USD 489 has hired for a new position. Tracy Kaiser began as Business Manager on October 14th. She was hired to replace Assistant Superintendent of Finance Richard Cain, who retired in August. Interim Superintendent Dean Katt told Hays Post that as the Business Manager, Kaiser will focus primarily on the school district’s finances. He added that as she’s able to, she will also begin adding duties and responsibilities in a human resources capacity.
Kaiser says that she plans on relying on multiple skill sets to help her in this position.
“I’ve worked for financial services companies. I’ve also done budgeting, cost control, those kinds of things. Most recently it has been human resources so I have a wide variety of background that’s all culminating into this one position which is great.”
She added that once she familiarizes herself with the district’s finances she will be able to analyze the numbers, look at costs, begin setting goals and suggest any necessary changes.
Katt said that as the Interim Superintendent he won’t completely step away from the district’s finances and budget. Instead, Kaiser will take over the day-to-day budget operation and management. When she is able to, she’ll also take over the human resources duties which are currently distributed to a number of staff.
Katt added that in his opinion, the district needs to move towards a hierarchy of responsibilities which would allow existing personnel to, based on their strengths, focus on a few specific responsibilities rather than a laundry-list of duties that are shared among multiple staff. The change would only centralize regular duties, not eliminate the involvement of the Superintendent or other higher-level staff.
“One of the things that I see that we’ve been lacking, just in the month and a half that I’ve been here, is the Human Resource piece of it: it’s scattered all around and I feel like we’re missing some pieces. It’s kind of bothersome that a district this size hasn’t had somebody doing strictly HR.”
Once Kaiser is ready, she will take on those HR responsibilities, allowing a number of staff to maintain focus in other areas.
Katt said that as with the HR role, he believes duties can be realigned to allow for current district employees to maintain a few, unique specialties and responsibilities. He said a realignment of job duties could help leverage the strengths of existing staff without having to search for additional personnel to help with heavy workloads.
“This hierarchy is what we need to get to. If you look at the hierarchy that Hays has now, it’s convoluted; it’s hard to understand who’s reporting to who. We want to get that organized, and at this time I couldn’t say that we’re going to have to [hire more staff]. I think we have a lot of really good people here, and it’s just a matter of maybe reassigning duties and some things like that.”