Interim Portland Superintendent Jeanne Crocker announced a new chief academic officer, a new director of school management and a new director of transportation for the district on Tuesday, filling several top administrative positions.

The central office has had a complete turnover of its top staff since last fall. The hires announced Tuesday at a meeting of the city school board complete the director-level vacancies, said Crocker, who was named interim superintendent on July 7 after Emmanuel Caulk resigned to become superintendent in Lexington, Kentucky.

New transportation director Fred Barlow, most recently general manager of Durham School Services in Rochester, New York, told the board that one of his first tasks will be to coordinate the new school bus routes and schedules to accommodate the school start times. All high school students will be riding Metro buses this year.

Barlow said he is working with transportation staff to make some changes to the school bus routes, such as cutting out some side-street routes and some bus stops, with students directed to more primary roads.

The new routes will be finalized the week of Aug. 10, and parents would be notified of their child’s bus stop location by postcard the week of August 17.

“We’ve had some bus stops evolve over time, and gone into some side streets. It’s not as efficient as we need to be to meet the mandate we’ve been given,” Barlow said.

One route the department tested can be reduced from 41 minutes to 20 minutes, he said.

“There is significant savings there,” he said. “The trade-off is that some families, some children, may walk up to a quarter-mile or thereabouts to a major roadway.”

Chief Academic Officer Becky Foley has been assistant superintendent in School Administrative District 52 in Turner, Leeds and Greene since 2011, and before that she was principal at North Yarmouth Middle School for almost 10 years.

Foley has a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Southern Maine and is about to finish her doctorate in public policy at USM.

“I’m very excited to be here and be part of the team,” Foley told the school board at its meeting at City Hall.

In other moves, Crocker announced that Kim Brandt will be the new director of school management, working closely with principals at district schools. Crocker served in that role before being named superintendent.

Brandt, the 2012 Maine Middle School Principal of the Year, had been assistant superintendent in Regional School Unit 16 in Poland since 2013. Before that she was principal of Greely Middle School in Cumberland starting in 2005.

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