Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald



Baker School Superintendent Walt Wegener received high marks for his performance in the past year during a special board meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Board Chair Lynne Burroughs and director Mark Henderson commended Wegener in a written report for his work toward his "primary target" goal of helping staff "align curriculum, instruction and assessment with state and local learning goals."

Burroughs said after Tuesday's meeting that Wegener and Doug Dalton, the district's chief financial officer, have diligently guided the district through a "sea change," which included moving to a four-day school week in 2011-12.

"We're in excellent shape money wise and scholastically while the rest of the state is screaming," Burroughs said. "Honor needs to go where it's due."

The board chair noted that when voters turned down a ballot measure that would have increased district funding a year ago, Wegener and his administrative team and staff worked harder to achieve district goals.

"We said we'd do more with less and we have," Burroughs said. "I don't know anybody else who could have turned it around the way they did."

Wegener's "secondary target" goal was related to staff evaluation in which he was challenged to "monitor, assist and evaluate staff for effective instruction and assessment." Burroughs and Henderson again commended Wegener for making good progress in that area over the past year.

The evaluation prepared by the two board members also praised Wegener for his efforts:

andbull; To develop a school environment that is becoming "positive and accountable."

andbull; To make the district a safer environment for students and staff.

andbull; To emphasize the importance of student attendance, working to help schools maintain their high achievement scores and implementing writing curriculum in other instructional areas.

andbull; To successfully convert district programs to a four-day week and working with Dalton to develop a long-range financial plan for the district while still maintaining arts, sports and other noncurricular programs.

Wegener received some criticism in the area of community leadership, but Burroughs said she shoulders some of the blame for not following through on her pledge to help with projects such as the district newsletter.

Burroughs and Henderson urged Wegener to work to develop a "marketing team" whose goal would be to promote the district.

"We have so many positive happenings in the District, but the word doesn't always get out (particularly as of late)," the report stated. "A marketing team should work to intelligently incorporate these stories into the newsletter, and should include an article on EAGLE CAP, what is offered at the High School, our incredible relationship with the Leo Adler Fund, etc."

The board voted 3-1 to accept the evaluation, with Burroughs, Henderson and director Andrew Bryan voting in favor. Director Kyle Knight voted against it and director Jim Longwell abstained, saying he did not have enough time to review the document presented by Burroughs and Henderson before the vote was taken.

In approving the evaluation, the board agreed to add one more year to Wegener's contract, extending it to 2015.