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Trustees rate superintendent ‘superior’

Teri Vance
tvance@nevadaappeal.com

Superintendent Richard Stokes is performing at a “superior” level, the Carson City School Board determined Tuesday.

“I continue to be impressed with the efforts he puts in,” said board vice president Steve Reynolds. “I really believe we’ve gotten a superior effort out of our superintendent this year.”

Trustee Ron Swirczek voted against the motion, favoring a “very satisfactory” assessment instead.

Swirczek said Stokes’ interest in the students is above superior, but he’d like to see Stokes’ communication with the public improve.

The superintendent’s contract was extended for four years at the same salary, $126,000 annually.

During the annual evaluation of the superintendent, board members rated Stokes’ performance on each on of the goals set for him last year using ranking terms “superior,” “very satisfactory,” “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Reynolds and board president Joanna Wilson met with principals at each of the schools for insight and reported back to the board. Reynolds said none of the administrators expressed concern about safety in schools, the first on the list of goals.

Trustees unanimously gave Stokes a “very satisfactory” rating for maintaining and improving safety in schools.

Stokes also received a “very satisfactory” rating for increasing graduation rates.

Although the graduation rate dropped last year to 86 percent, trustees said, programs such as all-day kindergarten and unified reading programs will help improve those rates in the future.

“Superior” rankings were assigned for maintaining and improving district security and grounds as well as maintaining fiscal solvency.

Trustee Barbara Myers said it was an easy decision based on the district’s balanced budget at a time when other districts are facing severe cuts.

“Given that there are 17 school districts (in Nevada), and we seem to be the only one in a solvency situation, (that) merits ‘superior,'” she said.

Stokes also earned a “superior” rating for attracting and retaining quality staff.

For increased communication between the district and the public, he received “very satisfactory.”

Wilson said she received positive feedback from administrators about personal interviews he conducts each month with them.

“As far as communication between Mr. Stokes and each of the sites or with the community, I heard nothing but good things,” Wilson said. “I think this has been a very good year for Mr. Stokes’ improving his communication.”

She said some voiced concern that communication within the district office could improve.

Myers suggested that more information be posted on the school district website, carsoncityschools.com.

This is Stokes’ third year as superintendent. He received a “superior” ranking last year and “very satisfactory” the year before.

Trustees Lynette Conrad and Jim Lemaire were absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

Goals for the upcoming year will be determined at next month’s board meeting.