As planning and design work continues on the portion of the April 2 DeForest Area School District referendum having to do with construction, the operational part is also getting some attention.

At the June 10 school board meeting, Superintendent Eric Runez talked about related personnel issues.

“The positions we had targeted have all been filled,” said Runez. “We’re excited about the impact we’re making supporting education, supporting teachers.”

There has been a shuffling of principals among the different facilities. New Windsor Elementary Principal Valerie Crowl was introduced at the June 10 meeting. She comes to the district from Texas, where she lived for the past 26 years.

Crowl will replace current Windsor Elementary Principal Roy Bernards. Beginning July 1, Bernards will begin work as principal for the new intermediate school, as preparations are made to bring the school online. That includes extensive building design, scheduling, staffing decisions and instructional programming work.

Other changes with principals include Bill Huebsch becoming full-time assistant principal at Windsor Elementary. Currently, Huebsch serves as the principal at Morrisonville Elementary School, which is closing as per the referendum, and an assistant principal at Eagle Point Elementary.

Also effective July 1, Lori Coomes-Barry will be taking over as assistant principal at DeForest Area Middle School. Tamara Weisbrod is the current assistant principal there. She is leaving that post to return to the classroom.

Among the other targeted staffing additions for the start of the 2019-20 school year will be instructional coaches at each building, a social worker at the secondary level, and additional staff in core and elective areas, along with a full-time mentor. These personnel moves are designed to help meet student needs and are aligned with district goals.

District officials expect the operational funding approved with the referendum to improve educational programming, along with going toward running the newly expanded facilities.

The building operational portion of the operating referendum is $1.5 million annually. It will be used to reduce borrowing costs for the building referendum. According to an update on the referendum, these funds will minimize the bonds by a total of $3 million for the 2019 and 2020 tax years, saving long-term bond interest costs.

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