REXBURG — A position in the Madison School District that’s been empty for 10 years is now being filled by Randy Lords.
“It’s been 10 years since we had an assistant superintendent,” said Superintendent Dr. Geoffrey Thomas.
But with 28 different people reporting to Thomas, it was decided that enough was enough, and Thomas needed help.
The district did some switching around, appointing Lords as assistant superintendent, filling his place as principal at the junior high by appointing Rex Fullmer, and filling Fullmer’s place as principal of Central High by appointing Rodger Hampton, who is also principal at Madison Academy.
Before the change, all principals and departments reported to Thomas — including grounds, maintenance, technology, transportation, accounting, buildings, systems of care and special services.
Lords said while Thomas had done a good job on his own before, there were times when Lords would call about junior high needs and feel like he was adding to a heavy load.
“Here I go, I have to add more to him, and he’s already swamped,” Lords said.
With no assistant superintendent, Thomas was the only one who could make district-level decisions. The purpose of filling the assistant superintendent position was so there would be someone to help make those district-level decisions.
Thomas said Lords was a natural choice for the position, as he has the proper education and experience and had been running the largest school in the district, with 75 teachers and 1,080 students.
“People look up to him,” Thomas added. “People like him.”
It also helped that Lords was one of the only ones who expressed interest in working in the district office.
Even so, when Lords was offered the position, he had some mixed feelings.
He had been at the junior high for 10 years and felt it was time for him to move on. He was also excited to be part of the district staff and take the next step toward his goal of becoming superintendent.
At the same time, Lords loved his job at the junior high.
“They’re crazy, but they’re fun ,and it’s a crucial time in their lives,” he said.
He was hesitant at first to pass on the mantle of junior high principal.
“This is my baby,” he said of the school.
But when he found out Fullmer would be the new principal at the junior high, he “didn’t worry another bit.”
Lords said Fullmer is one of the best administrators with whom he’s ever worked.
“He’ll do great,” he said.
Lords’ appointment to the position was officially approved in the June school board meeting. His salary, based on the administrative salary schedule, will be $87,381.
For a couple of transitional weeks Lords was responsible for both the new position in the district office and the old position at the junior high.
“He stepped right in and started learning,” Thomas said. “He just has my full confidence.”
Lords will be responsible for overseeing transportation, grounds, technology, professional development, in-service, curriculum, student discipline and any other duties assigned to him by the superintendent.
“Hopefully this will streamline the decisions being made and help us be a more efficient district,” Lords said.
Having been in education for about 20 years, Lords has been a teacher, a coach, an assistant principal and a principal.
He has been responsible for buildings, has a superintendent endorsement and an EDS and is working on his doctorate, which is almost finished.
His main goals are to continue the quality of education Madison gives its students and to support the staff.
Already Thomas is feeling the load lighten.
“It’s been much better,” he said. “We’re really pleased to have him on board.”