Sullivan County BOE begins process of evaluating director of schools, itself

Rick Wagner • Aug 3, 2013 at 11:11 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — It’s early August, so it’s time for school to start in Sullivan County and time for the leadership evaluations to begin.

The Sullivan County Board of Education has already announced it will release its public evaluation of Director of Schools Jubal Yennie at the Sept. 9 meeting.

Thursday afternoon at a work session, the BOE received the forms members will use to evaluate Yennie, who has headed the county’s school system since mid-June of 2011.

They will have the benefit of seeing evaluations of Yennie by principals and other school employees, passed out at the work session, before turning in their individual evaluations by Aug. 19 to BOE Chairman Dan Wells so they can be compiled into a summary document for the Sept. 9 meeting.

And in September, after Yennie’s evaluations are completed, the BOE will begin to do its self-evaluation.

The annual evaluation of Yennie and the school board self-evaluation, both called for in BOE policy and Yennie’s contract, comes on the heels of BOE member Todd Broughton’s recent call for Yennie’s resignation or termination.

Broughton said he based his action on a petition of more than 200 signatures from the Bloomingdale community in the Sullivan North High School zone, and since then a separate petition from the Sullivan South zone and greater Colonial Heights area has been circulating.

Parents, students and residents in the two communities are upset with a scenario Yennie recommended to the BOE early this year: closing either North or South high school, combining the student bodies of both in one building and using the other building as a middle school for both zones. That also would close all other middle schools in those zones.

However, the BOE voted for a six-month delay on considering that proposal, which runs out by early October. North folks since have proposed a plan that closes and consolidates schools in the South, Central and East high school zones, while the South zone supporters have proposed doing no more school closures or mergers.

The reasoning behind the North-South plan was to save money and make the most efficient use of resources and make high school sizes and thus per-pupil costs more equitable. North is about 550 students, while South is a little more than 900, Central more than 1,000 and East about 900.

A snapshot of first-day enrollment and/or attendance will come at Monday’s BOE meeting at 6 p.m. in the large first-floor conference room of the health and education building off the Blountville Bypass.

Among central office administrators, all nine people in those positions gave Yennie the highest possible marks on all but four of 29 metrics, unanimously giving him a “strongly agree” on everything except four categories.

Among those, two each gave an “Agree” ranking to “Uses effective communications skills” “aligns school district goals with community needs and priorities” and ”Ensures well-maintained facilities that meet program/demographic requirements, while one gave an “Agree” ranking to “Is responsive to the needs of all constituencies/cultures in our system.”

Among nine central office support staff, however, the rankings were roughly split between “Agree” and “Strongly Agree” except for some “Not applicables” and a “Disagree” ranking of one each on three items: “Involves staff members in identifying and meeting school district goals,” “Seeks to obtain staff and community support for school district goals and priorities,” and “Is approachable and accessible to staff.”

Among principals, rankings were the lowest of the three groups. Sixteen principals participated. “Strongly Agree” was mostly commonly chosen by 12 principals, although on “Encourages teamwork and collaboration” Yennie got 14 “Strongly Agree” rankings and two “Agree” rankings.

Although the majority of rankings consistently center on “Strongly Agree” and “Agree,” Yennie got one “Disagree” each on “Uses effective communications skills,” “Involves staff members in identifying and meeting school district goals,” “Communicates a clear vision for the school district,” “Supports school and community activities,” “Communicates and supports clear and consistent expectations for student behavior,” “Applies policies and regulations in a fair and consistent manner,” “Uses sound financial management practices, “Is responsive to the needs of all constituencies/cultures in our community,” “Delegates responsibly effectively and appropriately,” “Provides direction and support for instruction,” “Demonstrates a commitment to students,” “Recognizes and encourages excellence among students and staff,” “Conducts meetings that are meaningful and productive,” “Maintains high standards of ethics, honesty and integrity” and “Distributes resources equitably and efficiently.”

He received two “Disagree” rankings on “Is approachable and accessible to staff,” “Ensures well-maintained facilities that meet program/demographic requirements” and “Is approachable and accessible.”

And he got a ranking of “Strongly disagree,” one each, for “Relates to all constituencies in a courteous and professional manner,” “Is a positive ambassador for the school district,” “Uses sound financial management practices,” “Ensures well-maintained facilities that meet program/demographic requirements,” “Resolves problems and concerns in an appropriate manner” and “Distributes resources equitably and efficiently.”

Click the link below to see the evaluation forms.


Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos