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The Clinton Board of Education (BOE) has voted to enter a contract with Superintendent of Schools Maryann O’Donnell for the next three school years following the completion of an annual review.
The BOE voted unanimously to approve the offer at the special meeting held on June 26 to evaluate the superintendent’s performance. The board entered into executive session for the evaluation.
Per BOE Chair Erica Gelven, the main categories the BOE uses to evaluate a superintendent are financial management, personnel management, and relationships with the community and the BOE. Gelven said that the BOE tries to consider its decision from the perspective of the constituency in Clinton, and what aspects in a superintendent it values.
“It needs to not just be a few board members, but a whole board. It brings us all to the same page and is collaborative,” said Gelven.
O’Donnell has been with the Clinton school district since 2009, where she began as assistant superintendent, a post she held for seven years. In May 2016, she was named superintendent following the retirement of then superintendent Jack Cross.
“The annual process of review, reflection, evaluation, and feedback has helped me to improve as a leader, has allowed me to build a stronger relationship with the BOE and its members, and has assisted in refining our focus and achieving the objectives set out in our Strategic Plan,” O’Donnell said. “I am grateful for the board’s support and for their feedback.”
The formal results of the evaluation had not yet been presented to O’Donnell at press time.
O’Donnell pointed to the expansion of several programs offered at the schools, particularly in the face of facility and budgetary concerns, as an accomplishment of which she is most proud in her time as superintendent.
“What I am most proud of though, is despite the budgetary challenges we have faced, we have increased student performance, strengthened and expanded core programs in STEM, expanded athletic and extracurricular programs, maintained our quality music and art offerings, and built strong and safe school communities,” she said. “I celebrate the achievements of our students in academics, athletics, leadership, community engagement, and the success they have when they graduate and take the next step in their future pursuits.”
As for new challenges in the immediate future, O’Donnell said the district will be working to implement new schedules and grade configurations at Joel and Eliot, as well as new updates to the curriculum district wide.
“I am energized by the efforts of our staff and the support provided to our schools by our parents and community. With district reorganization efforts, our schools are changing, but we have outstanding staff who are creating amazing learning and growth opportunities for students and are committed to educating the whole child. As we are preparing for the 2019-’20 school year, we are planning for a new and amazing experience for our students, and are looking forward to beginning that journey,” O’Donnell said.
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