Administrative changes announced under new LPS organizational structure

At the regular meeting of the Lincoln Board of Education held June 13, a proposed organizational structure presented by Superintendent Paul Gausman was approved. The revised organizational structure ensures the school district is aligned with the primary goal of positively impacting student academic achievement. 

“I cannot tell you how impressed I continue to be with the strength of the administrative team in the Lincoln Public Schools,” Gausman said. “Instruction is the most important thing we do, but if we don’t get student behavior in check, we are not going to get better with instruction. We must address student behavior in order to reduce distractions so we can provide high-quality student instruction.”

During the superintendent update at the June 13 meeting, Gausman announced his recommendations for LPS staff who would serve in the associate superintendent and leadership positions on the Executive Cabinet as outlined on the new organizational chart. The Board will consider and vote on the appointments at the June 27 regular meeting.

As part of the instructional division, Matt Larson will be the Associate Superintendent for Educational Services. Larson currently serves as the Associate Superintendent for Instruction, a role he has held since 2018. 

Under the new organizational structure, Larson will oversee Student Services, Early Childhood, Special Education, Federal Programs and Grants, Health Services, and Security (a move from Business Affairs).

Sarah Salem will serve as the new Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. Salem has been the Director of Continuous Improvement and Professional Learning since 2015 and the ESU 18 Administrator since 2019. She came to the district office from Southwest High School, where she served as an associate principal for two years, and Southeast High School, where she served as a coordinator for three years. Salem began her teaching in Kansas City in 2006. She received her Doctorate of Educational Administration Degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Educational Administration Specialist Degree and Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Kansas. 

In her role as the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Salem will oversee Continuous Improvement and Professional Learning; Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Focus Programs; and Library Services. 

Under the new organizational structure, Assessment will move under Curriculum and Instruction. Takako Olson’s title will change to Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. In addition to her director role, the Board is also voting to approve Olson as the next ESU 18 Administrator. Olson has held the director role since 2017. Prior to that, she was an Associate Principal at Southeast High School from 2010-2017, an Instructional Coordinator at Southeast from 2003-2010, an English Language Learner Program Team Leader from 1999-2003, and ELL teacher at Elliott Elementary School from 1997-2003. Olson earned her Doctorate of Education Degree, a Master’s Degree from Doane University, and Bachelors Degrees in Business Management and Education from Concordia University.

With the approval of the new organizational chart, other changes include shortening the title of Associate Superintendent for General Administration and Governmental Relations title. John Neal’s new title will be Associate Superintendent for Civic Engagement. Neal has held the position since 2012.

The new organizational structure also clarifies the administrators that serve on the Executive Cabinet by changing the titles of the communications and equity, diversity, and inclusion positions. Brittney Hodges-Bolkovac will join LPS as the Executive Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion starting July 1. Mindy Burbach’s title will change to Executive Director of Communications, a role she has held since 2019.

Continuing as Associate Superintendent for Business Affairs will be Liz Standish; Associate Superintendent for Human Resources will be Vann Price; and Chief Technology Officer will be Kirk Langer. 

Below is a highlight video of the revised organizational structure presentation and the superintendent update.  

Published: June 14, 2023, Updated: June 14, 2023