Carson City school superintendent’s evaluation on hold
The Carson City School Board met Tuesday to discuss a possible raise, evaluations and goals for Superintendent Richard Stokes’s contract extension.
Several of the board members were uncomfortable with making a decision Tuesday night on the agenda items, stating they didn’t have enough time to look over the information presented to them. President Laurel Crossman had neglected to mention the agenda item at the last school board meeting, and several members said they didn’t feel reviewing the information for just the weekend was sufficient.
“I just want time to digest the information,” said clerk Stacie Wilke.
The new contract would extend Stokes’s position to 2020 and increase his salary to $160,000, which is comparable to surrounding districts. Stokes has served as superintendent for Carson City for nine years and hasn’t received a raise in that time.
The board members agreed the trouble with voting Tuesday wasn’t because Stokes didn’t deserve the raise, it was the information of the agenda item was presented to them too late.
“I agree with the raise, sometimes I think we don’t pay (Stokes) enough,” Wilke said.
Suggestions were made however, by Vice President Ryan Green to minimize the superintendent’s contract to a year by year basis instead of a four-year contract to create more accountability, however several members of the board disagreed stating it would create issues in the district as well as insult the work Stokes has done in the last nine years.
“I think to change it to a year by year contract, would be an insult to Mr. Stokes and just create instability in the district,” said Crossman.
Green also suggested creating more accountability for the superintendent position in hopes to improve staff morale and test scores.
“I would gladly vote (for the raise) when I see improvement,” said member Michael Walker.
“It would be short-sided to look past things like that.”
Board member Ron Swirczek disagreed by noting a number of achievements the district has seen since Stokes took office, including the Race to the Top grant, an expansion of extra curricular activities in the schools, the Strategic Plan and many more.
The board voted to table the action for their next traditional board meeting on May 9. The board will also discuss Stokes’s goals and evaluation at that time as well.