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Newport Independent Schools Announces Partnership with Southgate Independent Schools

The Newport Independent Schools will begin to provide finance and human resources services to the neighboring Southgate Independent Schools under a newly announced partnership.
Newport Superintendent Kelly Middleton said after he became aware that Southgate was going to hire a finance director, he approached Southgate Superintendent Greg Duty about the partnership.
"We are already providing food service to Southgate, so I thought this would be another potential partnership," Middleton said. "Greg could have hired a finance director and pay that person $90,000 to $100,000 with benefits. But instead, Southgate will pay us $40,000, which will offset our expenses. It's a win-win."
Newport Board of Education Chairwoman Ramona Malone said the partnership is a clear indication that the leaders of these two districts are student focused. 
"This type of innovative thinking, when funds are constantly being cut from public education, enables districts to provide more direct quality services for students," Malone said. "In addition to the academic responsibility, the public education sector is faced with the constant demand for socioeconomic services to remove education barriers so that our students can focus on learning every minute that we have them.”   
Duty said that his district is "excited" about the new partnership.
"It is imperative that we work together as a region when it comes to sharing our resources," Duty said. "This partnership is a win-win situation for Southgate Schools as we get to utilize the great people within Newport’s Finance and Human Resources Departments. We understand that every dollar matters within our school budgets so saving money through working together is the right thing to do. At the end of the day, we’ll do what we can to make good things happen through solid collaborative efforts such as this one between the Lions and the Wildcats.”
Newport administrators that will be working with Southgate include: District Finance Officer Tete Turner; Superintendent's Administrative Assistant Kim Klosterman, who will assist Southgate with health insurance; Accounts Payable Clerk Shannon Meyer; and Payroll Clerk Kim Snapp.
“This is a great example of two small school districts finding creative ways to work together to lower administrative costs," said Newport Board of Education member Matthew Scott. "We have a tenured finance department that will have no problems providing excellent service to both Newport and Southgate Schools. I hope that both districts can continue to partner together to find innovative solutions to issues in other areas of school administration.”
-Staff report
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