By Ann Needle
George King will officially become Hale Middle School’s dedicated, full-time principal as of July 1. As of that date, King will also leave his duties behind as the Nashoba District’s assistant superintendent. The Nashoba School Committee announced the official appointment by Interim Superintendent Dr. Curtis Bates at its April 6 meeting.
According to a March 30 amendment to King’s contract with Nashoba, King’s annual salary of $157,930 will not change, and the contract’s original expiration date of June 30, 2020, stays the same. Since August 2009, King has held the dual roles of assistant superintendent and Hale principal, serving as the middle school’s acting principal after the resignation of Margaret Morgan. It was widely viewed at the time as a money-saving but temporary move, as well as a quick way to put a new principal at Hale.
The SC began questioning King double-duty role in the district last year.
At the September 28 Personnel Sub Committee meeting, SC Rep. Kathy Codianne of Lancaster voiced what had become a concern among the SC, asking how one person could effectively do two major full-time jobs in the district. At the time, she called for Nashoba to place a full-time principal at Hale, without added cost to the district. The SC voted last month to put a full-time principal at Hale.
Also, a reorganization of the central office, mapped out by Curtis Bates last month, suggested eliminating the assistant superintendent’s position. The March 30 amendment to King’s contract noted that the assistant superintendent job will be eliminated when King becomes Hale’s dedicated principal on July 1. Bates also pledged to honor any existing employment contracts through any reorganization changes. (The SC postponed considering the remaining reorganization proposal, most likely until a permanent superintendent is in place.)
Since he was hired in 2005, King has spent much of his Nashoba career managing the district’s finances, from formulating the +$50 million Nashoba budget each year, to negotiating health insurance rates and re-financing district debt when interest rates have dropped. The Asst. Superintendent position was created in the aftermath of Nashoba’s 2002 financial debacle, when the district found itself with an inexplicable $3 million budget deficit. Before coming to Nashoba, King was Framingham’s town manager.
“Best Job of My Life”
“I’ve always enjoyed being the principal at Hale, but I’ll miss my old responsibilities,” King said of his move away from AS. “It seemed to be working out fine. But I always said being the principal of Hale has been the best job of my life.”
As for who will take over King’s duties, given there will no longer be an AS, Curtis Bates said, “As of right now there has not been any reassignment of duties. It is my intention to have the new superintendent — who will be appointed on or about May 4 — decide on the reassignment of duties.” Concerning a potential bump in salary for anyone taking on AS tasks, Bates added, “I do not anticipate anyone receiving additional compensation.”
Curtis Bates noted that the SC was not involved in the final decision, given Nashoba’s superintendent is in charge of appointing school principals, as well as determining their compensation.