The retirement of a longtime Abilene ISD educator and three other administrative changes that will go into effect next school year have been announced by Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. Heath Burns.
•Karen Stover, Executive Director of Elementary Education, will retire at the end of the 2012-13 school year.
•Jeff Brokovich, Executive Director of Federal programs, will succeed Stover as Executive Director of Elementary Education.
•Cheryl Cunningham, Director of Early Childhood, will be become the new Executive Director of Federal Programs. She also will retain oversight duties of the Early Childhood program.
•Assistant Director of Early Childhood Jenny Putnam will be promoted to Director of Early Childhood.
The administrators’ new duties will officially begin for the 2013-14 school year.
“It is important that changes such as these be announced as early as possible. Early communication increases the chances of smooth transitions and decreases the likelihood of unnecessary scrambling,” Dr. Burns said. “Our administrators will have much time to collaborate and to assure efficiency and effectiveness in the changes.”
Stover has worked in Abilene ISD since 1976. She taught English at both Franklin Middle School and Abilene High School and served as assistant principal at both Bowie and Austin elementary schools. Before moving into her current position as Executive Director of Elementary Education in 2004, Stover was the principal of Austin Elementary School for 14 years.
“Karen Stover defines professionalism and constancy, and every day she provides great effort and expertise,” Burns said. “Her loss to the district will not be easily suffered. She is a great team member, a great educator and a great friend.”
Brokovich, currently in his 24th year at Abilene ISD, began a career in education in 1989. He taught at Alta Vista and Thomas elementary schools before entering into administration in 1994. He has served as an Administrative Officer with Curriculum and Instruction, an assistant principal at Thomas, Bonham and Bowie elementary schools, the principal at Alta Vista Elementary School, the Director of Instruction and the Executive Director of Elementary Education. He has been Executive Director of Federal Programs since 2006.
“Mr. Brokovich has served in central office for many years, and he is a data expert and a very hard worker,” Burns said. “He is a former elementary principal. I am confident he will make significant and immediate impact in his new assignment.”
Cunningham has been part of Abilene ISD’s Early Childhood program for 27 years, the last 23 as its executive director. She oversees the Woodson, Locust and Crockett early childhood centers as the site-based manager, instructional leader and principal of record. In 2011, she was recognized by her alma mater, Abilene Christian University, with the Grover C. Morlan Medal for outstanding leadership in education.
“As part of Mrs. Cunningham’s responsibilities as Director of Early Childhood, she spends much time working with federal programs,” Burns said. “She will have little trouble taking on Jeff’s assignments. I’m especially excited that she’ll retain oversight of our Early Childhood programs.”
Putnam has worked alongside Cunningham as Assistant Director of Early Childhood since 2003. She is a former special education teacher at Jane Long and Dyess elementary schools and served for nine years as learning specialist and consulting teacher in the Alternative Education Program.
“Jenny Putnam has served as Cheryl Cunningham’s long-term assistant director, and I think no one is more ready to work to fill Mrs. Cunningham’s big shoes,” Burns said. “Mrs. Putnam has a deep and meaningful love for children in our Early Childhood program and those that serve them. She’ll be great in her new assignment.”
Putman’s replacement as Assistant Director of Early Childhood will be chosen at a later date.