Director Fails to Meet School Board Expectations

The DeKalb County Board of Education’s annual performance evaluation of Director of Schools Mark Willoughby has been completed and the result shows he is not meeting all the board’s expectations.
Willoughby’s overall average score is 2.92 (Rating out of 6).
In accordance with state law, the school board is required to develop and implement an evaluation plan to be used annually for the director of schools. This year, board members used a four page evaluation form to rate Director Willoughby (1-5) in each of 60 areas from eight categories including on his relationship with the Board, the Community, Staff and Personnel, Educational Leadership, Business and Finance, Personal Qualities, Strategic Planning Skills, and Tennessee Specific questions.
A rating of “1” meant his performance was “Consistently Below Expectations”. A “5” rating signified that Willoughby “Met All Expectations”. A rating with an asterisk (*) symbol meant he “Exceeded Expectations” (and a score of 6 was used on the overall report).
Other ratings were:
“2”-Meets Few Expectations
“3”-Meets Some Expectations
“4”-Meets Most Expectations
Each board member scored Willoughby in all areas from the categories on the form. The scores were then averaged to arrive at the grand total score.
Six of the seven school board members held one-on-one evaluation meetings with Willoughby. Only Fourth district member Kate Miller did not participate because she was out of town during the evaluation period.
Following the meetings, each board member scored Willoughby using the evaluation form. The forms were then sent to officials of the Tennessee School Boards Association where the scores were tabulated and averaged. “The Evaluations were sent to TSBA to be tabulated and confirmed to have a 3rd party provide the final tabulation,” said Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III in an interview with WJLE.
Willoughby’s scores ran the full scale, with highs and lows depending on category and board member.
The Director’s strengths, based on the overall report, were his personal qualities and his educational leadership. Weaknesses were in strategic planning, business and finance and community relationship.
A breakdown of the scores in the eight areas of evaluation were:
Performance Goal Average
Board Relationship
Community Relationships
Staff and Personnel Relationships
Educational Leadership
Business and Finance
Personal Qualities
Strategic Planning Skills
Tennessee Specific Questions
Grand Total
The following is a further breakdown of the average score in each area of the evaluation:
Keeps all board members informed on issues needs, and operation of the school system. 2.75
Supports board policy and actions to the public and staff. 3.00
Has a harmonious relationship with the board. 2.25
Upon request, provides clear explanations of alternatives for recommendations. 3.17
Works toward creating and maintaining a high degree of understanding and respect between staff and the board. 2.83
Advises the board on need for new or revised policies. 2.80
Refrains from criticism of individual or group members of the board.3.33
Exercises good judgment and objectivity in making recommendations to the board. 3.00
Offers professional advice to the board on items requiring board action, with appropriate recommendations based on thorough study and analysis. 2.83
Understands and executes the intent of board policy. 2.67
Seeks and accepts constructive criticism of his work. 2.92
Keeps board informed in employment, promotion, and dismissal of personnel. 2.83
Average 2.87
Is an effective spokesman for the school system. 2.80
Is respected and supported by the community in conducting the operation of the schools. 2.50
Builds public support for the school district. 2.67
Solicits and involves the community in planning and problem solving for the schools. 2.25
Develops cooperative relationships with news media. 3.17
Participates actively in community life and affairs. 3.00
Achieves status as a community leader in public education. 3.00
Works effectively with public and private agencies. 3.20
Works effectively to serve the needs of diverse constituencies. 3.00
Average 2.84
Develops a good staff morale and loyalty to the organization. 2.67
Treats all personnel fairly, without favoritism or discrimination, while insisting on performance of duties. 2.50
Delegates authority to staff members appropriate to the position each holds. 3.00
Recruits and assigns the best available personnel in terms of their competencies. 3.00
Ensures that salary schedules for all personnel are competitive and within budgetary limitations of the district. 3.17
Represents the best interests of the board in working with teachers and their organizations. 2.83
Solicits input from staff in planning activities. 3.00
Maintains up-to-date job descriptions for all personnel. 2.50
Ensures that adequate planning and evaluation of curriculum and instruction occurs. 3.17
Develops and empowers staff, resulting in an effective educational team. 3.17
Average 2.90
Has a vision and communicates a mission for the school system. 2.75
Understands and keeps informed regarding all aspects of the instructional program. 3.00
Implements the school system’s philosophy of education. 3.17
Participates with staff, board, and community in studying, problem solving, and developing, curriculum and instructional improvements. 3.00
Organizes a planned program of staff evaluation and improvement. 3.17
Models the highest professional standards to staff and community. 3.17
Is an effective advocate of lifelong learning. 3.17
Creates an environment which encourages staff to constantly strive for improvement. 2.83
Incorporates technology as a teaching-learning strategy. 3.33
Encourages staff to be innovative in problem-solving. 3.50
Utilizes a leadership style that is effective and fits the culture of the community. 2.67
Average 3.07
Has an understanding of the needs of the school program, plant, facilities, equipment, supplies, and the budget required. 3.00
Supervises operations, insisting on competent and efficient performance. 2.83
Ensures that funds are spent wisely, and adequate control and accounting are maintained. 2.50
Average 2.78
Defends principle and conviction in the face of pressure and partisan influence. 3.83
Maintains high standards of ethics, honesty, and integrity in all personal and professional matters. 3.00
Earns respect and standing among his professional colleagues. 3.17
Exercises good judgment and objectivity in arriving at decisions. 3.00
Maintains pose and emotional stability in the full range of his professional activities. 3.17
Speaks clearly and concisely with staff members, the board, and the public. 3.17
Writes clearly and concisely. 3.83
Keeps up-to-date with 21st Century Schooling and societal issues. 3.83
Average 3.38
Works effectively with board, staff, and community to develop both long and short range strategic plans. 2.58
Keeps board and community informed on progress towards short and long range plans. 2.42
Develops a Five Year Plan which includes strategies, goals, and projected student outcomes. 2.42
Average 2.47
Keeps board informed about rules and regulations of the Tennessee State Board of Education and all other government/state agencies. 2.92
Provides evidence to the board of effective evaluations of staff members including the Required Principal Performance Contract. 2.92
Incorporates requirements of the Educational Improvement Act (1992) into strategic plans. 3.17
Includes the five (5) components and outcomes of the system’s Report Card in long and short range planning. 3.25
Average 3.06
Willoughby’s current contract with the board is scheduled to expire June 30th, 2017. He has served as Director of Schools since July 1st, 2006.

Posted in News and tagged .