At its most recent meeting, held last week, members of the Collins-Maxwell school board discussed future leadership of their district.


Their current superintendent, Ottie Maxey, will only be available to help lead the district for one more school year. This was, as school board member Jen Waters helped explain, the original agreement. Ballard was willing to allow its superintendent to help Collins-Maxwell out for one year, and then if it went well, another year. That second year will be the upcoming school year, but now is the time for Collins-Maxwell’s board to start thinking ahead about about future leadership possibilities.


Maxey said that he and Collins-Maxwell school board president, Marcus Fricke, went through a thorough analysis of options about future leadership. Last week they presented to the board the two options they believe would be best for the district to consider.


Option one would be to share half of a full-time superintendent with another district, meaning that the position would be an even 50-50 split in time for that position.


Option two would be to hire one person who would serve as half principal/half superintendent, spending half their time as superintendent and half as principal. Waters explained that in this scenario it would be likely that another position, like a dean of students, would be added to help on the administrative team.


Maxey said both options will end up costing the district about the same amount of money. “The difference is sharing the position with another district generates supplementary revenue equal to eight students,” he said. But, he said, “should the board select the combined (principal/superintendent) position, they would either forego that revenue, or pursue the supplementary revenue through sharing agreements using other positions (that are allowed for those funds, such as sharing a transportation director).”


Maxey said at the meeting, “There’s no way I could imagine this (his first year of being shared with Collins-Maxwell) having gone any better.” A lot of that, he said, was due to the “people in this room,” like school principals, other leaders and the school board members.


But in keeping with the Ballard board’s vision for administrative staffing, Maxey said he can’t continue past the two-year agreement, which will be over after this coming school year. “Their agreement to share was driven by a desire to assist Collins-Maxwell in the short term and provide time for the Collins-Maxwell board to establish long-range plans for their leadership structure,” Maxey said.


The Collins-Maxwell board met in an exempt session for a time last week to discuss options. It then directed Maxey to develop more specific details around the two options presented for further discussion at the July meeting.


In other business:


The board approved sending out bids to contractors last week on the upcoming science classroom construction project. The board is expected to open the bids on July 18.


The project, according to Collins-Maxwell High School Principal Jordan Nelson, is tentatively planned to begin shortly after Labor Day and conclude in December, allowing students to be in the room after the winter break.


“We are very excited (about the project),” Nelson said. “It was actually part of our last bond issue, but we have found a way to remodel and renovate two existing classrooms into one very nice science classroom for our biology, chemistry and physics classes. It will be located on the south end of the building, across the hall from the middle school science classrooms.”


Nelson said the high school’s current science area is very old and outdated and is located in the 1931 building. He said it was too small to adequately fit today’s students’ needs for a fully-equipped science setting that will prepare them for post-high school opportunities. “This new room will alleviate all issues we were having,” Nelson said.