School superintendent 'satisfactory' after 6 months

Andrew Feuling

Andrew Feuling

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Carson City School Board members on Tuesday gave Andrew Feuling an overall satisfactory rating after his first six months as superintendent.

The board agreed this time period was too short to realistically assess his progress in leading the district.

Trustees used a revised form as of the Nov. 8 meeting that had removed two of the 11 categories — Educational Program/Curriculum Planning Development and Student Achievement — to evaluate Feuling at his six-month mark. Board President Richard Varner reminded the public on Tuesday the trustees will not have had adequate time to gauge Feuling’s leadership in these areas.

In rating the nine standards, the trustees were responsible for evaluating Feuling on a 0-4 numerical system, with 0 being unsatisfactory, 1 being need to improve, 2 being satisfactory, 3 being very satisfactory and 4 being superior. The board gave Feuling group averages in the following standards:

• Leadership and district culture: 2.43, rounded down to 2

• Employer-superintendent relations: 2.71, rounded up to 3

• Community relations and communication: 2.71, rounded up to 3

• Organizational management: 2.57, rounded up to 3

• Instructional leadership, professional and leadership development: 2.43, rounded down to 2

• Human resources management/staff and personnel relations: 2.57, rounded up to 3

• Values and ethics leadership: 3

• Financial management and business matters: 3.43 rounded down to 3

• Management and implementation of strategic plan: 2.71, rounded up to 3

The total combined average score was 27.56, which is rounded down to 25 for satisfactory.

According to their written comments, trustees noted the new superintendent has focused on “establishing and maintaining an effective culture” in Carson City, remains “well-versed with district policies as well as with the federal, state and regional governments’ policies and politics and the relationships to local districts and schools.” They also wrote he is “conscious of analyzing and assigning instructional resources in a cost-effective, equitable manner.”

Trustees commented it seemed unusual to provide so many scores of 2 as only satisfactory so early in his tenure at only six months into his position when he served the district previously as chief financial officer for eight years before July. Some worried they were being overly cautious or their evaluation didn’t express everything in full from the start.

“These are great first steps,” Trustee Joe Cacioppo said. “For the next step, what are we going to do with it? … I don’t think an early assessment is a negative thing at all.”

Trustee Laurel Crossman was excited about Feuling’s involvement at the schools in recent months.

“I wish our ratings showed a little more; I think there’s many areas, AJ – your involvement in the community and the energy – It’s a real revitalized energy in the district,” she said. “And maybe it was a little early or we were a little hard. You’re on the right path.”

Trustee Mike Walker called Feuling on the “high end of satisfactory” with the support of the district’s employee groups and for being a “stable force” after former Superintendent Richard Stokes.

Trustees said they looked forward to seeing his improvement in the coming year.

The board approved Feuling’s evaluation in a 7-0 vote.

Feuling told the Appeal after the meeting he felt the board’s remarks were fair given the expectations in the short timeframe.

“There were a lot of positive things, and it’s early,” he said. “There’s always room for improvement, and clearly there’s room for improvement. I certainly wouldn’t expect it to be all topped out. That’s not where I am yet.

“Truly, the level of support has been overwhelming,” Feuling added. “I feel like the desire is to keep improving what we’re doing, and I think everyone recognizes there’s different ways to go about that, and we’ll keep having conversations to get there. There’s still a lot of work to do.”


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