THE HUNTER REPORT

Has the Director's Evaluation been an Open Process?

Director Evaluations are gathered by Committee member Gary Ubben at May 7 workshop

Director Evaluation Timeline

April 3, 2009 - School Board Retreat

The School Director's evaluation began a number of months ago. This matter was first placed on the school board retreat on April 3, 2009 with only 10 minutes allotted for board discussion. The employment contract between Director Wayne Honeycutt and the Board of Education specifically states,..."The Board shall devote at least a portion of a scheduled Board meeting to conduct the Director’s evaluation and discuss the working relationship between the Director and the Board. The Board shall provide evaluative feedback and establish performance criteria which can be used constructively by the Director during the subsequent year." At what meeting has that been done?  

April 9, 2009 - school board meeting

At the April 9th meeting, School Board Chair Leroy Tate requested that school board members fill out the director evaluation form and return it at the next workshop meeting,  scheduled for May 7th. Board member Bill Marcus asked, you're going to have to compile some numbers, would you want to go ahead and set a committee to do that or wait till the workshop to do that. (Note: governing bodies may not vote or deliberate at workshop meetings.)

Board Chair Tate named Bill Marcus, Gary Ubben and Steve Harrelson to the Director's Evaluation Committee but a committee chair was not named. Board Chairman Tate commented, once the Committee gets the numbers, we will set a meeting to go over the results.

Board member Bobby Johnson informed the board that he was not furnished with a copy, which was also echoed by board member Van Shaver. Johnson inquired about the grading system. The form indicated using check marks but school board members were asked to give a grade from 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest grade. Board members were supposed to give a reason for the grade. Board member Van Shaver questioned how he was supposed to grade the director since he was not aware how the director interacted with teachers or staff; n/a was supposed to serve as 0.

May 7, 2009 - workshop meeting

Board member Gary Ubben gathered the evaluations from school board members. The Committee was supposed to meet in public to discuss the evaluations. Did anyone see a  public notice of the Committee meeting in the newspaper?

 

May 14, 2009 - school board meeting

At the subsequent May 14th regular school board meeting, board member Lisa Russell asked board member Gary Ubben when had the Director Evaluation Committee met. That's when Ubben disclosed communicating by email. ..." Messages shall pertain to legitimate board/district business; e-mail shall not be used to circumvent requirements of the Open Meetings Act." SOURCE: TSBA & BOE Policy on-line.

 

School Board member Ubben provided the Board and public with a summary evaluation but it was a different story when it came to actually allowing the public to see the evaluations, which he gathered up at the workshop meeting.

School Board member Lisa Russell asked Gary Ubben about the evaluations. Did he plan to honor a citizen's request to see the records, which he had in his possession? Professor Ubben surrendered the evaluations (public records) to the director's administrative assistant after school board discussion took place by the May 14 meeting.   

 

How could the public address the school board about the director's evaluation if the evaluation records were in the possession of Gary Ubben and not in the BOE Central office?

The School Board is comprised of 10 school board members and each one evaluated the director's job performance on a scale of 1 to 5.

Board member Ubben announced that the School Director had received an overall score of 3.8 on a 5.0 scale. Prof. Ubben explained how the director was graded by school board members.

He received on the high side a 4.1 and on the low side 1.6 for an overall average grade of 3.8. The school director received his highest grade of 4.0 in staff and personnel relationship. On strategic planning skills, he was graded 3.41.  

Board member Ubben caught many of the school board members by surprise when he made a motion to extend School Director Wayne Honeycutt's employment contract.

Gary Ubben's motion was not voted upon because Scott Newman, Vice chair who chaired the meeting commented that the matter was not on the agenda. His reply to Newman's concern, "I assumed that was the outcome of the Evaluation Committee." When did the Committee meet to recommend adding another year to the school director's contract?  

Why did Professor Ubben want to meet with Committee members in private as the email below indicate rather than schedule a public meeting for open discussion? Was the public going to be invited to lunch also?

Everyone should be very concerned about the evaluation process that's taken place so far.  

 

 

Director Evaluations (Public Records)

The Loudon County Board of Education is comprised of ten school board members and each one evaluated the director on a scale of 1 to 5. It appears that the evaluations are public records and so are the emails listed below.

Click to view how school board members evaluated the school director (pdf.)

Bill Marcus - D-1 pdf

Scott Newman - D-1 pdf

Bobby Johnson - D-2 pdf

Larry Proaps - D-2 pdf

Lisa Russell - D-3 pdf

Larry Tate - D-4 pdf

Van Shaver - D-5 pdf

Gary Ubben - D-5 pdf

Steve Harrelson - D-6 pdf

Craig Simon - D-7 pdf

 

* School Director Evaluation Summary prepared by Chair & Committee pdf

 

* School Director Employment contract pdf

 

* Compare grades with Scorecard -  Wayne Honeycutt, applicant, when he was interviewed for the job of director of school in April 2008 pdf

 

EMAILS Between Director Evaluation Committee members

 

Are telephone conversations between two school board members subject to the guidelines of the open meetings act?

