Several personnel changes are taking place at Richmond Community Schools’ Central Office. 

During its May 22 meeting, the board approved the resignations of Brenten Baker, chief of elementary education, and Mark Fowler, chief of secondary education. Both departures are effective June 30. 

Baker joined RCS in July 2022 as director of student achievement, bringing more than 20 years of experience in education. Fowler came to RCS in July 2023 from California, where he had been a high school principal.

In addition, the board approved changes in assignment for Stacy Mopps and Melissa Swafford. Mopps is moving from human resource officer to interim chief human resource officer. Swafford, who has been business coordinator, has been named interim chief financial officer. Both of those changes were effective April 29.  

Those changes are related to the departure of Jamie Bolser, who was RCS’ chief of finance and human resources officer. Bolser, a former deputy treasurer, assessor and county council president, began work as budget division director of Indiana’s Department of Local Government Finance on April 29.  

Communities in Schools

Communities in Schools and RCS officials are discussing funding for 2024-2025 staffing of site coordinators in schools. Pandemic-related Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds aren’t available, so RCS would need to find more money elsewhere to maintain CIS staffing levels. School officials indicated they want to support CIS services but need to be fiscally responsible. Costs have approached $180,000 annually.

CIS’ Becky Murray and Katie Stephens presented data from 2023-24 regarding school-wide service, targeted support and individual student support. 

CIS board member Melissa Vance and Starr Elementary Principal Melissa Jordan also spoke about the organization’s benefits. Jordan said she “wouldn’t know what to do” without CIS meeting her students’ needs and coordinating volunteers.    

In other business

The board: 

  • Awarded a bid from Whisenhunt Construction for Fairview Elementary structural repairs. The goal is summer completion. Contingency plans will be established for impacted classrooms if weather or supply chain issues cause delays.
  • Approved an agreement for student transportation routing and tracking with Tyler Technologies. Parted ways with Orbit Software (Bus Boss), citing extreme disappointment with RoutePatrol and ParentPatrol platforms and believe they didn’t received promised service. They noted nearly five months of daily attempts at resolution. The new one-time fees are $125,043, plus recurring fees of $27,869.
  • Approved agreements with Becky Smallwood as mobility specialist for blind/low-vision students and Leanne Backmeyer for occupational therapy. 
  • Approved an obsolete equipment auction at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, at RCS’ bus garage, 3175 Salisbury Road N., Richmond. 
  • Conducted first readings of administrative authority, orientation, board meetings and meeting notice policies.  
  • Approved 2024-25 salaries/benefits for non-certified staff such as secretaries, school resource officers and maintenance. 
  • Approved the summer camp brochure for basketball, football, soccer, baseball, softball, wrestling, tennis, volleyball and swimming/diving. Learn more at or 765-973-3316. 
  • Heard from Steve Jones of Administrator Assistance, who noted many school employees and community members were interviewed for the realignment study that’s nearly complete. He said it’s great timing to consider developing a strategic plan and outlined potential benefits. 

RCS’ board has one public meeting in June, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, in 300 Hub Etchison Parkway. 

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A version of this article appeared in the May 29 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.