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Board Commends Superintendent in Annual Evaluation

The Eugene School Board commended the leadership of Superintendent Gustavo Balderas during his third year as superintendent of Eugene School District 4J in its annual performance evaluation. The board shared its report at the June 20 board meeting.

The superintendent’s annual evaluation focused on five areas: student achievement, staff capacity building, stewardship of district resources, stakeholder engagement as well as relationship with the school board, and leadership and professionalism.

Board Chair Eileen Nittler noted, “Dr. Balderas continues to lead Eugene School District 4J in a way that honors our students, strives to increase academic achievement, promotes long-term fiscal security, and provides for systemic approaches throughout the district. Dr. Balderas is an exceptional leader, and the board looks forward to our continued work.”

The board’s overview of its assessment of the superintendent follows.

 


 

Executive Summary of Eugene School Board’s Performance Evaluation of Dr. Gustavo Balderas
Eugene School District 4J – Board of Directors
June 20, 2018

The board of directors is charged with conducting an annual performance evaluation for the superintendent. Now completing his third year, Superintendent Gustavo Balderas continues to show excellence in his work, his work ethic and his tenacity in carrying out a vision for our district.

Dr. Balderas continues to lead Eugene School District 4J in a way that honors our students, strives to increase academic achievement, promotes long-term fiscal security, and provides for systemic approaches throughout the district.

We have asked Dr. Balderas to do a lot of work in the three years he has been in Eugene. We now have a long-term strategic plan to guide us in our work. We have a common school calendar and schedule. We have a facilities plan to help us best recognize priorities in modernization and safety.

Dr. Balderas is an exceptional leader, and the board looks forward to our continued work.

The superintendent’s annual evaluation focused on five areas:

  • Student achievement
  • Staff capacity building
  • Stewardship of district resources
  • Stakeholder engagement and relationship with the school board
  • Leadership and professionalism

Student Achievement: Dr. Balderas is focused on student success. This is evident in his focus on fully scheduling 9th and 10th graders (and moving towards fulling scheduling 11th graders), as well as working towards more pre-kindergarten early learning programs to get new students off to a strong start. There are now counselors in all elementary schools and 9th grade transition counselors in high schools. He understands the need to work with students, both younger and older, to give them the foundation and support they need to succeed.

Responding to a demonstrable uptick in behavior concerns we have seen in Eugene and elsewhere, the superintendent has directed the development of a new behavioral system framework. This will better support appropriate behavior for all students and promote more effective support of children in need of behavioral assistance.

Staff Capacity Building: There have been many demands on district staff this year. The superintendent was tasked with making systemic changes to the site-based or siloed nature of the district. The shift toward a more centralized, efficient, and unified system has not always been easy. Proactive and consistent communication across the district will be one of the things to focus on next year as this work continues.

Stewardship of District Resources: Dr. Balderas is focused on the long-term health of the district. This is evident in the district’s conservative budget, the balanced bond package developed and recommended after considerable thoughtful work and community process, regular implementation of an equity decision-making tool, and work to align calendars and schedules across the district.

Stakeholder Engagement and Relationship with the School Board: Dr. Balderas has taken the time to become a part of the Eugene community. He meets with stakeholders, from parents to businesses to board members to non-profit groups, to build a network that is strong and focused on identified goals. He is accessible, open to learning from others, and comfortable in sharing his reasoning and expertise.

Leadership and Professionalism: Dr. Balderas has a quiet, professional demeanor that allows for excellent collaboration with stakeholders. He represents our district well. He has led us in systems audits, outreach to community stakeholders, and guidance towards better work as a board, as a district and as a community. He researches options, and presents those that are the best fit for the district in a respectful and respectable manner.

In conclusion, the Eugene School District 4J Board of Directors considers the district fortunate to have Dr. Balderas as a leader. We look forward to continuing to work together to provide the best education we can for our students.

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