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Myers gets high marks in superintendent review from school board

The Lincoln County School Board gave the district superintendent high marks for selecting a solid team of educators and administrators, promoting professional development to help students learn more efficiently, managing the district’s money and creating a safe, secure learning environment.

Overall, Superintendent Mickey Myers earned 3s and 4s for his first appraisal — an assessment of his job performance — by the Board of Trustees. The board and Myers discussed the appraisal results Tuesday during a special called meeting at the district office. It was the first appraisal completed for Myers, though he is in his second year as superintendent.

“They probably rated me a bit easier than I would have rated myself,” he said. “I’m always my toughest critic.”

The appraisals are typically completed annually, he said.

Trustees evaluated Myers in five areas several months ago at a workshop led by Michael Waldrop, executive director of the Mississippi School Boards Association. They used a series of assessment benchmarks established by the Mississippi Department of Education to rate his job performance on a scale of 1 to 4 with 4 being the highest.

They looked at how Myers develops an organization that focuses on academic success, develops a customer-focused school system, develops human resources within the school system, manages the school system efficiently and effectively and manages resources prudently and to the benefit of the instructional program. They shared the results with him Tuesday.

Myers scored nine 3s and seven 4s, while not getting any ratings that were a 1 or 2.

A 3 rating is “effective.” It means the superintendent approaches or meets the criterion set forth. A 4 rating is “distinguished,” meaning he performs exceptionally well in those areas.

“For a second-year superintendent, 3 is a good score,” he said.

Myers spent 33 years in Bogue Chitto as a teacher and coach prior to becoming principal there. He was the head of the school for nearly four years before he was elected superintendent.

He feels the district is on the right track, but there is still work to be done.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” he said. “It’s still a work in progress.”

The board met in executive session to discuss Myers’ appraisal, voting to go into a closed-door meeting for the stated purpose of discussing personnel.

However, attorney Leonard Van Slyke with the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information, said the board was conducting an evaluation of an elected official and not an employee of the district.

“A discussion related to job performance of an elected official or independent contractor is not a personnel issue and does not qualify for an executive session under the Open Meetings Act,” he wrote in an email to The Daily Leader.

Board attorney Jim Keith, who was not present at the meeting, told Van Slyke that the board discussed a specific way the superintendent handled a personnel matter with an employee and that the employee’s performance could not be discussed in an open meeting.

Van Slyke contends that the executive session should have been limited to the personnel issue and not a general discussion of the superintendent’s performance.