The Darby School Board decided Monday to negotiate internally for the hiring of a new, part-time superintendent.

According to board member Erik Abrahamsen, the trustees gave up on a plan to work out a part-time superintendent sharing agreement with another school district - Victor was the logical choice - because Victor already has a crop of applicants in hand for its superintendent opening.

Abrahamsen said it was a matter of timing.

"I liked the idea," he said. "But for now we're going to have to proceed with this (in-house hiring) process."

The move to negotiate with Darby School District's two principals was also a logical choice, given the fact that the board plans to incorporate some principal duties into the new part-time superintendent's job, Abrahamsen said.

The move is part of the board's efforts to confront a budget shortfall that is compounded by dwindling enrollment.

Tim Bronk, Darby's current superintendent, said the district is likely to see a certified staff that numbers 36 dwindle as well. Bronk told the board that within another year, it would likely be within the range that state accreditation allows for a part-time superintendent.

Both Bronk and Abrahamsen said the process of negotiating with elementary principal Loyd Rennaker and high school principal Jennifer Burdette would be fairly routine.

Abrahamsen said the board wants to have an offer for discussion when it meets next Monday.

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