On Tuesday, April 26, 2011, the Parkland Board of School Directors appointed Tracy Smith to Assistant to the Superintendent for Operations as part of an administrative restructuring that will also lead to the loss of one senior level administrative position in the District.
The plan includes the opportunity for Tracy to become more integral to the overall district leadership as she heads the information systems department and works to incorporate technology into all areas of district operations to ensure that all departments are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible. The net result will be that the leadership team will include one less administrator as Tracy’s current position as Director of Information Systems will not be replaced. This is the second administrative position Parkland has cut for the 2011-2012 budget. Dr. Rodney Troutman moves to the Assistant Superintendent position and his position as Assistant to the Superintendent for Educational Programs is being restructured and renamed as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Operations.
Tracy Smith has served as Parkland’s Director of Information Systems since 2008 where she has been responsible for providing leadership for district-wide technology and technology-related issues. She brings over 20 years of educational technology experience with her and has brought numerous new technologies to Parkland since 2008 when she began her career with Parkland.
Dr. Louise Donohue, Superintendent of Schools noted, “Parkland School District has shown a 50% reduction in overall costs for technology over the past few years while maintaining and extending the district’s infrastructure under Tracy’s leadership. She brings strong leadership and a wealth of knowledge in technology as well as educational curriculum background. We are pleased that she will be elevated to a more central leadership role so that her vision as to how technology can be used to help every department in the District will become a reality.”
The use of a relatively new product called “nComputing,” which Mrs. Smith introduced to Parkland, allows classrooms to use one machine to do the work that 5 used to do and use 1/100 of the power wattage that a desktop machine uses. The technology is used in all buildings on more than 1,000 machines which saved Parkland $549,000 this year as well as reduces future replacement costs. Mrs. Smith also oversaw the virtualization of the network which uses three physical servers to do the work of 36 servers. By adopting server virtualization, the District has saved $231,000. On the portable computer carts, small laptops costing just $299 each are replacing desktop computers that cost $799 each. No warranties come with the smaller laptops, so those fees have disappeared. The savings last year equated to $125,000. The District has also made great strides in the use of open-source software which is free software that allows the District to perform many applications – including the operation of the District and school web sites.
Tracy Smith said, “At Parkland, we are fortunate to have a very dedicated and talented technology team who has worked collectively to advance the district’s technology program. I am extremely honored to be considered for this position, and look forward to expanding the great work of the department as technology becomes an even more integral part of district operations.”
The administrative restructuring includes some other changes in leadership. Moving into David Grim’s position as Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development when Mr. Grim retires is L. Randy Claroni who was previously Coordinator of Secondary Curriculum. Marge Evans, currently serving as Interim Coordinator of Elementary Curriculum, Assessment and Federal Programs will move into the position of Coordinator of Data Assessment and Federal Programs. Another move will allow Jason Henry, who serves as the high school’s Classrooms for the Future Technology coach to expand his role to include the coaching of all of Parkland’s K-12 schools as he becomes the Coordinator of Educational Technology. These organizational changes will begin to take effect on July 1, 2011.