Lincoln Public Schools superintendent shares takeaways from transition

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – November was part one.

The Lincoln Public Schools Board of Education in its meeting on Tuesday night heard part two of Superintendent Paul Gausman’s transition to his role.

Nebraska law requires that new superintendents be evaluated twice their first year.

Back in November, Gausman mentioned six priorities for the district.

But those have since dwindled to four: human resources, early childhood, student behavior supports and focus programs.

“It’s time for this district, for the reasons I’ve already talked about – student behavior, focus on instruction and achievement, retention and recruitment of great staff members – to talk about separating out the executive work of teaching and learning and educational services,” Gausman said.

So Gausman proposed a new organizational structure for the school board going forward.

He also addressed problems with caring for preschoolers.

“Our biggest challenge we have right now is we can’t double the size of our preschool programs,” Gausman said. “We just don’t have the space for it, and if we can find ways to solve the space problems, I think we can do some good things for Lincoln.”

As for human resources, he said the focus is attracting and retaining staff. All staff.

“It’s also important when we talk about staffing in public schools, that we don’t just have everybody’s brain go right to teachers,” Gausman said. “They’re great partners to us, but we’ve got other positions as well that also have workforce shortages.”

Many board members came forward to say he did exactly what they asked him to do.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people in the community that they enjoy meeting with you, that they’re glad you’re here, so let me also say I’m glad you’re here,” board member Lanny Boswell said. “We asked you to come back to us with what you saw, what you’ve heard and recommendations, and you’ve definitely done that.”

Many board members agreed that Gausman rose to the occasion with his findings.

While not surprising, the recommendations were considered from a new direction that the board is looking to implement soon.

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