Monday, May 30 , 2016, 4:16 pm | Mostly Cloudy 64º

Lompoc School District Shuffles Administrator Positions

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

Ten Lompoc school administrators have been reassigned to new positions for the 2014-15 school year, and they will decide by June 30 if they’re happy with the reorganization.

The changes follow the pink slips, or “reassignment letters,” sent out to 30 principals, assistant principals and directors in the Lompoc Unified School District in March in order to put the best certificated administrators in the right jobs, according to Trevor McDonald, who started his tenure as superintendent of Lompoc schools last fall.

McDonald presented his recommendations to the board of education last week, at which time they were unanimously approved, along with a one-time superintendent raise.

The letters were not related to financials, McDonald said, but were part of a district push to innovate and improve the performance of 9,800 students in K-12, with leadership at each of its 15 elementary, middle and high schools playing a key role in that success.

Reassignment letters could move an administrator into another position, a different school or even back into the classroom as a teacher.

Of the 10 changes, two were considered demotions, the superintendent said, although most fell under promotions.

“We really feel we’re putting people in the best positions possible,” McDonald said.

The director of categorical programs was reassigned to become Vandenberg Middle School principal, and another district administrator in charge of English Language Learners has been reassigned to Hapgood Elementary as principal supervising the traditional track of the lower-performing school.

Cabrillo High School Principal Lore Desmond was promoted to administrator on special assignment, filling part of the ELL coordinator void. Los Berros Elementary Principal Leslie Wagonseller was promoted to director of information and education services, a new position.

Other schools with new leading administrators include Cabrillo High School, Fillmore Elementary (due to retirement) and Los Berros Elementary, and new vice principals were hired at Lompoc and Cabrillo high schools.

A director of categorical programs was also promoted from within, and some vice principal positions still need to be filled.

“I was able to do (the reorganization) because we noticed everybody appropriately,” McDonald said. “They could always say, ‘No thank you,’ but I don’t anticipate that.

“We basically just shuffled people around. Two employees in the district office were moved. They’re still an administrator, there’s just different duties.”

Steve Straight, vice president of Lompoc’s school board, said the changes were necessary because of the challenges Common Core modifications bring.

Straight said the board also approved a one-time 7 percent raise for the superintendent because both classified and certificated staff received salary increases in January, while McDonald did not. His contract language was altered closer to what the three assistant superintendents have, meaning the district will begin paying full medical benefits for McDonald in 2014-15.

“It seemed only fair that he should get what they got,” Straight said.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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