School Board agrees to $140,000 annual contract for Yates

The Lebanon School Board approved a contract with Supt. Bo Yates Thursday evening during its regular board meeting.

Under the contract, Yates will receive $140,000 per year with a 1.5-percent increase scheduled for fiscal 2019-20, which begins July, the same raise other administrators will receive. The contract is for three years. Future increases will be tied to administrator increases.

Voting to approve the contract were Tammy Schilling, Richard Borden, Nick Brooks and Chairman Tom Oliver. Mike Martin was absent.

Oliver presented the contract to the board. He said it was drafted by the district’s legal counsel.

The approval followed a discussion about how the board would set the district goals used to evaluate the superintendent.

Schilling objected to a provision that said the two parties, the School Board and the superintendent, “will agree” on district goals.

In previous contracts, the board sets the goals, Schilling said. “The board sets the agenda. The board sets the goals, and the superintendent meets it.”

“I think it helps to have the feedback to make sure the goals we are setting are achievable,” Schilling said.

“I don’t disagree,” she said.

“If we set goals and the superintendent doesn’t agree to those goals then the superintendent isn’t the right superintendent for the job,” Oliver said. “Then clearly we’re not going to have success in working together to meet those. To me that’s why having that actually be a mutual process is important. To me that’s not divesting our authority to set those goals.”

“I feel like it’s my job to kind of share what those goals are and why I’ve picked those goals and why we’re pushing that direction,” Yates said. “And if the board feels like we want something else or we want to add something, then that would be fantastic. But I’m a person who you’ve hired to move the district forward and provide you with kind of vision of what we need to do and how we need to do it.”

Schilling reiterated that the board sets the vision, and the superintendent meet the specific goals within the visions.

“In this case, they align in many, many ways,” Schilling said. “Different person sitting in your chair, it might be a little bit different conversation. All I’m saying is I think there’s a hierarchy here that we’ve had in previous contracts that I don’t see in this contract. I have every expectation that whatever goals the board sets, you will strive to meet. I have confidence in your abilities.”

“It’s all pretty clear if we agree right – 99.9 percent I believe that we really do,” Brooks said. “What happens if we didn’t agree? What would be the next step? What would we do?”

“Keep talking,” Oliver replied.

“And if we still didn’t agree?” Brooks asked. “Here, it says we have to agree.”

The board and superintendent would be at an impasse, Brooks said. Ideally, he wanted the board to set the goals, without tying the board or the superintendent to agreeing on the goals.

The board reworked the provision, with the board setting the goals, with the superintendent’s input “reasonably” considered by the board when setting those goals. Yates agreed to the change.

The board approved the contract subject to a review and adjustment of the language in a provision that the board will indemnify the superintendent.

In other business, the board:

  • Hired Jennifer Meckley, director of human resources and community relations, as assistant superintendent. She takes the position July 1. Her salary will be set at 90 percent of the superintendent’s.
  • Held the first reading of policy updates regarding individual board member’s authority; unmanned aircraft; HIV, AIDS and HBV; staff, student and parent relations; and domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault and stalking leave.
  • Approved the transfer of $15,000 from the General Fund to athletics. The funds were moved from elementary activities, which is a fund that has not been spent this year. Yates said the funds are covering the cost of sending the girls and boys basketball teams to Wyoming for a tournament. Team members have been working with the district, conducting Wednesday schools in the elementary schools to help cover that. The wrestling team removed all of the old bleachers from the gyms during the summer, Yates said. That was about a $15,000 item from the bleacher company. The team did it for about $10,000. Brooks suggested that the district look at setting aside funds to allow various programs to raise money by taking on projects like the bleachers.Oliver drew a parallel to work study programs at the college level.
  • In update by Kris Latimer, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, heard that 35 fifth and sixth graders were currently registered in the Warrior Excellence Center, the 21st Century Learning Centers after-school program; 90 were registered at the Teen Center, with 33 attending regularly and 20 attending morning homework sessions regularly at Seven Oak; and 17 registered in the ninth grade. The program is aimed at helping students successfully transition to junior high and then high school, Latimer said. The goal is to increase academic performance, reduce behavior issues and absenteeism, to increase family participation and support and to increase health and wellness. The program is funded by a federal grant, $499,000 per year for three years and then $374,000 per year for two years.The district is providing physical space, technical support, faculty support and referrals and transportation, Latimer said. The program works with teachers who refer students, finding out where they are weak, what assignments they are missing, so the program can tailor its student support to the needs of each student.
  • In an update on alternative education, learned that more than 200 students had signed up for summer school across the district, which had set a goal of 240 students. The summer program will use 20 employees and include three field trips, including ones to OMSI and the Eugene Science Center.