The Carson City School District Board of Trustees in a 6-1 vote approved Dr. Mary Pierczynski's 2005 annual evaluation, prompting trustee Norm Scoggin to call her the finest superintendent in the state of Nevada.
"We are very fortunate in Carson City to have the leadership of Dr. Pierczynski," he said. "... And I would think we as a board all feel this way."
The dissenting vote at Tuesday night's meeting was from trustee Sheila Ward, who stated that Pierczynski has been placed on a pedestal by the board of trustees.
Ward asked that a system of checks and balances be reinstated, and that a "written note of conciliation" be sent to Carson High history teacher Joe Enge for alleged harassment and that just compensation be made to him.
Copies of an administration regulation titled "staff protection" were distributed. Ward claimed that Pierczynski had violated this policy, which says the district must vigorously protect its employees from physical and psychological abuse. Enge and his supporters say he is the victim of a witch hunt by Carson High Principal Fred Perdomo.
Enge, a teacher at Carson High School since 2001, claims that history is not being adequately taught in the district, particularly early American and early world history. He addressed the board with this matter after Pierczynski's evaluation, saying the meeting of standards is crucial to her evaluation.
He stated it was the board's responsibility to resolve the matter, and that he was willing to make his own personnel file public. Three of his supporters, who all spoke following Pierczynski's evaluation, carried brooms to signify they felt the history issue was being swept under the rug.
Carson City resident Carol Davis handed a small broom and dustpan to Pierczynski. Davis said she was disgusted by the national attention the district has received, and that it has made Carson City "a laughingstock."
About half of those who spoke following Pierczynski's review, including Sue Kitts, director of Strings in the Schools; Brian Reedy, Carson High video production teacher; and Ronni Hannaman, Carson City-area Chamber of Commerce chairwoman, said she is doing a superb job.
"I just want to tell you how pleased we are with Mary ," Hannaman said. "... We fully appreciate her efforts and her commitments. We feel she is a true asset to the Carson City School District."
Mayor Marv Teixeira said Pierczynski was the best superintendent the district has ever had. He tried to lighten the often-heavy atmosphere with: "Are we having fun yet?"
Former trustee Dave Cook, who stated he helped form the state standards, said that in his opinion the district was meeting history standards.
The meeting opened with the winners of the board-sponsored American Essay contest. Three students read aloud their pieces about the First Amendment - essays which focused on the right to worship, speak, report, and assemble freely.
The board of trustees give up its own meeting pay for the three winning students to receive $250 savings bonds - for excellence on a topic that is allegedly not covered by the school district.
n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.