Carson City School Superintendent Richard Stokes.
Carson City School Superintendent Richard Stokes received an average score of 35.56, a rating indicating a “very satisfactory” performance, on his final annual evaluation from the Board of Trustees at its Dec. 14 meeting.
Trustees rated Stokes’ district leadership in the past year using the format they adopted a few years ago, in which they score a superintendent on a 0 to 4 scale, or unsatisfactory to superior.
Stokes was evaluated in 11 categories, including leadership and district culture, employer-superintendent relations, community relations and communication, organizational management, implementation of strategic plan and student achievement.
Trustee Mike Walker noted with respect to one of the bullet points under “student achievement,” the board has not adopted SMART goals, an academic acronym referring to “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely (or Trackable)” benchmarks that often are measured by graduation rates or other testing scores, and said this could put undue pressure on a following superintendent.
“It’s kind of like a juggle in heights in areas where we’re saying we have to limit the initiatives and take things off teachers’ and administrators’ plates,” Walker said. “But if we’re scoring our superintendent a 1 for MAP (Measurable Academic Progress) tests, the more we push the superintendent for standardized test results, that’s going to result in pressure being put on teachers and principals.”
Walker also noted Stokes, who is retiring in June, has come to understand the board’s expectations and said the trustees should have a “clear vision” on any impacts its own standards might have upon other administrators and staff members on schools.
Trustee Laurel Crossman thanked Stokes for his contributions to CCSD.
“Our relationship with our employee groups is one of the best in the state, and I think that has to do a lot with your efforts,” she said. “I think our community partnerships are outstanding. The Greenhouse Project is another example where our district has been far ahead of other things.
“I came on this board right after the first strategic plan was adopted, and one of the main goals was to have one-to-one mobile devices and making that a reality really enabled our students to have the opportunity to be successful during this remote schooling,” Crossman said.
Stokes expressed his appreciation to the board and prepared a letter providing official notice announcing his retirement in which he referred back to when he originally was hired as associate superintendent of human resources in 2001 and became superintendent in 2008. Stokes read he had the privilege of signing the high school diplomas of 14 classes of graduating seniors, which included his own four children.
“Our teachers and support staff have not only influenced my children for good, but indeed all the students who have attended our schools. Please accept my sincere thanks to each of you and to all former trustees who had the confidence to hire and sustain me as your superintendent.”
He announced he would be leaving June 30.
“There is no doubt Carson City is indelibly ingrained in my soul,” he said. “Now as I prepare to leave my professional family of 21 years, I hope that some of my soul is ingrained in the district. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful organization.”