Mansfield names interim schools superintendent

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Even though Mansfield Independent School District's superintendent has not officially resigned, the school board Tuesday named an interim to take care of day-to-day operations.

They didn't have to look far.

Jim Vaszauskas, 56, who has been the district's associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction since May 2009, took over the reins as interim superintendent Wednesday.

Bob Morrison, 49, who has been superintendent of Mansfield schools since July 2009, was named the sole finalist for the Garland superintendent job. Morrison has asked that Feb. 22 be his last day on the job in Mansfield, said school board president Beth Light, but trustees have not received an official resignation. "We were very surprised," Light said of Morrison's new job opportunity.

Decisions about how and where they will look for a permanent replacement have not been made, she said, but she expects trustees to weigh their options during executive session in the Feb. 26 school board meeting and then announce their plans.

Vaszauskas admits that Morrison's new job also caught him by surprise, but he would like to make his interim role permanent. Working in the district has made him well prepared for the interim job, he said.

"Dr. Morrison has a very collaborative style," Vaszauskas said. "We talked about a lot of things. I feel well informed. He's available by phone and is bringing me up to speed on construction and other things that need to come before the board. He is transitioning me in and him out."

The Mansfield school board voted 7-0 to name Vaszauskas as interim contingent upon Morrison being available as a consultant until he resigns, said district spokesperson Richie Escovedo.

Vaszauskas' top two priorities for the district are reducing class sizes in the elementary schools - where "there are more waivers on the 22-1 ratio than Mansfield has ever had before," he said - and finding more planning time for teachers at the secondary level.

"Teachers are teaching seven of eight classes at the secondary level," Vaszauskas said. "They're struggling to find time to plan together and to get the grades in. Now that the financial situation has improved, the school board is interested in giving relief to the staff. I don't know what that will look like yet."

Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451

Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM

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