TCS superintendent earns favorable evaluation

Published 10:39 pm Monday, February 24, 2014

Troy City Schools Superintendent Lee Hicks received a favorable evaluation during a report presented to the board of education Monday.

“I don’t want to bias your thinking, but all is well,” Dr. James Wright told board members.

Wright, of Professional Development Services, was hired by the board in December 2013 to complete a performance evaluation of Hicks, whose initial three-year contract with the board expires June 30, 2014. The evaluation is mandated by the contract and must be completed before any negotiations can begin on a new contract. Because it was not completed in time, Hicks’ contract was automatically extended until June 30, 2015.

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“Troy City Schools is making progress,” Wright told the board.

The evaluation conducted by Wright consisted of a series of questions posed to school board members; and administrators’ survey; and a series of questions posed directly to Hicks, who also had to supply a portfolio of documents and materials to support his answers and work.

Areas evaluated include communication and collaborations, assessment evaluation, planning, organizing for results, technology, innovation, fiscal responsibility, human resources and leadership.

“In our evaluation, the highest score you can achieve is 52 and Mr. Hicks scored a 45,” Wright said. “He recorded 6 areas of excellence and seven areas of strength.”

Wright’s evaluation recommended two areas for professional development: communication and collaboration. “I won’t say they are areas of weakness but areas that might need some additional development,” he said. “In a system like this, when you score as well as he scored, there are no real weaknesses.”

Wright said board members were very supportive, positive and direct in their comments. Those comments, as well as any offered in administrative surveys, were shared during a two-hour conference with Hicks prior to the board meeting.

“All your comments were analyzed, tabulated and given to Mr. Hicks in a conference this afternoon,” Wright said. “I suggest if there is further discussion you want to have, you should do so one-on-one with the superintendent in a work session.”

Hicks said he was pleased with the evaluation. “I appreciate Dr. Wright doing this evaluation,” he said. “I’m just going to keep doing my job.”

Wally Lowery, board president, said members would use the evaluation results in determining the next step in contract negotiations with Hicks. “I think it’s a positive evaluation,” Lowery said. “And I commend Mr. Hicks for doing a job well done, on a daily basis.”

Lowery said board members “want to go back into contract negotiations with Mr. Hicks” and will use the evaluation to move forward.

Hicks’ original three-year contract with the board expires June 30, 2014. However, he was granted an automatic one-year extension until June 30, 2015, because the evaluation was not completed six months prior to the contract’s end date, Lowery said.

“We’ll be meeting soon to address this,” he said.

In other business, the board on Monday:

• Approved the 2014-2015 school calendar. Classes will begin on Aug. 14, with a fall break Oct. 13-14; Thanksgiving holidays Nov. 26-28; Christmas vacation Dec. 22-Jan. 2, 2015; spring break, March 23-27, 2015; and the last day of school set for May 22, 2015. Other holidays include Labor Day, Sept. 1; Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11; Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 19; President’s Day, Feb. 16; and Good Friday, April 3. Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for Oct. 15 and March 12.

• Approved the resignation of Christopher Blanton, Charles Henderson Middle School special education aide, and Robin Snyder, Charles Henderson High School career preparedness teacher.

• Heard a financial report that included sales tax revenues for January of $246,743.11, a 3 percent decrease from January 2013, and utility expenses of $35,127.56, a 5 percent increase over prior year.