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Washington County Board of Education settles on criteria for director evaluations

Hannah Swayze • Updated Jan 22, 2019 at 9:23 PM

The Washington County Board of Education settled on criteria for the director of schools at a called meeting on Tuesday night. This year the director of the county’s school system, Bill Flanary, will have a say in how he is evaluated.

Decisions on how to evaluate Flanary were postponed after a meeting in December in which the board discussed how the evaluation should be done. 

The director of schools is assessed every year. Board members rate the director’s effectiveness in different areas like faculties and finance, vision, student achievement, board relationships and more. The score determines the size of the bonus the director receives that year. 

Tuesday’s discussion revisited the concerns of the evaluation being too long for the director’s short term.

“I don’t see how we can set a lot of objectives for a man that’s only got an 18-month contract,” said Keith Ervin, chairman of the board. 

Philip McLain also mentioned the problem with evaluating Flanary on goals tied to funding, in which he has no say. 

“We can sit here and write out all the perfect strategic plans. Every one of them costs money,’’ McLain said. “And until the county will give us money to implement those, to hold him responsible for it is not fair.”

To compromise for the uniqueness of the situation, the board decided unanimously to add onto the existing evaluation. Flanary was tasked with coming up with a list of goals to add to the criteria and present them to the board to be approved by March 1. 

Flanary said that the task would be simple since the state already has annual, measurable objectives for each school system that they are required to meet. The decision sits well with the director. He said funneling the requirements into the official evaluation is how it should be anyway. 

“If they want to make it more restrictive, make it tighter than the state or the (federal objectives) then that’s on them and I’ll do the best I can.”

One of the items on the list, Flanary said, will be making sure class sizes remain small. 

Discussion of the Jonesborough school project also was on the agenda. Tony Street, the project’s architect, said there was no news. A motion was made to discuss the funding for a new roof for the current school, but the discussion was struck down in a 5-4 vote. 

The Board of Education will have another called meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24, to address the fiscal year 2018 audit and closed enrollment.  

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