By Beth Bily
At a meeting where directors struggled to find common ground, the Nashwauk-Keewatin School Board failed to approve an evaluation methodology for assessing the performance of its superintendent.
Board Vice Chair Lisa Peratalo brought a previously used evaluation form to the meeting last week, seeking board approval for that as well as scheduling an evaluation session. Following discussion, however, a motion to approve the form failed in a 2-2 vote.
Although previously used by the district for its superintendent evaluation, Superintendent Lance Northey said the form was dated and didn’t include many elements of evaluation, such as test scores and financial accountability, used today.
Northey further noted that the form under consideration at last week’s meeting lacked forward-looking goals. “I would hope whatever model (for evaluation) you choose, I would have some input on that,” he told directors.
Several evaluation methods were under consideration by the district. In addition to the form previously used, models from Marzano, the school board association and school administrator’s association were under consideration. Board directors, however, were split on the merits of different evaluation models.
A motion to approve the previously used evaluation form failed with Peratalo, and Director Kyle Haigh voting in favor, while Board Chair Mary Jane Damjanovich and Director Jeff Sundquist cast dissenting votes. Director Dave Bevacqua and newly appointed Director Joe Dasovich were not present at the meeting.
The lack of consensus regarding the superintendent’s evaluation seemed to carry through to a later discussion on the district’s administration model. Although the board had previously approved a model for administration, Northey recommended a revisit of the issue. The new model the superintendent was recommending would result in cost savings for the district as well as reinstating a full-time elementary principal, he said.
While some board support was voiced for putting a full-time principal back in place at Keewatin Elementary, Board Director Kyle Haigh expressed discomfort at making such a decision without the full board present.
Peratalo suggested that any change in direction for the district’s administrative model should be discussed at a work session before taking a vote. The matter was tabled to a later date.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the minutes of the February and March meetings of the board.
• Approved the legal paperwork associated with the sale of bonds for several district facilities improvement projects.
• Accepted the resignations of Pat Tucci, athletic director, Nick Emanuel, assistant girls basketball coach and Nicole Redmann.