Any time two or more school board members are deliberating an issue, they are subject to the provisions of the open meetings act. Therefore, if the two members are having a telephone conversation about school board matters, and possibly deliberating, that is a violation. However, conversation between two members about some unrelated topic is probably not a violation.

Are e-mails between school board members subject to the open meetings act?

This answer is about the same as above. If there is deliberation about a public matter between two or more school board members, no matter what the medium, that is communication which is subject to open meetings law.

SOURCE: TENNESSEE SCHOOL BOARD ASSOCIATION (TSBA)

NOTE: Loudon County Board of Education is a member of the TSBA.

http://www.tsba.net/services/openmeetings.asp

 

EMAIL 1

From: Ubben, Gerald C
Sent: Tue 5/12/2009 11:55 AM
To: marcusb@loudoncounty.org
Cc: harrelsons@loudoncounty.org
Subject: Director's Evaluations

 

Bill and Steve,
I thought I sent this last Friday but it looks like you did not get it. Look it over and then let's get together to discuss a report for Thursday night's meeting. Steve, how about lunch on Wednesday? Bill says he can meet then. Call me 850-7772 to confirm and to determine a location.
 
Gary

EMAIL 2

From: Ubben, Gerald C
Sent: Tue 5/12/2009 6:22 PM
To: Ubben, Gerald C; marcusb@loudoncounty.org
Cc: harrelsons@loudoncounty.org
Subject: RE: Directors Eval - with attachment

 
Again, this time with an attachment

 
From: Ubben, Gerald C
Sent: Tue 5/12/2009 6:21 PM
To: Ubben, Gerald C; marcusb@loudoncounty.org
Cc: harrelsons@loudoncounty.org
Subject: RE: Director's Evaluations

 
Bill and Steve,
I have attached the spreadsheets again. This one has an added third sheet that is a summary page. Please review it and  offer suggested changes. Should we add a closing statement of some kind? After feed back from you, I will forward it to Joan for inclusion in her Board packet and also send a copy on to Honeycutt. This way we do not need to met on Wednesday unless you still wish to meet.
Gary

 
From: Ubben, Gerald C
Sent: Tue 5/12/2009 11:55 AM
To: marcusb@loudoncounty.org
Cc: harrelsons@loudoncounty.org
Subject: Director's Evaluations

 
Bill and Steve,
I thought I sent this last Friday but it looks like you did not get it. Look it over and then let's get together to discuss a report for Thursday night's meeting. Steve, how about lunch on Wednesday? Bill says he can meet then. Call me 850-7772 to confirm and to determine a location.
 
Gary

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

EMAIL 3


From: Bill Marcus [mailto:billm@loudoncounty.org]
Sent: Tue 5/12/2009 10:33 PM
To: Ubben, Gerald C
Subject: RE: Directors Eval - with attachment

 
Gary:
 
This is a good presentation of the data.  I particularly like the compilation of the high and low performance categories.  Additionally, you have provided information to show the number of  Board members who filled out the evals, the categories that were assessed, and the averages for each.  Since the Board's charge to the committee was to collect and record the individual evaluations, I don't think it necessary to provide a closing statement - do you?
 
Bill 

From: Ubben, Gerald C [gubben@utk.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 6:22 PM
To: Ubben Gary; Bill Marcus
Cc: Steve Harrelson
Subject: RE: Directors Eval - with attachment

 
Again, this time with an attachment

 
From: Ubben, Gerald C
Sent: Tue 5/12/2009 6:21 PM
To: Ubben, Gerald C; marcusb@loudoncounty.org
Cc: harrelsons@loudoncounty.org
Subject: RE: Director's Evaluations

 
Bill and Steve,
I have attached the spreadsheets again. This one has an added third sheet that is a summary page. Please review it and  offer suggested changes. Should we add a closing statement of some kind? After feed back from you, I will forward it to Joan for inclusion in her Board packet and also send a copy on to Honeycutt. This way we do not need to met on Wednesday unless you still wish to meet.
Gary

 
From: Ubben, Gerald C
Sent: Tue 5/12/2009 11:55 AM
To: marcusb@loudoncounty.org
Cc: harrelsons@loudoncounty.org
Subject: Director's Evaluations

 
Bill and Steve,
I thought I sent this last Friday but it looks like you did not get it. Look it over and then let's get together to discuss a report for Thursday night's meeting. Steve, how about lunch on Wednesday? Bill says he can meet then. Call me 850-7772 to confirm and to determine a location.
 
Gary

 

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07-08-09