Brainerd School District Superintendent Jerry Walseth's contract was extended another three years.
The Brainerd School Board Monday renewed Walseth's contract from July 2004 to July 2007. Only one change was made to the contract, regarding transportation expenses.
The superintendent currently receives $900 a month for expenses when he travels to work-related meetings or events. In the next three years his transportation expenses will be built into his salary.
Walseth said including the expense as part of his salary will benefit him in his retirement plan and would have no cost impact to the school district.
Walseth's 2003 salary is $111,458.15, plus $10,800 a year for transportation expenses for a total of $122,258.15. There were no changes made in Walseth's salary in the contract at this time. Walseth said the school board may change his salary annually.
The school board also approved Walseth's performance evaluation for 2003. Walseth gave the board permission to keep the meeting open to the public. Districts have the right to close meetings to discuss employee evaluations. But a meeting shall remain open at the request of the individual who is the subject of a closed meeting under the Minnesota Open Meeting Law.
The school board conducted the 2003 review on its own and did not seek comments from other district employees or the community. Walseth's 2001-02 evaluation had 28 district administrators review Walseth's performance and the year before that community input was sought.
School board chair and Personnel Committee chair Randy Klinger, who was in charge of the evaluation, said he used an evaluation model from the Minnesota School Board Association and modified it to fit the Brainerd School District.
He said he then handed the evaluation to each school board member three weeks ago to fill out. He then took all the information and wrote a summary of the evaluation of Walseth.
The school board split the evaluation into five categories: the superintendent's goals, vision and strategies for the district; his accomplishment of leadership objectives; fiscal management; interpersonal and board relationships; and personal development. The board was satisfied with Walseth's performance in all categories.
Part of the evaluation's summary said, "The school board continues to be very satisfied and pleased with the performance of the superintendent. The board also recognizes and values Walseth's expertise, commitment and loyalty to the school district and the community as a whole. Jerry has performed his duties as superintendent in an exceptional manner and has had a profound impact on this district since his arrival. It is clearly evident that Walseth continually strives to do what is best for kids."
The summary also noted that special emphasis should be directed toward achieving a proper balance between Walseth's mental rigors of his job and personal time spent with family and friends. A few board members suggested that further exploration of job responsibilities and a reduction of outside board and committee involvement should be looked at to free up some of Walseth's time.
The school board said one of Walseth's strongest attributes to the district is his interpersonal skills.
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