RPS Board Approves Superintendent Contract, Administrative Changes

By: Lauren Kravets
By: Lauren Kravets

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Rockford Public School District is hoping to end its streak of quick turnover in the superintendent's office. Tonight the board approved the promotion of Assistant Superintendent Ehren Jarrett, to superintendent.

The school board also voted tonight, not unanimously, to demote two principals, to let go two assistant principals and to dismiss some temporary and probationary teachers. Board members Laura Powers and Lisa Jackson voted against the administrative appointments, but did not give reasons for their votes.

Under the changes, Auburn High School principal Ryan Reinecke will be an assistant principal at Guilford High School next year. Current Kennedy Middle School principal Marcus Lewis will become an assistant principal at Jefferson High School and two assistant principals from Jefferson will be let go.

Jarrett said, "We have a process we go through with every principal in our district and the team that evaluates those principals do what we believe is best for the school and for the kids, and in this case we feel like while there's a role for those individuals in our organization, we felt like it was time to look for new leadership in those buildings."

Jarrett says the district will eventually open up Reinecke's position so people can apply. They currently don't have anyone slated to fill that position.

There was some positive news surrounding Jarrett tonight, the board approved a three-year contract with two automatic one-year renewal terms for superintendent, so Jarrett could stick around for at least five years. Jarrett will make $210,000 a year.

Jarrett's leadership team includes Assistant Superintendent Matt Vosberg to become deputy superintendent. Executive Director of Learning, Vicki Jacobson, will become assistant superintendent of elementary education and Theodore "Chip" Hickman, a principal at Kaneland High School in Kane County, will become assistant superintendent of secondary education.

Jarrett says they opened up the assistant superintendent position to outside candidates and Hickman was the best person for the job. He and Jacobson will make $135,000 a year; Vosberg will make $175,000 annually.

Jarrett takes over as superintendent on July first. He says he'll keep the rest of the current cabinet intact.

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