Archive for Thursday, January 25, 2007

Promotion gives Schmidt another chance to shine

January 25, 2007

There are 10 banners hanging in Lexington Trails Middle School that give testimony to Mark Schmidt's effectiveness at the school where he has been a principal for the past nine years. The banners signify standards of excellence the school students have earned on state assessment tests.

Schmidt has accomplished a great deal during his tenure at the middle school. He kept the school going during the disruptive remodeling that completely transformed the former high school. He oversaw the introduction of laptop technology in the school when it was a pilot for the district's ambitious, and now scaled back, one-to-one laptop program. After Columbine woke the nation to the risk of unprepared schools, he headed up development of the district's crisis response plan.

From personal experience, we know he maintained an open and gracious atmosphere to visitors at the school.

From Schmidt's point of view the move to human resource director makes sense. It will refresh him with new challenges in a position that will add considerably to his resume. It is of note that a past district human resource director is now superintendent of a neighboring school district.

But we greet Schmidt's promotion with some regret, partly out of selfishness. We will miss his cooperative presence at Lexington Trails.

Perhaps out of that self-interest, we find some sadness that the district moves its best from positions of day-to-day interaction with students to more insular administrative positions. To its credit, the district's salary system recognizes the worth of quality principals. Last year's administrative salaries report showed at least as far as compensation, Schmidt is making a lateral move.

On the other hand, we're confident Schmidt will be a natural recruiter. His open yet earnest nature should be a great asset when convincing bright young college graduates that the De Soto school district is the place for them.

We're confident Schmidt will continue his own standard of excellence for the district in his new position that will allow him to share his talents on a districtwide level.

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