Beaufort school board gives superintendent positive evaluation

sbowman@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 4, 2014 

Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Moss

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • In other action, the Beaufort County Board of Education:

    • Approved the selection of Sumter-based Thompson Turner Construction as the general contractor for the new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade elementary school on Davis Road in Bluffton. A contract will now be negotiated.
    • Approved amending the capital projects budget for fiscal year 2015 to include the replacement and upgrade of the fire alarm system at Lady's Island Middle School for $268,915. A planned fire alarm system upgrade at Battery Creek High School, expected to cost $278,459, will be postponed until fiscal year 2016.
    • Approved the hiring of Carmen Dillard as district's director of elementary academic assistance.
    • Approved the hiring of Karen Gilbert as district's director of career and technical education.
  • Survey

The results are in: The Beaufort County Board of Education is "extremely pleased" with superintendent Jeffrey Moss' first six months on the job.

The full board announced the results of its six-month evaluation of Moss at its meeting Tuesday, after the Ad Hoc Superintendent Evaluation Committee met in executive session Monday to complete the review.

Despite only starting the position in July, board members said Moss has helped the district accomplish a great deal, including the decision to build two new Bluffton schools, increase academic choices for students and enhance technology use for learning.

"Dr. Jeffrey Moss has a clear vision that aligns well with the mission and strategic goals of the board and district," the executive summary of the evaluation says. "His central and overriding theme is the improvement of instruction for all students."

Unlike an annual review, the evaluation will have no bearing on Moss' contract or salary, committee chairman Jim Beckert said.

An expanded comments section was also included with the executive summary to allow the board to elaborate. Beckert said different opinions emerged during the process and each of them was weighed equally. Despite those differences, the overall consensus was that Moss is doing well, Beckert said.

The evaluation was meant to give the superintendent an idea if he is headed in the right direction, board chairman Bill Evans said.

"This served as a form of professional development for him," Evans said after the meeting. "It gave him an opportunity after six months to hear where he was doing well and where he could improve upon things. It also gave him the chance to tell us where he sees the district going."

There was little negative feedback in the evaluation, Evans said.

Moss said he felt the evaluation -- largely based on his 90-day plan as well as his ability to engage with staff and parents -- was a fair assessment. He said he was not given much to improve on, but said such conversations and feedback "happen every day."

"... that has allowed us to adjust our course or direction if need be along the way," Moss said.

Compared to his previous experience in North Carolina school districts, Moss said this is the first time any part of his evaluation has been shared publicly. But he feels that lends validity and credibility to the process.

His next review will be his annual evaluation, which likely will be tied to compensation. Moss has a five-year contract with a base salary of $220,000.

A committee will now begin crafting an evaluation tool for the annual review, which will include information about student achievement data and be more in-depth.

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