Metamora School District 1 reorganizes, hires new dean

Nick Vlahos

Officials in Metamora Community Consolidated School District 1 are proving to be quick-change artists.

In less than a month, the single-school elementary district reorganized its administrative structure and hired someone to help complete it. That capstone came Thursday, when the School Board met in special session and hired Tim Damery as dean of students, a position the district has not had for a number of years.

“School starts in two weeks,” said Roger Roemer, the board president. “He’s going to hit the ground running. We wanted our dean to not walk in the building for the first time with the students.”

Damery, who begins work immediately, will oversee student discipline and extracurricular activities, Roemer said. Curriculum issues and teacher evaluation will fall to Cathy Costello, who will be principal of all grades in the school.

For the previous five years, Costello was principal of kindergarten through fifth grades and handled related issues aside from athletics. So did the sixth-through-eighth-grade principal, Kathryn Marshall, who resigned last month to become assistant superintendent for the Marshall-Putnam-Woodford Regional Office of Education. She began work Wednesday.

“We just wanted to shift and try something new,” said Costello, who is beginning her 37th year in the district.

Had Marshall not resigned, structural changes this year would have been unlikely, Roemer indicated.

“Basically, this gave us a chance to re-evaluate things,” he said. “Now, we can kind of look at our future and see how things go.

“I wouldn’t say this was rushed. We did it in the proper time frame. But we let people know it was going to be fairly quick.”

This is the first administrative job for Damery, 38, who taught third grade at John L. Hensey Elementary School in Washington. Damery lives in Metamora, grew up there and attended the school where he now is dean.

“One of the reasons I live here now is that I know it’s a great school,” he said.

Damery was selected from among nine interviewees and, like other administrators, is working under a one-year contract, Roemer said.

Damery’s salary was not available.