North Lakes Academy undergoes organizational changes

Middle school principal position eliminated

Mary Bailey
Community Editor

Jon Moberg, assistant director in charge of the middle school at North Lakes Academy for the past three years, will not be returning next fall.

As part of changing its administrative structure, the charter school has eliminated his position. Instead, two teachers will co-lead the middle school.

NLA4Andrew Brandt, language arts teacher for seventh and eighth grades who is completing a program in educational leadership at St. Mary’s University, will focus on curriculum and instruction. Kerry Huset, middle school physical education teacher and dean of students, will focus on student life.

Changes will also occur at the upper school. Math teacher Cam Stottler, who has served as upper school dean and Title IX coordinator, will be the building leader, with support from several teachers on special assignment.

Stottler will also be the assistant to Executive Director Jackie Saunders for all programs in grades 5-12.

Stottler, Brandt and Huset will be full-time administrators with no teaching duties.

“The traditional model of one superintendent (in our case, executive director) supervising one principal in each building just doesn’t give us enough depth to handle personnel changes,” Saunders wrote in a letter to parents. “We need layers of individuals who know our school community and have leadership experience in that community to provide continuity now and in the future. Lead teachers will allow us to do that.”

North Lakes Academy operates on an eight-block schedule, with four blocks per day. A teacher typically teaches seven courses, Saunders said, but teachers on special assignment will teach six and spend one block of time on administrative duties.

Upper school English teacher Beth Ann Peck, for example, will supervise the dual-credit programs College in the Schools, Advanced Placement and Postsecondary Enrollment Options.

“We have 100 juniors and seniors. She will know them all and pick which program suits them best,” Saunders said.

The new model is intended to provide flexibility to experiment with the expanding job duties of a growing school and to encourage the development of future leaders.

“We have to have a bench,” she explained, “a half-dozen people who understand our children, our parents and their needs. So we’re moving away from a traditional model toward shared teacher leadership.”