Wednesday, October 23, 2019 Elyria 44°

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Lorain Schools fills 5 new positions


LORAIN — Five new leadership positions in Lorain Schools were announced Monday that will involve some members of the current administration playing musical chairs while new faces also are welcomed aboard.

Current staff members Josh Hill, Jeff Hawks and Elena Gonzalez will take on new roles in the district while LaKimbre Brown will become the chief schools officer and Arliss Prass will become the chief family officer.

“When we first set out to create a vision for what success in Lorain looks like, we knew that talented district leaders could help lead that change with the community,” district CEO David Hardy said in a news release. “Each of these positions will have an integral role in carrying out The Lorain Promise, from community and family engagement to staff and teacher support to ensuring we’re operating smoothly and using our resources wisely.”

While Hill will be continuing in his current role as treasurer, he also will become the chief strategy and innovation officer to help “drive systems and processes that promote efficiency and effectiveness and ensuring that data are used to drive results throughout the district.”

Hawks, who has been with the district in some capacity for more than 30 years, will transition from the director of operations to the chief operations officer where he will “transform the way (the district thinks) about operating, allocating resources and achieving educational equity throughout the organization.”

Gonzalez will become the new chief of staff after serving as the executive assistant to the superintendent since 2009 partnership with the CEO and will work “in collaboration with the rest of the administrative leadership team to ensure efficient communication among school leaders, manage calendars and scheduling to ensure that operations run smoothly and implement and manage procedures that increase operational efficiency.”

Brown will be “developing structures to support Lorain’s scholars and their learning” to help “cultivate excellence in school leadership throughout Lorain” after serving as the Washington, D.C., Public Schools instructional superintendent.

According to the news release, 10 out of 12 of her schools made significant gains in the past year, but it does not state what benchmarks were used to determine this statistic.

Prass will officially begin her position as the chief family officer today at which point she “will lead the development of the family office, where she will focus on establishing opportunities for the community to connect and contribute to strong, passionate learning environments throughout Lorain schools.”

She most recently served as the assistant director of culture at Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia, and her new position mirrors the previous administration’s director of family and student outreach, which was held by Jay Nimene.

Hardy was not available for comment regarding Nimene’s status with the district and other aspects regarding the new positions.

According to the release, the remaining two chief positions — chief equity and achievement officer and chief people officer — will be filled at the beginning of next month.

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or Follow her on Twitter at @KatieHNix.

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