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April 24, 2012

NA-FC names new theater directors

Floyds Knobs native and American Idol semi-finalist take the spots

NEW ALBANY — The new theater directors for New Albany and Floyd Central high schools were approved at the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp.’s board of trustees meeting Monday night.

The retirements of David Longest at New Albany and Chris Bundy at Floyd Central were announced late last year. The board accepted the new directors as part of their consent agenda — a group of agenda items usually accepted en masse.

Robbie Steiner will take over for Chris Bundy at Floyd Central. Steiner has worked at Floyd Central as an 11th grade English teacher as well as the facilitator for the school’s Project Graduation program since November 2011.

Mark Boone, board president asked if any new hires wanted to speak during the meeting. Steiner introduced himself to the board.

“I just want to thank the board for the opportunity to continue the tradition of excellence in the arts at Floyd Central and to create new magic for the students,” Steiner said.

Steiner said he’s a graduate of Providence High School and has grown up in Floyds Knobs.

At New Albany High School, John Zisa will replace David Longest as that school’s theater director.

Zisa, who taught at Hackensack High School in Hackensack, New Jersey, was a semi-finalist on season four of “American Idol.” Zisa was not present at the meeting.

The board also briefly mentioned a revised policy that would change how the district can cancel a teacher’s contract.

The changes come as part of the aftermath from the passage of Senate Bill 575 last summer, which changes what teachers associations can bargain with school districts in their contracts.

Bill Briscoe, assistant superintendent, said the policy was just under its first review with the board and more changes will come before a final vote is rendered.

“I’ve had several conversations with the association,” Briscoe said. “We’ll continue to have conversations as we work through this process — a new process. I want to thank [association president Joy Lohmeyer], and we may not always agree on everything, but we do have lots of communication and I do appreciate her.”

After the meeting, Lohmeyer said it wasn’t necessarily that she disagreed with Briscoe, but the legal teams for the district and the association have differing interpretations of what the law means.

Also, two people spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting about who should serve as the new director of student programs and cultural responsiveness after Theresa Duke, the current director, retires after this school year.

Marcia Booker, a New Albany resident and NAACP member, said she was concerned that the only black principal in the district was going to be considered for the position because she wasn’t sure another minority principal would be selected.

Rebecca Gardenour, board member, also said she was concerned that if the principal were changed to that director’s position, a minority principal might not replace that position.

Bruce Hibbard, superintendent, said after the comments made by the board revealed Sharon Jones as the candidate, those discussions are still taking place.

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