Letter – IWCS is admin-heavy

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

During discussion of the proposed bylaws at the Isle of Wight County School Board meeting on Feb. 9, board member Michael Cunningham stated: “We are taking away a lot of the responsibilities the superintendent has from him. Our superintendent, we are taking our superintendent’s job … certain parts of his job away from him. What is the superintendent going to do? We are taking his responsibilities. We can delegate authority, but he has got responsibilities. Are we going to take over those responsibilities?”  

Board Chair John Collick said: “ Absolutely not. There will be no change in roles and responsibilities.”  

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What responsibilities does Dr. Theo Cramer have? Looking at the IWCS website, one sees “Policy CBA – Qualifications & Duties of the Superintendent,” revised Sept. 9, 2021, and “Policy CF – School Building Administration,” revised Nov. 10, 2022, which has Dr. Cramer responsible for supervising assistant superintendents and principals. Board member Jason Maresh has stated more than once he “does not believe this School Board can pick and choose what policy to follow.” On Dec. 8, he said, “How can we hold the superintendent and all of his staff accountable to policy if we don’t follow our own policy?” 

Looking at IWCS’ Organizational Chart on its website, it shows that Dr. Cramer is not supervising assistant superintendents or principals. However, two directors are supervising the principals, while there are two deputy superintendents. These four staffers are paid $503,800 plus $125,850 in benefits, a total of $629,750. In salary and benefits, split between them, the two deputy superintendents get $348,250 and the two directors $281,500. In a little school system of 5,600 students and nine schools, I submit we are overstaffed.

Why does IWCS even have a deputy superintendent, much less two? State SOQ funds are for assistant superintendents, according to VAC 22.1-253.13:2. Cunningham read from the bylaws,  “School boards are to adopt policy to provide for the day-to-day supervision of schools.” I agree with that. Maresh has quoted Policy BBA: “School boards are to see that school laws are properly explained, enforced and observed.” I recommend our IWCS board on March 9 change the IWCS Organizational Chart for Dr. Cramer to be in compliance with his contract’s provisions, IWCS policies and Virginia laws. 


Herb De Groft