Sherman ISD Board extends superintendent’s contract

After a more than two-hour executive session, the Sherman School Board gave Superintendent Al Hambrick a vote of confidence on Monday.

“The Board as a whole has the utmost confidence in your ability to lead us past any obstacles,” Board member Andy Morales said of Hambrick after the board returned from executive session.

The only action the Board took was to extend Hambrick’s contract by another year, taking it to Jan. 31, 2016. The vote was unanimous.

In an interview after the meeting, Board President Kiki Osterman praised Hambrick. The Board is “very happy with his performance,” she said.

Osterman said the Board conducts evaluations of the superintendent twice a year. The last one, which was conducted in August, was the evaluation that included discussion of Hambrick’s salary. It also serves as a mid-year review of the goals the Board sets annually and a check-up on how the district is doing in achieving them.

In the evaluation on Monday, Osterman and Hambrick said, the Board does a final evaluation of Hambrick based upon the progress the district has made toward those goals.

Osterman said the four goals that the Board set last February are:

“1. The district will continue to provide programs, resources and support to ensure ongoing annual progress in achievement for all student groups and equip all students for post-high school success.

“2. The district will provide support to ensure continuous improvement in the quality of all district instruction.

“3. The district will continue to enhance communication within the community. The district will also strengthen partnerships with the community and industry to enhance post-secondary readiness.

“4. The district will continue to maintain a plan for effective and efficient operations with available resources.”

Hambrick said there are additional, more-specific targets and objectives for each goal, but since those are used as his evaluation tool, state law and Texas Education Agency rules prohibit their disclosure.

“Our board has been very supportive,” Hambrick said, speaking generally about the feedback he received. “The number one priority in the district is our children … to make sure our students are reaching their potential and we are preparing them to be ready for the next step in their lives.”

During the the first, open portion of the meeting, Hambrick urged the more than 30-member audience to participate in that process.

Before the Board went into executive session, Osterman broke from the agenda to allow members of audience to address the board. Three spoke, expressing their support for Hambrick and praising his work in the district and his character.

“If you’d just look around you’ll see that we love and appreciate Dr. Hambrick as our superintendent,” said Robert Shannon, one of the attendees.

Hambrick and Osterman both thanked the attendees for coming to the meeting and encouraged them to keep it up.

“Be involved in your schools,” Hambrick urged. “It takes all of us working together.”

In an interview after the meeting, Hambrick said that involvement can be in volunteer hours or donations, and Osterman said simply being knowledgeable about what’s happening in the district is important.

“We educate the masses, it is extremely important for the community to care about education,” she said.