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Waseca Public Schools recently retired Superintendent Tom Lee recently had his superintendent evaluation passed through the school board. (file photo)

One last evaluation was given on Tom Lee before he officially retired June 30 from Waseca Public Schools superintendent position.

Taking over in his place is Eric Hudspith starting July 1.

On June 18 Lee was present at his final school board meeting, which included his superintendent evaluation.

“Tom (Lee) had three main goals for this past school year,” board member Dave Dunn said. “Develop a comprehensive staff development plan that aligns with the school district’s strategic plan and student learning. Develop a plan to deal with staff recruitment, retention and licensing issues. Complete all contract negotiations.

“The School Board’s Superintendent Evaluation Committee recently met with Tom to go over these goals in depth. It was the consensus of the committee that Tom had successfully achieved all three goals and thanked him for his leadership as he retires as superintendent of Waseca Public Schools.”

The school board passed the evaluation unanimously.

For the 2019-2020 school year Lee had four goals that he set to achieve.

There were two goals listed on the superintendent performance evaluation sheet.

The first goal was to provide leadership to develop and implement a multi-year, comprehensive school district-wide staff development plan that aligns with the strategic plan priorities, which the board felt was accomplished.

The second goal on the superintendent evaluation sheet is two parts: provide leadership to create strategies designed to solve licensing and staff recruitment issues and resolve contract negotiations for all employee groups and at-will contracts.

For this second goal part one a plan for comprehensive recruitment and retention was created to attract more potential new teachers.

The other two goals board member Katie Youngberg spoke about was board development/training and mental health.

For board member development and training the new members attended training held in St. Peter by the Minnesota School Board Association along with an annual leadership conference and other training throughout the year.

“The mental health goal is going to always be a work in progress,” Youngberg said. “As schools need to address new challenges that come up we have to look at how staff are trained and what resources are available and that our counseling staff is adequate. The board got reports during the year periodically from the counselors and nurse and the admin team on what they saw in the schools. Tom did a great job of keeping us in the various loops for each school. The board watched the movie “Resilience” together. This is about the ACES trauma test. We had planned on doing more this spring with the community, but those plans got put on hold.”

This evaluation was a new method used this past year by the school board as part of a pilot group out of St. Peter.

Youngberg said the goal of this kind of evaluation is that it is fluid and can be modified depending on what the district sees as an important item to work on that year. This method has multiple sections to it, which allows a district to pick and choose each year what it will focus on in the evaluation.

“Tom did a great job this year, as he has done each year that I’ve worked with him,” Youngberg said. “He is a high energy person that is always looking for ways to improve this district. He helped put us in a good spot financially and staff-wise for the new admin team and for the new superintendent.

Tom had a lot of challenges that came up at the end of the year and he along with his team worked tirelessly to navigate very grey waters that no one had ever needed to address in the past.

“I think why Waseca was as successful as it was, with the distance learning is that he listened to his staff and they problem solved lots of different scenarios together. Tom is about teamwork, but he always had to be the main leader and make the tough choices that not everyone agreed with every time. ... I trusted him and his direction and I feel he did a great job as superintendent here.”

Reach Reporter Bailey Grubish at 507-837-5451 or follow her on Twitter @wcnbailey. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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