Cobb Schools have a money saving plan: Don’t replace retiring area superintendent
by Lindsay Field
March 13, 2013 11:56 PM | 6738 views | 17 17 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cobb superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa <br> File photo
Cobb superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa
File photo
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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.

 

Comments
(17)
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Gringo Bandito
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March 15, 2013
I can't believe my old PE teacher is pulling down 6 figures.
anonymous
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March 15, 2013
Good luck to Ed. He moved up during the time when Freddie promoted anyone that was a coach, like to Transportation and other places. Now they just promote
anonymous
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March 14, 2013
Suggested Headline Replacement:

"Cobb Schools Won't Replace Retiring Area Superintendent" - good move in this economic environment, factual

Rather than inciting ridicule with:

"Cobb Schools have a money saving plan: Don’t replace retiring area superintendent"

Thankfully, school districts must deliver balanced budgets meaning there will be plenty of, albeit painful, money saving solutions.

anonymous
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March 15, 2013
I have said it before, I will say it again. Now is the era of the public sector having to tighten the belt. There is so much waste in government -- beginning with local government and ending with federal government. The "sequester" is the best thing that could happen to this country. Instead of government saying gimme, gimme, gimme, they need to look at cutting, cutting, cutting. Like the rest of the country has had to do. Now is the time for government to join the rest of us. I guarantee you my farm that all government could survive just fine, and even better, with fifty percent less tax money.
R Folks
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March 14, 2013
If you want to save money, then why extend the contract of the superintendent who is a poor leader. Cut his inflated salary. He and others have their pensions and are coasting, drawing Cush salaries. He is not vested in Cobb County and is packing his bank account and ruining the school system on his way out .
Cobb Taxpayer
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March 14, 2013
good move - positions add very little value and nothing but featherbedding form 10 years ago.

Eliminate all of the positons !
Is this a joke
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March 14, 2013
The board just renewed his contract for at a tune of $234,000 to sugest that one persons salary of $110,000 will help the budget crisis.....really?

Bahahahaha
GOOD LUCK
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March 14, 2013
Ed Thayer has worked his butt off to get where he is today and make what he has made, I am so proud of him! He will be greatly missed in and out of the Cobb County schools. Wish him the best of luck!
Be Careful
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March 14, 2013
As previously mentioned, $110,000 in the face of MILLIONS is literally nothing. I can't believe they even bring it up and try to make a news story out of it.

And shame on the MDJ for not recognizing this as the silly PR attempt it is.

Please vot NO on the SPLOST.

If CCSD doesn't learn to live within it's budget, we will have extra taxes forever.
Careful
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March 14, 2013
To "Be Careful". This is not about CCSD living within its budget. We are one of the few school districts in Georgia - if not the nation - that has no debt. This is about funding capital projects that are needed in the MANY buildings that CCSD serves. HVAC systems, windows, paving and many other items are NOT in the day to day operating budget. With everyone who purchases items in Cobb County helping to fund these things, our property taxes are kept low.

AND I'm thrilled that they are considering getting rid of one Asst Supt position. I've been saying this for years. Getting rid of one is better than getting rid of none.
Get ready
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March 14, 2013
Should SPLOST not pass, your property taxes will go up and the senior exemption will have to be repealed. The board will have to start borrowing money and we will no longer be a debt free county. Either way, you are going to pay. Do you actually think if SPLOST does not pass the board will simply only spend the money it brings in? Why do you think all the other counties in Georgia are in debt? Get a clue honey and be careful. This county will end up back in debt and you will be paying for it. I personally would much rather have everyone paying 1% on a dollar!
Nettie Stemm
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March 14, 2013
Good idea. A better idea is to eliminate that position, It was only created as place for out of date educators to bide their time waiting for retirement, or a place to accomodate a few favored retired misfits who want to double dip.
30 year vet
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March 14, 2013
Ed Thayer is one of the best educators I ever worked for. You will be missed, Ed!

Wheeler Alumni
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March 14, 2013
Ed Thayer did a great job at Wheeler! No easy task. All of the students knew where the line was with Mr. Thayer and that was that.

Best wishes in your retirement.
Just Wait
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March 14, 2013
Let's see, $80 million in the hole and crowing about saving $110,000. Even a public school education knows that means nothing.
Rid all area supers
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March 14, 2013
CCSD did not have area superintendents until the last 10 years. We would do just fine with out them and it would save the district money. In addition, we can't get subs to show up and jobs go unfilled every day. Save money by going out of the box. Several districts in Georgia and other states have gone to 4 day school weeks. This has saved them a tremendous amount of money in less subs, lower utility bills, transportation and salaries for non-certified staff. School is NOT a babysitting service and it is up to the parents to get childcare on the off day. Childcare centers would adjust. School would run one hour extra every day. The staff works every other week on the 5th day to make up for the 3 hours they are missing during the week. There are no meetings during the week and all planning and meetings are on the 5th day they work every other week. It is working out great and should be implemented state wide. The kids are better behaved and less staff absences! One day less per week of buses and food services. It saves the government money as well due to not having to feed all those children on free lunch and breakfast! Go out of the box!
Cobb Teacher
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March 14, 2013
According to the state waiver we can look at seat time, and not just days to fulfill the required academic learning time. I think I heard once that we actually have a little more seat time than required in Cobb. I would love that schedule...not sure our kids could take much more seat time, though. It's something to think about, but we need to keep kids' needs in mind.
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