A year that began in turmoil for Delta County Joint School District #50 is quietly coming to a close with the announcement that a contract extension will be offered to interim superintendent Caryn Gibson.
When the year started, Gibson was the school district's personnel director.
But within weeks after three new school board members were elected in November 2011, it became clear they were not seeing eye to eye with longtime superintendent Mike McMillan. McMillan retired in early 2012 and a search was launched for his replacement. In the meantime, Dr. Jerre Doss was hired as interim superintendent. Although the school district went through an extensive planning, application and interview process, the superintendent search proved fruitless and Doss was asked to stay on as superintendent for the 2012-13 school year. Two weeks after making that announcement, the school board reversed its decision amid staff unrest. Gibson, a 22-year school district employee who labored on throughout the upheavals at the district office, was tapped to smooth the waters. She quickly formed a leadership team by naming two assistant principals, Kurt Clay and Todd Markley.
Gibson was offered a one-year contract as interim superintendent with the understanding that at the end of the year she would resume directorship of Delta-Montrose Technical College, the position she held before moving to the district office.
On Nov. 15, school board president Pete Blair announced they are so happy with the current direction of the school district they will not be looking for a new superintendent. During their monthly meeting, school board members unanimously agreed to begin negotiating a contract extension with Gibson.
"We feel she and her leadership team are doing a really good job," said school board member Tammy Smith. "Comments from the teachers and staff have been really, really good."
"I've heard only positive," said school board member Cheryl Hines. School district staff especially likes seeing Gibson, Clay and Markley in the schools, she added.
"We all agree we're evaluating Caryn on just the two months school has been in session, but based on those two months we're all happy," said school board member Kathy Svenson.
Blair added, "We all realize the goals we have set as a board and as a district will take a couple of years to achieve, and that's why we'd like to extend the contract."
The goals for both the superintendent and the board school itself revolve around rigor, results, relevance, responsibility and relationships.
The school board can not formalize a contract with Gibson until 14 days after a public announcement has been made, but they did move into executive session to begin the negotiations.
Gibson said she is looking forward to working with school district staff, parents and students to help students grow. "As a district leadership team we're trying to help our teachers do their very best, while becoming better partners in the community," she said. "If we all work together it helps in the success of our students."blog comments powered by Disqus