The Morrill Board of Education approved a contract with Barry Schaeffer to be the new superintendent of the Morrill Public Schools for the next two years at its meeting on January 17, following Schaeffer’s interview with the board on January 13.
The contract states that his employment with the Morrill Public Schools will begin on July 1, 2022 and expire on June 30, 2024, and his salary will be $130,000 per year.
Since being hired in January, Schaeffer has been doing his best to get to know the district and the community while finishing his tenure at Arthur County Schools, where he has been superintendent since 2013.
“I’m working in one district right now and transitioning to Morrill,” he said. “I can’t spend the time (right now) … although there has been good communication between me and the staff and the board and others at Morrill.”
Schaeffer said that once he is able to become more firmly entrenched in the Morrill community, he hopes to help Morrill Public Schools create a vision that aligns with his mission and leadership.
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“I think the most important thing is to develop a vision for the district and align the mission with the vision and our leadership with that vision as well,” he said. “…I see (a) school system that will build foundational skills for all students, so that when they leave Morrill, walk out Morrill’s door, they will have the foundational skills to be successful in whatever path they choose. ”
Finding that vision was part of the reason the school district hosted the recent community meeting. Board President Art Frerichs said the meeting was to help get the school district and community on the same page for themselves and Schaeffer.
“It’s something that will help you get to know the community,” Frerichs said. “The main thing is that the school wants to continue to engage the community as much as we can with the school and their thoughts and ideas about the school, making sure that it’s just a community effort with the school.”
Frerichs said he hoped the meeting would give school and community stakeholders an opportunity to share what the district is doing well and what it can be doing better.
“(We want) to come out of what the community itself might see as a vision for the school and things that they would like to see,” he said. “Is there anything we can do that we’re not doing and don’t know about? And whatever we can do to help the community get involved and also make Morrill a better place for students and whatever we can provide for them in the future.”
While Schaeffer was unable to attend the meeting due to other obligations, he said school board members and staff will fill in for him. He also said that despite not being at the meeting, he wants the community to know that he is fully engaged and that they can come to him with questions or concerns once he arrives at the office, which will officially be July 1.
“In the future, when I’m there and we have those kinds of meetings, I’ll be there and I’ll be available,” he said. “And I would like the community members to know that, hey, when you get there, (if) you want to stop by the office and say hi, and maybe offer some encouragement or maybe go through a concern or something that they may have to maybe it won’t come up in this meeting, please do. I would be delighted to hear and take the information into account and see what we can do with it.”
Ultimately, their goal is to make Morrill a great place for families and students to live.
“I want to bring a sense of unity and family to the district,” Schaeffer said. “Everyone who works there has the best interests of the students in mind. Our leadership team not only takes into account the interests of students, but also those of staff members, and makes sure that we can all work together to do our jobs to the best of our ability and help our children perform at their best. of their abilities. Not every child is going to be an outstanding student, but every child can be a successful student and can help determine their own success… I want them to understand that we care about them and want what is best for them. ”