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Changes will soon be seen at West Sedona School.

During its Monday, July 14, meeting, the Sedona-Oak Creek School District board voted 4-1 to bring in a second principal to the school, which has been struggling academically.Scott Keller

Superintendent David Lykins, who made the recommendation, said any time a major decision like this has to be made, it’s often difficult but necessary.

“I recommend that we look at a different overall model for the school and by doing so, add an additional administrator,” he said.

Dr. Lisa Hirsch will remain as principal of grades kindergarten through fifth but Scott Keller will be brought in to be principal of the middle school-aged students — six - through eighth-grade. Keller is currently the director of student services for the district. The change will begin with the upcoming school year.

Sedona-Oak Creek School District Superintendent David Lykins The board made its decision following more than an hour of executive session behind closed doors. The majority of those in the packed room stayed until the vote was taken.

Board member Bobbie Surber was the dissenting vote, stating that even though she has great respect for Keller, she doesn’t feel adding a second administrator is necessarily the solution.


To read the full story, see the Wednesday, July 16, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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  • Michael Schroeder

    Amazing. More Management. How About More Teachers And NEW MANAGEMENT.

  • Matthew Oskowis

    Organizational changes to fix an operational issue tend to fail (history is replete with examples), because the organization fails to truly understand what the problem is that they are trying to fix, but believe that by divide and conquer they have the solution at hand but without a clear, communicated plan or strategy these changes are usually doomed to failure.

    If you are to win the war you usually need more troops, not more generals.

    My concerns not only stems from that the West Sedona School will now have two captains, but one of those captains, Scott Keller already has a full-time job as the Director of Student Services (aka Director of Special Education) which he will continue to do over and beyond his new principal duties.

    Our son currently attends West Sedona School and is a special needs child. Our experience with Mr. Keller as the Director of Student Services has been less than stellar and we are concerned, as all parents of special needs children should be, that the District has failed to deliver any assurances on how the District plans to continue to deliver the level of service to its most vulnerable students when their key administrator responsible will now have divided attentions.

    I don’t think the needs of our special needs students (135 students with individual educational plans) have diminished over the past three years since Susann Terry-Gage, the former Director of Special Education with a Ph.D. In Special Education and 20+ years of experience, held the position and she did so with the support of a full-time secretary.

    And how does this serve the students of “middle school” (6-8 grades) of West Sedona School? If there is truly a need for an additional principal should that person not have his/her full attention to the task at hand?

    Superintendent Lykins has not provided any information, even when asked directly, regarding how he plans to execute this plan of not only co-principals and split-time student services, nor has he provided any metrics or benchmarks that would indicate either short-term or long-term success or failure of this approach.

    Matthew Oskowis

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