's new cabinet members on Wednesday.

There were 17 people reporting directly to former superintendent Dwight Jones. Through his reorganization, Skorkowsky has reduced the number of people reporting directly to him to nine people. In addition to the five cabinet members, the following people will report to the superintendent: Chief Financial Officer Jeff Weiler, associate superintendent of government affairs Joyce Haldeman, associate superintendent of facilities Paul Gerner, Chief of Staff Kirsten Searer and general counsel Carlos McDade.

School Board members said they were pleased with Skorkowsky's reorganization plan. The board will discuss Skorkowsky's vision and plans for the district at a board retreat meeting on Friday.

"I'm very impressed with this work," School Board President Carolyn Edwards said. "I'm looking forward to the discussion on Friday."

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