Mineral County Superintendent Karen Watson received her first annual performance review from the school board of trustees on March 19.
The agenda item read, “Discussion relative to the annual performance review of Karen Watson, Superintendent, for possible action including, but not limited to, termination, suspension, demotion, reduction in pay, reprimand, promotion, endorsement, engagement, retention, or “no action”. Pursuant to NRS 241.031(1)(b) discussion may ensue which considers the character, alleged misconduct, professional competence, or physical or mental health of Mrs. Watson in relation to her performance as Superintendent.”
Trustee Keith Neville questioned some of the questions presented on the evaluation. Watson stated that this can be addressed at the school board retreat this summer to make it a more effective evaluation for all involved.
Chairman Tyler Viani pointed out highs and lows within the agenda. Watson scored low in “insures that the governance calendar is up-to-date, properly maintained and followed by staff” and also “insures that students are making proper academic progress and reporting progress to the school board.”
Watson told the board that she feels that insuring student academic progress falls more to the responsibility of the principals.
“They are the instructional leader at the site,” she explained. “I do know that all three principals have been quite effective this year in working with their leadership teams.”
In the section for job responsibilities, Watson scored a four (with five being rated as outstanding) in the areas of develops, follows consistent policies, procedures and programs vital to the intent and success of the district and the school district board of trustees, represents the district effectively in interactions with the public, other school systems/districts, agencies or in state management as well as assists the school board with policy recommendations, bringing the school board helpful facts which result from investigations, research information and reports; seeks the assistance of professionals while still supporting staff in formulating any recommendations.
Watson was rated “needs improvement” (self-improvement efforts needed) in keeping the public informed on the progress and needs of individual schools, parents and community members and all staff as well as, has a flexible attitude for adjustments, changes or within the assessment of differing ideas or issues and retains an approachable, respectful demeanor for staff, students, parents and board members to be accommodated, should there be concerns after using the proper chain of command.
Overall, her rating was average (performance is effective and meets expectations) throughout the evaluations.
Written comments included Board Member Candice Birchum who stated, “Karen is respectful to the public, employees and students, I appreciate her integrity and dedication to Mineral County School District. I am requesting a written monthly report. I would like to see more communication between the superintendent and the Mineral County School District.”
Board Member Schyler Hagen explained, “I appreciate your effort on continuously updating the policies and bringing outdated ones to the board’s attention.”
Long term board member Keith Neville wrote, “You are doing very well at trying to bring our district back to where it was years ago. I appreciate your hard work. With that said, you may be in my opinion, trying to do too much too quickly.”
“We are all in this together,” Board Chairman Tyler Viani explained when voicing his concerns about children not being taught the correct math skills needed for high school mathematics.
The board voted unanimously to approve the evaluation for Watson.
Watson was named superintendent on June 29, 2018. She is a graduate of Mineral County High School. She has been employed with the district for less than one year.