New Science Hill Ind. superintendent will combine those duties with previously separate principal's job in the P-8 district, saying it's not necessary to have both positions when many tasks overlap

Commonwealth Journal, Somerset, Aug. 3, 2017

Dyehouse will serve dual role for Science Hill Schools

By CHRIS HARRIS

Jimmy Dyehouse is getting ready for his first year as superintendent at Science Hill School after spending one year as principal.

It will also be his second year as principal.

Sort of.

As Science Hill enters the 2017-18 school year, Dyehouse will be pulling double duty — as a superintendent who does the job of a principal as well.

“It’s my 24th year in education,” said Dyehouse. “I think I’m more excited about this year (than any others) and a lot of the teachers are too from what I hear. I couldn’t be more excited about what the new year holds, that’s for sure.”

In a change from what those at Science Hill are used to, when the school year starts up again Wednesday, August 9, the school won’t have a principal.

Instead, the duties of the principal were rolled into Dyehouse’s superintendent contract after he was hired back on June 22 by the Science Hill Board of Education. Dyehouse replaced former superintendent Rick Walker, whose contract was not renewed for the upcoming school year.

Dyehouse was first hired by Science Hill the previous summer to replace Jackie Rogers as principal at Science Hill. Though the district consists of only a single facility that holds classes for children going up through the 8th grade, having closed the high school decades ago, it has long maintained both a principal and superintendent.

“We (Dyehouse and the board) talked about it, and looked at the options, looked at the size of the school, being preschool through 8th grade,” said Dyehouse. “A lot of the job that the principal and (the job that) the superintendent does overlaps. It just feels like it’s not necessary (to have both).”

Dyehouse said that wasn’t the stated intention of the board in hiring him up from the principal’s office to the superintendent’s, but he does feel like it’s what is “best for students at Science Hill.” He also said that the word he’s heard on the move as been positive.

“The community is in agreement,” he said. “I’ve talked with a lot of people in the community, a lot of parents who said they didn’t understand why we had both. So they’re happy about that.”

It also saves the district a healthy chunk of change. As principal last year, Dyehouse made over $91,000 in salary.

“That’s money saved that we’ll be able to spend on students,” he said.

Dyehouse is quick to point out he doesn’t hold both titles, merely that the responsibilities of principal are now listed in his duties as superintendent. The jobs aren’t exactly the same — but they aren’t that different either, in Dyehouse’s eyes.

“As a principal, you are a building manager. You are evaluator of the staff. Safety is a bit part of the job,” he said. “As principal. those responsibilities are inherent (to the job). As principal, I was the instructional leader of the school.

“But,” he added, “we’re a one-school district.”

Dyehouse noted that “culture and climate” are things both jobs focus on.

“You see how that overlaps, because the principal’s office and the superintendent’s office are two doors down,” he said. “One person in this building is able to take care of 440 kids (approximately), a staff of 25 certified teachers, classified staff.”

Dyehouse wants to grow the school to 500 students and put laptop computers in the hands of every student. That’s his goal as superintendent and he knows he has a big task ahead of him, now working both roles in charge of Science Hill School.

“I’m willing to do that,” he said. “I know I will have to worker harder than I have ever worked in my life.”

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