Coming on the heels of Superintendent Pat Nauroth’s resignation, another key figure in the Beatrice Public Schools administration is planning to leave.
On Monday night, the Beatrice Board of Education accepted the resignation of John Brazell, who has served as Beatrice Public Schools’ director of business affairs since 2010. Citing an upcoming restructuring in the district’s administration following Nauroth’s exit, Brazell said this seems like the right time to go.
With the Beatrice Board of Education beginning discussions on what the top level administration team should look like in advance of hiring a new superintendent, Brazell said his resignation should make things easier.
“It just kind of made sense, with them hiring a new superintendent,” he said. “This way, the board can maybe focus what they're looking for and what skills they're going to need.”
The school board is looking at four potential options for central office restructuring.
The first would mean leaving the positions—superintendent, director of finance and director of curriculum and instruction as they are. The second would be to select a superintendent with a strong finance background, reduce the director of finance position to more of a bookkeeping role and keep the director of curriculum and instruction.
Third, the board could pick a superintendent candidate with a background in curriculum and instruction, get rid of the director of curriculum and instruction position, change the director of finance to a business manager position and hire a full-time clerical support staff member to work with curriculum and instruction.
Lastly, they the board could find a superintendent with either a strong finance background or strong curriculum and instruction background and hire an assistant superintendent while reducing the positions of director of curriculum and director of finance, then bring on a full-time clerical support staff member.
Brazell said his current position doesn’t require the level of education that he has, which means during restructuring his position would be the first the board would consider replacing.
Brazell has a bachelor's degree in music education from Hastings College and two master's degrees from Kansas State University—one in curriculum and instruction and another in education administration. Brazell also has an educational specialist degree from Wayne State University.
He started his career in education as a music teacher and band director until the late 1980s when he began to suffer from hearing problems.
“As much as I wanted to stay in the band room, my hearing was too much of an issue,” he said. “Your ears ring at night and you can't sleep. I'd lost enough hearing that it was becoming difficult for me to tune instruments. I needed to do something different, as much as I enjoyed it and loved it.”
He wanted to stay in education, he said, so he moved into administration and worked as a principal before moving on to become superintendent of Freeman Public Schools until 2008. He then served as superintendent of Anita Public Schools in Iowa until he was hired as business manager at Beatrice Public Schools in 2010.
Brazell is not planning on retiring, but he hopes to find a job where he can work more directly with students, he said, either as a principal or superintendent.
Brazell, whose salary for the 2017-2018 school year is $110,565, will stay on as director of business affairs until his contract expires in June of 2018.