The 2019-2020 school year will be one of many new experiences and firsts for the New Richmond Exempted Village School District.
My name is Tracey Miller and I am most honored and proud to be the new superintendent for the district! This is a wonderful school district with committed and talented staff, inquisitive and eager students, and a tremendous parent and community support base. These are just a few of the reasons I accepted the position as superintendent.
First, a little about me. I have 33 years of experience as an educator. For the past 16 years, I worked in the Dublin City School District. During my time with Dublin, I held several positions including high school principal, Director of Secondary Education, Director of Operations, and most recently as Deputy Superintendent.
My career path has provided me with a vast array of experiences that have prepared me to lead the students and staff of New Richmond for the next decade. By establishing high expectations throughout the school community and providing the means to achieve these goals, we can and will experience growth in the classroom, performing arts, and athletic fields.
There are many amazing opportunities ahead for the district, but there are also challenges. The most critical challenge facing the district is financial.
Ahead of my accepting the position as superintendent, a decisive step was taken to reduce district operating costs. After multiple community discussions and significant deliberation, the New Richmond Board of Education approved a long-term, cost-savings plan to reconfigure the district.
The consolidation saved the district over $3 million annually. This was the first step in addressing our new financial reality.
For the first time in over 40 years, the New Richmond Board of Education is expected to ask voters to consider an operating levy in the near future. The details of the levy will be identified in the days and weeks ahead, but driving the need for this ask is the district’s changing economic forecast.
The shuttering of the Walter C. Beckjord Power Power Station, the sales and subsequent devaluations of the William H. Zimmer Powerstation, and reductions in Public Utility Tangible Personal Property (PUTPP) reimbursements from the state have resulted in a revenue decrease in the millions for the New Richmond Exempted Village School District.
The efficiencies made for the 2019-2020 were the first step in the overall effort to address the district’s revenue shortfall resulting from the decline in public utility revenues. Over the past three fiscal cycles that revenue shortfall has totaled over $5 million. That number is expected to grow with the possible further devaluation of Zimmer and further reductions in the PUTPP reimbursements.
As the board considers its next steps, district staff will continue the work of identifying other cost-saving efficiencies.
More importantly, the teachers and staff remain laser-focused on the important work of educating our students. New Richmond remains committed to providing our students with rigorous courses that address state standards taught by highly qualified teachers. Please join with me in making this the best year for our students we can possibly make it!
Tracey Miller, Superintendent