Paula Stallings (right) in a file shot, accepting an award from Schools Superintendent Jan Harris.
The big news at Monday's meeting of the Dade County Board of Education is that Paula Stallings, the school system's longtime finance director, is retiring effective March 31, 2020.
Ms. Stallings has worked for Dade County Schools for 33 years, having started as a school nutrition bookkeeper-slash-receptionist in 1986. "It’s bittersweet," she told The Planet Tuesday afternoon by phone. "I'm excited, but this has been my life."
Ms. Stallings said her father graduated from high school in Dade, she's raised her three children while working for the system and her grandson is in the ninth grade at DCHS now. "I have no regrets," she said. "I love the work."
But not so much that she doesn't yearn to slide out from under it now. Ms. Stallings says she will continue to work, but going forward she wants something part-time with less responsibility. Asked about a successor, she said the job will be posted but that nobody in the system is poised to slide into the vacancy as far as she knows. "Nobody wants this job," she said.
Other personnel news announced at the B of E's Sept. 16 meeting is that Brian Stone, a bus driver, is also retiring, in his case as of Oct. 1, and Dade Elementary School paraprofessional Priscilla McAfee has resigned as of Monday. Bus driver Tonya Knight resigned as of Sept. 12.
The board hired Amber Gilbert as a paraprofessional at Davis School. Jessica Castillo was approved as a substitute teacher for all system schools. Alicia Williams was approved as assistant wrestling coach at Dade Middle School.
Melissa Nestell, Kathy Donaldson, Theresa Daniel and Amanda Steele were approved as school nutrition substitutes. The board switched part-time bus driver Stacy Domingo to full time, and part-time cafeteria worker India White was transferred from the Davis to the DES cafeteria.
The board approved leave requests for DES teacher Tonia Stevens, DMS teacher Stephen Graham and Dade County High School teacher Kaitlyn Carter.