At least one Clinton City Board of Education member feels that superintendent Dr. Michael Basham is doing what he was hired to do.
After coming out of a marathon 3-hour closed session meeting Tuesday night to evaluate the superintendent long-time board member E.R. Mason said he felt Basham was doing a “good job”.
Mason was the only board member who would comment after the meeting, “I feel like he has been doing a good job,” he said. “But that is all I can say right now.”
Board chairman Kathleen Squibb said that because the closed session meeting ran late and members did not get a chance to address Basham afterwards, none of the board members could legally make a comment until the full board had met with the superintendent.
“We will make a statement after we meet with him on June 2,” Squibb said. “But everything went smoothly and that is all I can tell you about the meeting until we meet with Dr. Basham.”
Early reports were that the meeting, which began at 3:30 p.m., would have to be over by around 5:30 because of previous planned meetings and events board members had to get to. However, the front doors of the Central Office were closed and locked by 5 p.m. and the meeting continued until 6:30 p.m. Barefoot and Mason had to leave the meeting early because of prior commitments.
Basham sat in the lobby of the building waiting for the board to call him back in to discuss the evaluation — they never did.
“This is something they do every year,” Basham said. “This is my yearly evaluation that boards do to determine if you want to keep that superintendent employed or not.”
Ironically, it was Basham who called for his first evaluation back in September 2010, just two months after his hire date (July 1, 2010). At that time, the board noted its pleasure with his work.
However, with at least three controversies and some tense moments at recent meetings, things could have changed over the past eight months.
The most recent being an ad being taken out seeking bids for audit and legal services.
Surprisingly, just a day before Basham’s evaluation, Mason shared his frustration about the issue.
“This was something that was mentioned in passing late last year in a board retreat,” Mason said Monday afternoon. “And Dr. Basham went outside of the board’s authority and went ahead and ran it. He was told specifically (by our attorney) not to solicit bids because the board did not act on it — it was not authorized, but he did it anyway ...”
But Tuesday evening, Mason was saying the superintendent was doing a good job.
For his part, Basham welcomes the evaluation, seeing it as a road map of where the board wants him to do.
“The purpose of this is to let me know what areas that need to be worked on; what areas that you may be performing satisfactorily in and hopefully, some areas that you are doing a good job in,” he said.
“I feel like we are going into a new era and that new area is a common core curriculum. I know it is re-ordering some things, but when things are re-ordered and changed, it is like starting, not completely over, but at a point where we are not sure where we are until we can look into the situation and evaluate our pacing guides and see where we need to be. We are doing great, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Evaluating his own performance, Basham said he believed the system was moving in the right direction. “I think we have made a lot of progress and I really feel good about what we have done in many areas. I feel good about it because all of it has helped the children.”
Georgina Zeng, Carol Worley, Diane Viser did not comment for this story. Barefoot declined to comment as he walked out of the building and did not return calls Wednesday morning.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or send e-mail to email@example.com.