The Board of Education voted to extend Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer’s contract for an additional year.
The vote came Tuesday, after a one hour executive session and a called meeting that lasted more than four hours. Originally, Brewer’s contract was to be up June 30, 2009, but has now been extended until 2010.
Board Vice Chair Frances Meeks made the motion, Judy Crosby seconded it and Mary Warnell and Joe Pacenka voted in favor of passing the motion. Jeff Morton voted against the motion and board Chairman Eddie Warren and Billy Mock abstained.
Morton said the extension emphasizes how important the upcoming general primary election is.
"I am very disappointed that this was done a week before the election," he said. "I don’t mind accepting what a majority of the board wants to do, but I would have liked to see this vote take place after the election – the make-up of the board may be changed after next week – there is a possibility of three new members taking office in January."
Warren said he abstained because he wasn’t ready to make a vote and proposed it be done at a later date. Meeks said she made the motion as a result of Brewer receiving perfect scores on her annual board evaluations for two years in a row.
"Dr. Brewer has received 100 percent of her evaluation; 100 percent on her work and her work ethic, for two years in a row," Meeks said. "She didn’t ask for a raise – I don’t know that she’s ever asked for a raise – she said she’d rather have an extra year added to her contract and I thought it was the right thing to do."
The superintendent evaluation is based on the school district’s annual list of system improvements. Each year, several items on the list are specifically addressed to Brewer.
"The board assigns her what we want her to do. She is the only employee the board hires and we set her evaluation instrument," Meeks said, noting Brewer is given the new list before the start of each school year. "We have not finished next year’s list yet and we’re working on it, that’s why we were setting the system’s goals (on Tuesday). Then we take several items from the system’s goals and pull out what she’s responsible in doing."
Brewer said there is no official evaluation instrument for school boards to utilize. She said the Georgia School Board Association has provided suggestions and input for how to base an evaluation, including by using a district’s system improvements plan.
"I appreciate the renewal as a vote of confidence in the school system and in me. I think what we accomplish is a result of the outstanding teachers in our schools," Brewer said.
When they first implemented the system improvements plan in 2006, as a way to evaluate the superintendent’s performance, there were 12 major category areas.
This year, the 2007-2008 system improvements plan was based on five categories: provide resources to support academic achievement, establish rules and provide resources to ensure a safe and secure learning environment, maintain a comprehensive program for recruitment and retention of personnel, document procedures and practices to ensure effective use of resources, and implement activities and practices to maintain positive relationships with the community.
"The contents of (the evaluation) are confidential but I am more than happy to tell you I got 12 yeses last year and five yeses this year," Brewer said. "When the board gives me a directive, I am going to do it."
Now the board is in the process of going through the list to see what improvements have been accomplished, which will continue to be followed up next year and what improvements need to be added. They hope to complete the updated list for 2008-2009 school year by the end of July.