The Davenport Community School District has introduced two of its recently hired cabinet members.
They are Lisa Stevenson, director of learning and results; and Ben Driscoll, a director of instructional leadership at Davenport West High School. Kimberly Hofmann, the director of special education at the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, was named interim director of equity and student supports.
The positions come as the state continues to oversee some district operations, especially those aimed to correct disparities between white and Black students. The organization of the district’s central office was among the concerns identified by the state during assessments that resulted in the citations and the conditional accreditation of the district. The central office was seen as disorganized and the chain of command was deemed unclear.
These problems were detrimental to the district's communication and policy implementation — buildings were acting independently on initiatives rather than moving forward as a unit, according to the state.
The district has been developing a new administrative structure as part of its reform efforts. The new structure includes a cabinet of eight positions directly beneath Superintendent TJ Schneckloth.
Stevenson has been the director of instruction for the Marshalltown Community School District for the past five years. Her career has also included serving six years as a principal in Bettendorf Community School District at the Neil Armstrong and Thomas Jefferson elementary schools.
Driscoll has been serving as the principal of Monroe Elementary School for the past six years and was associate principal at Smart Intermediate School before that. He taught art in the Bettendorf Community School District for 13 years.
Schneckloth said after the meeting that the district worked out an agreement with the AEA so Hofmann could fill the cabinet position until the district can hire someone, but it may take time. The equity and student supports director was the only position on the cabinet still open as of Monday.
"We're actively looking for somebody to fill the equity and learning job and until it is she is going to serve as kind of an interim," Schneckloth said.
In other business, the district also received a report on early literacy — the district is planning to roll out a plan in August designed to improve reading scores — and the recent fire at McKinley Elementary School. On the McKinley fire, Schneckloth said the investigation by the Davenport Fire Department was ongoing.