Steve Allen, superintendent of London City Schools, has temporarily and voluntarily taken on leadership of the London Academy.
The Academy is a conversion school, sponsored by London City Schools, for ninth- through 12th-grade students who are at risk of dropping out of school. On any given day, the Academy serves an average of 220 students. Bob Blackburn, the program’s former executive director, resigned earlier this summer.
Allen will fill in until a replacement is hired. To this point, he has been a member of the London Academy board. He will step down from that position while serving as interim executive director. A five-member board oversees the program.
“I have entertained the thought of staying in the position for the year to build long-term goals,” Allen said at the school board’s Aug. 7 special meeting. “We could use that time to create a vision for the Academy,” so that the new person coming in wouldn’t have to start from scratch.
Allen said the Academy lacks structure, an accountability system, and long-range goals.
“We know we want some leadership in that position so we can move the Academy forward,” said board President Vici Geer.
For now, Allen will serve as interim director for about three months. At upcoming meetings, the school board and Academy board will discuss the possibility of Allen staying in the role for the entire year. For the short-term, he will volunteer his services. Should his services extend past three months, the board will look at compensating Allen for the extra work.
The school board approved one-year contracts for Melinda Baker as a London High School English teacher, and Kimberly McKinney as a London Middle School and London Academy intervention specialist.
Kimberly A. Pareso is the new director of special services. She replaces Bob Blackburn. Her two-year contract started Aug. 1.
The board approved supplemental contracts for Jimmy Wolverton and Joe Watson, assistant varsity football co-coaches, and Chelsie Snively, freshman volleyball coach.
John Lickliter was hired for maintenance, custodial duties, and as a bus driver. Gregg A. Payne was hired for maintenance and custodial duties.
The board passed a resolution to allow the London Public Library to place a 1.2-mill, five-year replacement levy for current expenses on the Nov. 6 ballot. By law, the library is required to go through the school board that defines its parameters to submit ballot issues.
The next school board meeting is at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 in the high school lecture hall.
London Back-to-School Schedule
Aug. 23: Freshmen orientation, 6 to 8 p.m.
Aug. 23: Pre-K, kindergarten and fifth-grade orientation, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 27: Sixth-grade orientation, 12:30 p.m.
Seventh-grade and new eighth-graders orientation, 1:30 p.m.
First- through fourth-grade orientation, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Middle school open house, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 28: First day of school