Note: This story was updated at 3:15 p.m.
The Oak Ridge Board of Education on Monday unanimously extended the contract of Superintendent Bruce Borchers by one year to 2020.
The extended contract, which was approved 5-0, will take effect June 18, 2016, and continue through June 17, 2020.
The board can have a maximum of a four-year contract with Borchers, BOE Chair Keys Fillauer said.
Board member Angi Agle said she would have added more than a year to Borchers’ contract if she could.
“We’re making progress, and I appreciate that,” Agle told the superintendent before the unanimous vote during a school board meeting Monday evening.
Borchers was hired in April 2013, and he started two months later, on June 18. He was previously superintendent of the Rockwood School District in Eureka, Missouri.
Borchers said there are a lot of great things happening in Oak Ridge, and he loves the community and is very content here.
There is no pay increase included in the contract extension. Instead, the superintendent gets the same pay raise as staff members, which, this year, was 3 percent.
It was a coincidence that the extension of the contract with the Oak Ridge Schools superintendent occurred on the same day that Knox County residents learned that their superintendent, Jim McIntyre, would agree to step down in July in exchange for a one-year severance—something board members are expected to approve. McIntyre cited a political environment in Knox County that “has become increasingly dysfunctional.”
Oak Ridge school officials seemed relieved that nothing similar is playing out here.
“I think this shows how much confidence this board has in you,” Bob Eby, vice chair of the Oak Ridge Board of Education, told Borchers.
The board recently evaluated the superintendent in a type of five-point evaluation system that is also used for teachers and self-evaluations by the board. In the superintendent evaluations, one is “not evident,” two is “developing,” three is “proficient,” four is “accomplished,” and five is “exceeds expectations.”
Borchers received an average of 3.41 from the five BOE members. The individual evaluations ranged from 3.14 to 3.84.
Fillauer said school board members have discussed the evaluations with Borchers, who is using the Seven Keys to College and Career Readiness as his “score sheet.”
“There are areas that we still need to work on,” Fillauer said.
But the question is: Do we have the things in place to work on those? the board chair said. The answer is “yes,” Fillauer said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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