School board addresses superintendent contract; denies request to hear other issues
Air conditioning issues will continue at Central Elementary – at least a while longer.
Two members of the Webster Parish School Board did not agree that discussing air conditioning issues at Central Elementary was of importance at last night's special meeting.
The contract between Webster Parish School board and new Superintendent Steven Dozier was the only item on the agenda.
"The meeting was called so that we could go ahead and approve the contract," board president Johnnye Kennon said.
Robert Holloway requested the board add an additional item to the agenda, but was denied the unanimous vote required to do so.
"I went down to Central and visited with them and they are concerned, and rightly so, because they are having air conditioning issues," Holloway said. "In this 100-plus degree heat, I felt it was important that we at least talk about the problem and think about ideas that could help."
Holloway's motion to discuss and consider authorizing other cooling options for Central Elementary was denied by Kennon and Frankie Mitchell.
"I really think the parents and the community would like to know that we are aware of the problem and are taking steps to come up with a solution," Holloway said.
Mitchell agreed with Holloway and said the special meeting was called so Dozier could have the authority to address the situation.
"I understand it is one of many issues right now – you could call it an emergency issue," Mitchell said. "That's why we needed to call the special meeting and push the approval of the contract up, so that Mr. Dozier can start working on it and other emergencies."
Kennon echoed Mitchell's statements by saying Dozier will be meeting with Business and Finance Director Crevonne Odom and many others to address issues such as climate control at Central.
Neither Kennon nor Mitchell were able to list other specific issues that may be addressed later this week, only that Dozier would need to review many items or issues this week.
"It was imperative we call the special meeting and get the contract squared away so that Mr. Dozier could meet with supervisors and others," Kennon said. "Without the contract with him being approved first, he would not have the authority to meet with them in any capacity to make changes."
According to board attorney John Guice, the contract between the Webster Parish School Board and Dozier is very similar to contracts of past superintendents.
"Some laws have been implemented or changed," he said. "One of which requires us to outline specific performance objectives for the position."
Four performance objectives agreed upon by the board are as follows:
n Improve academic performance of students in all schools in the parish by reducing the number of students scoring unsatisfactory on LEAP 21 in the fourth and eighth grades and GEE in the 10th and 11th grades.
n Increase the District Performance Score by at least one point each year.
n Maintain a balanced budget for the school system.
Improve the graduation rate by one percent in four years.
n The contract stipulates a yearly written evaluation which will be tailored to the specific performance objectives.
The length of the contract is from September 1, 2011 until August 30, 2013.
In addition to a salary of $126,226 other benefits, such as travel allowance of $6,675 and dues paid for professional and civic organizations, are included.