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RISD Board approves interim superintendent contract

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Gottlieb to serve until June 30; unrelated: Brian Byrd resigns

The Roswell school board has approved a contract for Interim Superintendent Michael Gottlieb until the end of the district’s fiscal year.

Michael Gottlieb, interim RISD superintendent (Submitted Photo)

In an unrelated situation, Brian Byrd, assistant superintendent of human resources, has announced his resignation, effective Feb. 19.

Gottlieb focusing on ‘budgets, school testing’

Alan Gedde, president of the Roswell Independent School District Board of Education, confirmed that the board voted unanimously at a Jan. 21 special meeting to accept the contract.

“We are excited to see what’s going to transpire from here on out as a board,” Gedde said.

He added that the board could discuss the search for a permanent superintendent as early as Feb. 11.

“The search process has to be done in a board meeting as far as how we are going to do that, so at the next board meeting we will probably discuss that,” Gedde said.

Gottlieb said that he is focusing on helping administrators and other district personnel as they work through budgets, school testing and other immediate concerns.

“I am just trying to help the board out and in the decisions that need to be made,” he said. “I am excited to be able to help out the board and come back to see a lot of good people.”

Gottlieb and Chad Cole, assistant superintendent for finance, said that the contract runs through June 30 and calls for Gottlieb to receive the daily rate for superintendent, $640.50, which is the standard annual salary divided by 242 days. Gottlieb also will receive six days of sick leave and six days of annual leave, but no other benefits or perks.

Gottlieb previously held the position for eight years until his retirement in 2012. He had been an educator with Roswell schools for 31 years.

He was chosen by the board to serve as interim superintendent following an executive session on Jan. 14, when the board accepted the resignation of Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy.

McIlroy will be on administrative leave until June 30, the end of her contract. She and the board issued an official statement that indicated the resignation was a result of her “desire to pursue other professional interests.”

Gedde said that she received no extra compensation as a result of the situation.

McIlroy had joined the district in April 2018 after the Board of Education conducted a search for about a year, identifying six finalists for the position. McIlroy had been the superintendent of Loving Municipal Schools and came to Roswell with more than 30 years of experience in public education.

Byrd resigns for personal reasons

Byrd, assistant superintendent for human resources, said family reasons have prompted him to resign.

“I am sad to leave RISD,” he said. “I have enjoyed working here for the past 12 years. … I wish everyone there a great future.”

Byrd started with the school district as a basketball coach but then joined the RISD administration as human resources director starting in 2016. He also served for a time as interim athletics director until the job was filled permanently. He became assistant superintendent upon a promotion in 2017.

Byrd stressed that his decision had nothing to do with McIlroy’s resignation or the change in superintendents, and Gottlieb stressed that Byrd was not “pressured” to make the decision.

Byrd explained that he had been considering leaving his job for several months but that a personal situation involving family outside of Roswell led him to decide that now was the appropriate time.

He also added that his decision does not affect his wife, LaShawn Byrd, the principal of University High School for two years. She is expected to remain in her position until at least the end of the academic year.

Gottlieb said he has named Mireya Trujillo as the interim assistant superintendent for human resources.

A former Roswell teacher and principal, Trujillo is now the director of professional development within the Academic Services Division of the RISD. She had been head of human resources for about a year before taking her current position.

Gottlieb said that he named someone on an interim basis so that the new superintendent can choose his or her own person for the job.

“They need to build a team. That person needs to build a team,” he said, “but I need support right now, so I have moved Mireya Trujillo into that position and we will have to disperse her duties among the other staff.”

Gottlieb added that the district is expected to be able to function as normal with current human resources staff and will continue its efforts to address the “dire” need for additional teachers, a situation he said is experienced statewide.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.