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Movers & Shakers

September 2006

Just who will have a job at Annapolis High School in Maryland is the big question. Superintendent Kevin Maxwell announced his plan to restructure the school by making all staff members—principals, teachers, custodians—reapply to keep their current positions. The policy, called “zero-basing,” is a dramatic and controversial step for turning around a failing school.

The school board for Las Cruces (NM) Public Schools unanimously voted to oust superintendent Sonia Diaz after only four months on the job. Diaz has vowed to pursue independent arbitration. A police investigation is also under way to look into personal papers allegedly missing from Diaz’s office.

During Tom Glenn’s nearly 20-year tenure as superintendent at Leander (TX) schools, he watched his district grow from 4,589 students to 24,251. Had he known he was going to see that kind of growth when he started, he would have thought, “Get me out of here,” Glenn told the Austin American-Statesman. And now he will. Glenn plans to retire at the end of the year.

Katy (TX) School Superintendent Leonard Merrell, who also ushered his district through a period of extensive growth, is retiring after 12 years in the post. The district will use a national search firm to find its next leader, who will be in charge of 6,200 employees and an annual budget of $435.2 million.

Wayne Doyle, superintendent of Hempfield Area (PA) School District, says he’s leaving because a new state law prevents him from doing his job. Act I, known as the Taxpayer Relief Act, prohibits school districts from raising taxes above an inflationary index without voter approval. Money from casino gambling should offset property taxes but won’t be seen for several years, says the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. “I think they sold their souls for casino gambling,” Doyle, who has 30 years of experience as a school chief, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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