EAST CHICAGO | The School City of East Chicago board named veteran school administrator William "Bill" Gall as the district's interim superintendent.
Gall, who is an Educational Service Co. consultant, has worked in other local school districts. He will serve in an interim capacity while East Chicago Superintendent Mike Harding is on family medical leave.
East Chicago School Board President Jesse Gomez said Harding requested up to 12 weeks, but Gomez is not certain "exactly how long Harding will be gone." His last day was Friday.
Harding's contract with the school district concludes in August 2014. Gomez said the board is working on an evaluation instrument for Harding. "We have some concerns and will address them during his upcoming evaluation," Gomez said.
Meanwhile, Gall will begin his duties Monday. He is expected to be in the district three days per week, working four to six hours a day.
For his services, Gall will be paid $650 per day. For each meeting outside the workday the consultant attends, he will be paid $220 per hour.
According to the contract, costs and expenses to be reimbursed by the school corporation will include, but are not limited to parking fees, copying costs, overnight accommodations, meals, etc. if agreed to by the district in advance. Mileage expenses will be based on the Internal Revenue Service-approved rate of travel at the time of service.
In other business, the School Board previously approved the nonrenewal of contracts for several administrators, Gomez said. That list includes Geralda Martinez, director of human resources; Karla Van Winkle, vice principal at an elementary school; James Kendall, principal; and William Kelly as athletic director. Kelly is eligible to apply for the position again or return to the classroom, Gomez said.
Gomez said some administrators on the nonrenewal list resigned, including Esselona Jane Larson, chief academic officer; Christian Flores, director of support services; Laura Hubinger, treasurer; Karen Puchalski, a junior high vice principal; Wendel McCollum, Central High School principal; and Brian Dahlin, director of custodial services.
As a result, Gomez said there are a variety of administrative and teaching positions open.
He said the freshmen class will return to the high school in the fall and the West Side building and Block building will both house seventh- and eighth-grade students. Gomez said the students at the former Field Elementary School building will be transitioned to the West Side building or they could be housed in a separate section at the high school.
The Field building has been the subject of a dispute. The previous School Board gave the building to the city. The new nine-member elected board hired the Highland-based Tauber law firm to research the issue.
"No lawsuit has been filed yet," Gomez said. "They are researching what happened and what the board should do."