Pallister Optimistic despite staff changes at HMS
USD 489 is undergoing a few personnel changes in the coming weeks. Hays Middle School Assistant Principal Shanna Dinkel will be moving to an administrative
role to oversee the district’s curriculum as well as help track professional development and instructional changes.
HMS principal Craig Pallister told Hays Post that Dinkel has been doing both jobs for one or two years already and has done an outstanding job, but between changes at HMS and the needs of the district, both roles need their own dedicated person.
The School Board unanimously voted to move Dinkel over to the administrative building at their meeting on Monday the August 5. Pallister says that it will be a couple weeks before she makes the switch.
“She will stay in both capacities until September 1. Then, she will move up to the administration building full time to oversee curriculum instruction and some other duties. The biggest challenge is going to be getting everyone up to speed quickly.”
He also added that it will cause a domino effect in the district. “Where we’re advertising for this one year Assistant Principal position, we will be pulling somebody out of the USD489 schools to take the role by September 1. As soon as we get someone hired for our assistant principal, we’ll need to fill that person’s teaching position, all within the next couple of weeks.”
Pallister is optimistic about filling both positions quickly. He pointed out that the district posted for teaching positions last spring, so there is already a pool of potential teachers that have expressed interest in moving / teaching in Hays.
He also added that his new assistant would need to become familiar with the new evaluation system for teachers and staff, as well as attend twice as many extra-curricular activities as the district just added ball games and events to 7th grade.
The tentative plan is to have the assistant principal position filled by August 19th to allow Shanna and the new assistant a week for on-the-job training and shadowing.
Pallister estimates there are 5 applicants applying for the assistant principal position. That number is based on the limited number of staff able to obtain or have their administrator certificate as well as those that have indicated they aren’t interested with the late timing.
“I really think moving Shanna into that curriculum position district-wide, even though the timing might not have been great, has been a need that has been there for the last couple of years, and she will be great.”