The Big Spring School Board unanimously reappointed longtime district employees Dr. Kevin Roberts and Richard Kerr as assistant superintendent and business manager, respectively, at last Monday's board meeting.
Roberts and Kerr received new multi-year contracts. Roberts’ new contract is five years, from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2024, with a base salary of $127,000, subject to a minimum 3 percent raise per year. Kerr's new contract is four years, from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2023, with a base salary of $108,033, subject to a 3 percent raise per year pending an overall satisfactory rating in his annual performance assessment.
The contracts outline responsibilities and salaries, as well as benefits such as personal days, healthcare, reimbursements and retirement savings, and reasons for early termination of contract.
Roberts has served in the Big Spring School District for about 15 years and has held the position of assistant superintendent since 2014. His role includes providing guidance in instruction, supervision, human resources and school safety, or more generally ensuring principals, teachers and students have the resources and support to be successful.
“We just became residents of the district about four months ago, so we are all in,” Roberts said after last Monday’s board meeting. “My kids go to school here. My wife teaches here. It's become very much home, and I appreciate seeing the great things and being part of the great things that are happening.”
Before becoming the district’s second in command, he served as the principal of Newville Elementary School for 2 ½ years and director of curriculum and instruction for six years. Before coming to Big Spring, he was an assistant principal at a school in Northern Virginia. He got his doctorate from the University of New England in 2016. Roberts is married with three children.
Kerr has served as business manager since 2008. His responsibilities include managing the day-to-day operations of the district’s finances and business affairs.
“I always think I have to be the one who is frugal with the dollar,” Kerr said in a telephone interview Friday. “It's a terrific school district, and I like to do my part to make it great.”
Prior to Big Spring, Kerr worked for the Tuscarora School District for about a decade. He served first as their technology director and then later became their business manager. Kerr is also a 22 1/2 year veteran of the Army. He is a Shippensburg resident who is married and has three children.
Both Roberts and Kerr intend to sign their respective contracts.
What the future holds
Roberts is excited about being part of certain initiatives, which he helped start, and then now being able to see them through, or “come to life.” He noted the Profile of a Graduate as one example. The Profile of Graduate is a model outlining what graduates need to be successful in life – also known as the 6 C’s of citizenship, creator, collaborator, continuous learner, critical thinker and communicator.
“What I've seen be successful, the key ingredients to success, is the community coming together and figuring out novel solutions and being able to put those in place, and continuing to excite kids.”
He also looks forward to seeing the future ways in which the district reports student outcomes of the Profile of a Graduate and go about recruiting the professional staff to educate their students.
“In terms of staffing, we've shifted our model in the way which we recruit staff to dispositional hiring, so I'm looking forward to pushing that forward,” Roberts said. “It's really about ensuring that the people we bring in have the key dispositions to be able to teach those 6 Cs.”
He also noted a challenge in always been able to respond to unique student needs in the district.
Kerr’s future focus will be supporting the district’s modernization in an effort to use less paper and move more information to “the Cloud.” Whether it be personnel records, financial analytics or payroll, the overall goal will be administrators having access to the same information in a more efficient manner.
“We provide a great bunch of opportunities for students that you don't see in a lot of other districts,” he said. “The board has always been adamant in putting students and teachers first.”