Millstadt School District 160's board just navigated some tricky terrain, but we think they were carrying the right compass.
Board members were presented with an opportunity early this spring when Millstadt Consolidated School Principal Gary Huwer decided to retire after nearly 45 years with the district. The district is under fiscal pressure, as are most local schools, so they decided to save money by combining Huwer's job with that of the Millstadt Primary Center principal.
Primary Center Principal Kevin Juhas was with the district for five years and is losing his job. There were factions in Millstadt for and against Juhas remaining in Millstadt schools, but the bottom line was that the board needed to pay attention to what was best for the bottom line and Juhas no longer fit the plan.
While Millstadt's schools are only separated by baseball fields, the new principal will still be tugged in two directions by a tougher job than either of the predecessors faced. Going with someone new is the right route: The new person understands before ever taking the job that he or she will be in charge of two schools. Also, the board can find the right fit for pupils ranging from little ones just learning their colors to young teens heading into high school.
As we've said before, we encourage all government leaders to continually review operations for efficiencies. If a fiscal crunch is not motivating them, then their responsibilities to the taxpayers who elected them should be.