Cobb Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said he won’t hire a replacement for one of his soon-to-be retired assistant superintendents.
Area 2 Assistant Superintendent Ed Thayer plans to retire in August.
The Cobb School Board unanimously approved Thayer’s retirement request during Wednesday’s work session. His last day on the job will be Aug. 1.
“We’re going to analyze (Thayer’s position) and see if we can possibly do without it and do some combination of it,” Hinojosa said after the meeting. “If everybody else is having to give up positions, I think (the central office) ought to as well.”
Thayer is one of six area assistant superintendents in Cobb. He oversees 20 schools, including those that feed into Sprayberry, Lassiter and Kell high schools in north Cobb.
According to open.georgia.gov, Thayer made $110,842 in 2012.
“I work with very talented colleagues and it is a tough budget crunch and Dr. Hinojosa and the staff have to make those decisions,” Thayer said. “I wish them well as they have to sort through all those tough decisions.”
Thayer has worked in education for 37 years.
“I started teaching and coaching in 1975 after graduating from college,” he said. “It was kind of what I had always wanted to do.”
He coached at Northwestern, Auburn and Lincoln Memorial universities before joining the Cobb Schools staff in 1992 as a physical education coach and head baseball coach at Pope High School.
“When our children were school-aged, I had known about the Cobb County School District from recruiting, and we settled on this being where we wanted to be,” Thayer said about him and his wife Susan Thayer.
He worked his way up through the district, being promoted to an administrator in 1994. He also served as the district athletic director at one point and as area assistant superintendent for the last four years.
“Cobb has been very, very good to me,” he said.
Thayer hasn’t decided exactly what he’ll do in retirement but said it will involve golfing and visiting with those will become his former co-workers.
“You take away the relationships that you build over the years, and you meet a lot of special people,” Thayer said about what he’ll miss most in retirement. “I hope to continue to still see them and have a chance to still talk about old times with them.”
Deputy Superintendent Cheryl Hungerford, who has worked with Thayer in her role for about five years, said he has been an asset to the district.
“I’m going to miss him, and I know his schools will miss him as well,” she said.
As far as what he brought to the table, Hungerford also said he always put children first.
“One thing I’ve always appreciated about him is that he’s going to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students,” she said.
The board also accepted retirement requests from Debby Jones, Cobb’s executive director of student support, leadership and learning, and Mary Joe Dukes, assistant principal at Palmer Middle School; and a letter of resignation from Paul McMahon, associate principal at Sprayberry High School.
Board OKs $100K grant
In other business, the board unanimously approved to continue a $100,000 match grant for Project LEAP (Learn and Earn After-school Program) at Osborne High and Campbell Middle schools.
The contract between the school district and the Georgia Department of Human Services has been ongoing since 2006.
It should have gone before the board in October but was delayed because of a financial audit to make sure the specifics of the grant matches were in place, said Cobb CFO Brad Johnson.
Project LEAP is designed for students with “limited opportunities,” said Cobb Chief Academic Officer Amy Krause previously.
It allows up to 160 students between the two schools to participate in apprenticeship programs countywide, receive tutoring and learn about various career opportunities.
The program was not offered to Campbell students this past year but will be reintroduced now that the funding has returned.