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School Board: Case made for administrative staff

At the November Board of Education meeting, district superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten made the case for the number of administrators the district employs.

The district has 19 administrators including the superintendent, the directors of learning services, financial services, student services, the district deputy and human resources director and an associate learning services director. That number also includes eight building principals and five associate principals including the director of athletics.

Bowen-Eggebraaten said that between 2005 and 2010, the district has 576 more students, 66.5 more full-time staff members, one more elementary school and one more administrator. She said that the number of students per administrator has increased to 291 from 275 in 2005-06 and that the number of staff per administrator has risen from 29.8 to 31.7. She also noted that the number of administrators has fluctuated from a high of 20 to a low of 17 over the last six years. She also noted that the district has more students per administrator than the state average.

Bowen-Eggebraaten said that the work of the administrators has changed over the years and the district's expectations of them have grown as the district has gotten bigger.

In response to the report, board member Mark Kaisersatt said he recognized that the district had a strong, capable and hardworking administrative team. He did note, however, that in addition to positions mentioned by the superintendent, that the district has added several support positions over the years.

"I have supported those positions as necessary," said Kaisersatt. He also cautioned against making comparisons between the number of administrators Hudson has compared to state averages. "After more than 25 years working in government bureaucracy, I don't put much stock in comparisons like that."

The district has added several staff positions that report to administrators over the past six years including human resources manager and financial services managers as well as specialists in communications and financial services.

Board president Barb Van Loenen said she has had experience in both the financial and human resource management in the private sector and described the district's operation as a "very lean ship."

In action taken in April, the board approved a salary increase of 4.8 percent for district administrators for the 2010-11 school year and a 5.4 percent increase for the superintendent for 2010-11 and in 2011-12. The administrators as well as other district staff had no raise in 2009-10.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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