Brian Charron has only been in his new role as Waterloo superintendent of schools for a little more than a week but is already getting a taste for what the road ahead will be like.
Charron’s role officially began July 1 as he moved from the principal’s office at the high school to the district office on Bellefontaine Drive.
He succeeds Jim Helton, who recently retired as superintendent. Charron previously served as superintendent of the Valmeyer school district.
As Waterloo High School principal, Charron worked with high school faculty, staff and students on a daily basis. As district superintendent, he’s hoping to get to know the faculty, staff and students in the other buildings as well.
“That’s what I’m looking forward to the most,” he said.
The responsibilities of the district are evolving because of requirements of the Affordable Care Act, Charron said.
“Teacher evaluation is changing this year,” he said. “So there’s a process we’ve been working on for the past few years that’ll be completely different for us.”
Charron cited that as one of the things he really wants to focus on and “do right from the beginning.”
Though district finances are difficult in the current climate of state funding, Charron said he hopes to continue the process of saving money while providing the quality education his district strives to provide.
“As things continue to become tighter fiscally over the next few years and the district’s reserves are running lower, that’s going to become a more difficult task,” he said. “I look forward to engaging all stakeholders in those decisions because if the state economy doesn’t improve, we’re going to have to face some challenging decisions on where we can make additional cuts.”
In the past week, he’s had a chance to meet with the principals of each school building, check out summer maintenance and construction projects, and sign off on purchase orders for the district.
“As each new thing comes through the door, I’m getting the chance to see it from a district perspective,” he said.
As for the rest of the summer leading up to the start of the 2014-15 school year, Charron will attend his first school board meetings as superintendent and prepare for student registration.
So far, he said numbers for the upcoming school year look good.
“We’re getting close to having to hire another teacher for a couple of grade levels,” he said. “So, we’re preparing for that possibility after we get registration completed the last week of July.”
He will also spend the remainder of summer getting acquainted with the budget from a district perspective.
“For the past four years, my experience has been just the high school budget,” he said. “Now I have to process that from five different buildings and prepare to have it put on display for the public in August.”
Charron’s first school board meeting as superintendent will take place at 7 p.m. July 21.