The acting director of the Iowa Department of Education says by the end of next week he hopes to have hired 10 people to replace some of the three-dozen department staffers who accepted a package of financial incentives and retired early.
Kevin Fangman, the agency’s acting director, says he’s permanently eliminated nine full-time positions in the Department of Education, along with one part-time position. “My goal — and what I promote in the agency — is that we’re going to come out of this a leaner and stronger organization,” Fangman says.
Fangman was an elementary principal in Ottumwa, Ames and West Des Moines before he became an administrator in the Department of Education in 2007. He took over as the department’s acting director in May. “Innovation can come out of tough times,” Fangman says. “We’re really starting to focus on what is the work that we have to do, who needs to be involved with it and how do we move it forward.”
Fangman spoke this week to the School Administrators of Iowa. The association’s members are superintendents, principals, curriculum directors and administrators from the state’s 15 area education agencies. “The economy has slowed down and none of us has the amount of money that we need,” Fangman said during his remarks to the group of educators.
Fangman is a 1986 graduate of Western Dubuque High School who went on to earn an undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree from Iowa State University.