W-M superintendent receives high marks in annual review

For the second year in a row, Watertown-Mayer superintendent Dave Marlette received high marks from the Watertown-Mayer school board during his annual review.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, Marlette received an overall score of 4.8. The review was conducted in closed session during the June 24 school board meeting, with chairman John McCain summarizing the findings for the public during last Monday’s July 22 meeting.

“I’d like to thank Mr. Marlette for the past year’s work,” McCain said during the meeting. “(He’s) done a terrific job. I speak for all of us when I say we’re generally very pleased with everything that’s happening in the district, and we’re looking forward to another great year coming up.”

Unlike last year, when Marlette’s overall score of 4.5 was calculated based on average of scores across nine categories from each of the seven board members, Marlette’s overall score of 4.8 this year was instead based on a question that asked each board member to rate Marlette’ s overall performance. Each board member also rated Marlette in six different categories, but those scores were not used to calculate the overall score.

Marlette’s best scores came in the categories of “organizational management” and “personnel management,” where he received a 4.7 in each category. His lowest score was a 3.8 in communication.

In the category “leadership and district culture,” he scored a 4.5, and he received a 4.4 in the categories “policy and governance” and curriculum planning and instruction.”

As a separate agenda item, the board also unanimously approved a $4,000 performance payment to Marlette, as provided in his contract, for meeting district goals during the previous school year. Marlette is entering his third school year in the district after being hired to replace Karsten Anderson in 2011.

In other  items:

• The school board unanimously approved the hire of Ian McKnight to teach band at Watertown-Mayer high school during the 2013-14 school year.

McKnight, who previously has taught in the Murray County School District for several years, will replace Betsy McCann. The board decided not to renew McCann’s contract earlier this year, a decision that was met with criticism and disappointment by many in the local music community.

Marlette said there were more than 30 applicants for the position, five of whom were interviewed.

“This was the committee’s choice, and they’re very excited about it,” Marlette said. “We’re lucky to have him.”

• The board approved the resignation of its director of teaching, learning and technology. Scott Fitzsimonds previously had served as the high school principal as well, but the school district recently decided to eliminate the teaching and learning position and replace it with several learning coaches in the district’s several schools.

“Scott has done a very good job,” Marlette said before the board accepted his resignation with special thanks. “He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do in a very professional manner. I wish him the best.”

• The board approved the 2013-14 fee schedule for parking, participation, middle and high school athletics, athletics admission fees, and band instrument rental with no changes from last year. The lunch price was also approved with a 10 cent increase from last year.


Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]