Funding for assistant superintendent position eliminated

5-4 vote eliminated the budget line for a special assistant to superintendent Pat Cooper, leaving position unfunded

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 3:43pm

Dr. Cooper's assistant, Thad Welch, has been helping oversee facilities, maintenance, transportation, and grounds for a little over a year, but without a high school diploma that was required on the original job description sending some board members over the edge.  Others are not happy about this decision, calling Mr. Welch an asset to the system and "Johnny on the spot" when problems occur.  Welch's position payed about $76,000 per year, but now that funding is cut so what will happen?

"We did eliminate that funding position but there's something that we can do.  He's just too valuable of an asset to lose for a superintendent especially.  You don't want to have to worry about the facilities issue, you want that to be covered and I know that's why he [Dr. Pat Cooper] brought him in because superintendent just doesn't have time to deal with the maintenance issues.  They want to stay on top of that and not have to worry about it, and that's definitely Thad Welch, I mean that's his business," says Mark Cockerham, school board member district 7.

Cockerham does admit that informing all of the board before hiring Mr. Welch may have resulted in a less complicated and dramatic outcome.  He feels bad that a kind, hard-working man had to be caught in the cross hairs of this administration, and is confident that they will find a way to keep Mr. Welch around because of his hard work and commitment to the school board.

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With that kind of money he needed to have a diploma or a GED. GEDs are fairly easy to get he just needed to pay the $15 or $20 and take the test... I received my GED a year before my high school class even graduated so I could get a job because I was out on my own... Frankly I am concerned about Cooper's commitment to making sure the children of our schools are getting what they need instead performing for favors for friends...

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