A gym teacher has been promoted to a new interim administrative administration position at L.J. Hauser Junior High School in Riverside.

Derek Harvey will be the co-administrator of Hauser along with assistant principal Stacy Westin in the absence of Principal Leslie Berman. Berman cleaned out her office on Jan. 8 and has not returned to work. Berman’s lawyer and lawyers for the school board are trying to negotiate a severance package.

District 96 Superintendent Bhavna Sharma-Lewis sent Hauser parents an email on Jan. 24 informing them of Harvey’s new position.

“Mrs. Westin will continue as the assistant principal and Mr. Derek Harvey will be the co-building administrator effective Monday 1.27.14,” Sharma-Lewis said in the email. “Mr. Harvey holds a Type 75 administrative certificate and has supported the building leadership needs these past few weeks with various duties.”

Peggy King, the interim director of special education, will now work in the main Hauser office on the two days that she works in the district to provide more administrative support for Westin and Harvey.

Tom Burke, who had been working as a paraprofessional at Hauser, has been promoted to teacher and has taken over Harvey’s physical education classes. Burke is a certified teacher.

Berman is still technically the principal of Hauser and is still listed as principal on the Hauser website.

Sharma-Lewis would not answer questions about whether Berman was still being paid, whether she was on some type of leave or whether she was using sick or vacation days.

“I am unable to comment on personnel matters regarding your specific questions,” Sharma-Lewis said.

In her email to parents, which Sharma-Lewis provided the Landmark when asked about Harvey’s new position, Sharma-Lewis emphasized that the district is trying to keep things normal and stable for students.

Sharma-Lewis said that she and Director of Academic Excellence Brian Ganan are also available for administrative support at Hauser. The district offices are located in the basement of Central School, next door to Hauser.

“The Hauser staff and administration continue to focus on teaching and learning and prioritize students’ safety and well-being,” Sharma-Lewis wrote. “Dr. Ganan and I continue to be available in the building to support administrators, staff and students.

Thank you for your patience and support during this time of change and transition.”