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Hart district expects administrator exodus soon

‘Administrative academy’ established to groom new leadership

Posted: August 2, 2012 6:33 p.m.
Updated: August 2, 2012 6:33 p.m.


With 43 percent of administrators at retirement age and many others approaching it, Hart district leaders are scrambling to deal with an anticipated mass retirement in the future.

“This is not five years from now, this is not 10 years from now. This is now,” William S. Hart Union High School District Superintendent Rob Challinor said at a recent district meeting.

The age issue reflects a statewide trend, said Rob Gapper, assistant superintendent of instruction.

“This is something that’s occurring all over California,” Gapper said, adding that many administrators in the district are not only baby boomers but longtime residents, as well.

The trend is exacerbated in the Hart district due to its high rate of retaining employees and the rapid rate at which it grew, Gapper said.

The Santa Clarita Valley exploded with growth in the 1980s and ‘90s, requiring new schools and new personnel to staff them.

Fostering and retaining local talent has been a longtime philosophy of the district, Gapper added.

“The majority of administrators that we have were, at some point, teachers in our school district,” he said.

“We advertise all over the state and welcome candidates from all over the state — and there are some outstanding administrators that have really become very important leaders in our district,” he said.

“Quite often, we’ll get several hundred applications from outside the district,” Gapper continued. “During the last round of interviews conducted, 11 of the last 24 candidates for interviews may have been from out of the district, but most of our hires came from the Hart district.”

The high percentage of potential retirees among administrators was reported during a presentation on goals Tuesday for the 2012-13 school year.

Public school administrators can retire under the California State Teachers’ Retirement System as early as age of 55.

The district’s response to the dilemma is to create an administrative academy “to prepare aspiring administrators with the necessary skills to succeed and identify the next generation for Hart district administrators,” Challinor said.

The academy will consist of six sessions that will take place at the Hart district offices and be open to district employees who are seeking or interested in seeking their administrative credentials, according to officials.



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