PLAINFIELD – Superintendent Todd Koehl is quickly getting ready for opening day Aug. 20 in Troy Community Consolidated School District 30-C.
Koehl said he wants to build off what former Superintendent Don White left behind and is optimistic about the level of instruction students will receive for the 2014-15 school year.
“I’m very pleased with the quality of staff that I’ve met so far,” Koehl said. “It’s the hard work of people who work in the district, detail-oriented and task-oriented, that makes this a good place.”
Koehl officially took over July 14, after White resigned to become the superintendent of Hinsdale Community Consolidated School District 181. He was previously the superintendent of O’Fallon Community Consolidated School District 90.
Koehl was hired on a three-year contract that pays him a salary of $172,000 with a raise option of up to 6 percent each year at the pleasure of the school board. That is less than White’s 2013-2014 salary of $186,281 but more than Koehl’s previous salary of $141,137 at O’Fallon.
“He’s doing a fine job for us,” Troy board President Mark Griglione said. “What we saw in his interview is coming out in short period.”
At his first Troy board meeting, Koehl split the duties of the director of operations position. Then-Director of Finance Elaine Colombo was promoted to executive director of finance and operations, and the district is looking to hire a director of human resources.
“This was a great move for Dr. Koehl to have the opportunity to restructure and fine-tune the district office while saving taxpayers money at the same time,” Griglione said.
Consolidating administration to save money isn’t new to Koehl. He did the same thing at O’Fallon, where he ran the schools’ finances himself, according to O’Fallon school board President Steven Hellin.
“In Troy he has a team of assistants,” Hellin said, adding that he was also very active in the community. “But here in O’Fallon, he utilized his principals as lieutenants who did things a staff usually does. He was able to run a very lean operation.”
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Koehl this year will be negotiating a new contract with the teachers union, which Koehl said has a good relationship with administration.
“The most pressing issue is getting together while the staff is getting ready to start school. We have shared dates to meet and we are in the process of nailing them down,” he said.
Implementation of common core standards also is a big issue for the district. Koehl said he was happy with how Troy has adapted the standards last year.
“What parents can continue to expect [next semester] is we’ll continue to roll out a standards-based report card, which will be more directly related to what’s happening in the classroom,” Koehl said.