The recently vacated assistant superintendent position with the Joplin School District will not be filled.
That decision is natural now that the district is returning to a more normal operating state nearly three years after the May 2011 tornado damaged or destroyed 10 of its buildings, Superintendent C.J. Huff told the Globe when asked for an update on the vacancy.
The position previously was held by Angie Besendorfer, who announced her resignation late last year. She remained in Joplin through the beginning of January, at which time the district’s three newest schools opened. She now is chancellor for WGU Missouri, a nonprofit, online university.
Huff said the district was attempting to reorganize at the administrative level because of the economic downturn when the tornado hit, ultimately halting those plans. Besendorfer, in particular, was “instrumental” in helping schools maintain their normal operations while also helping oversee the designing and rebuilding of schools, he said.
Most of those rebuilding projects are now complete, with the final project — Joplin High School combined with Franklin Technology Center — scheduled for completion in August.
“Now that our recovery efforts are winding down, we are in a better position, and it just makes sense to move forward with our original organizational restructuring plans,” Huff said.
Huff said day-to-day job duties and responsibilities previously handled by the assistant superintendent — largely relating to curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, oversight of principals and human resources issues with the certified staff — will be shifted and reassigned to remaining administrators.
The district also has added a position in project management to further assist administrators in their roles, he said.
“I feel really good about the team I have in place,” Huff said. “I think we can more than get by without the position.”
SUPERINTENDENT C.J. HUFF said the decision not to fill the assistant superintendent position will be evaluated on an annual basis. Angie Besendorfer was making $134,469 annually when she resigned.