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As the Portage Community Schools move forward with the search for a new district administrator, I recommend the following considerations: It will be very important for the new administrator to have been a full-time classroom teacher for a minimum of five years. The teachers will only respect an administrator who has demonstrated that they know what it takes to be a teacher.

Often in the spring, the principal and other administrators are given contracts. The Portage School Board should hold off on giving any new contracts. The new administrator may want to make some changes.

Once a new administrator is hired, it is suggested that all administrators live in the Portage Community School District. In school districts the size of Portage and smaller, this is what is happening statewide in many schools.

I am optimistic that in the near future, Portage schools will again be working with colleges and getting student teachers. Along with the student teachers, utilize young coaches who will bring a positive tone to the school.

Administration and staff working together creates a positive attitude in the classroom.

Gary O'Hearn, Portage, Principal (Retired), University Supervisor (Retired)