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Board Commends Superintendent in Performance Evaluation

The Eugene School Board commended the leadership of Superintendent Gustavo Balderas during his fourth year as superintendent of Eugene School District 4J in its annual performance evaluation. The board shared its report at the June 5 board meeting.

The board’s evaluation of the superintendent focused on his overall administrative performance and the five goal areas of the 4J Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan:

  • Educational Excellence with Equitable Access and Outcomes for Every Student
  • Multiple Pathways to Student Success
  • Communication and Connection with Community
  • Diverse World-Class Workforce
  • Stable Sustainable Stewardship

Board Chair Alicia Hays noted, “Dr. Balderas is an excellent leader for the district and for the Eugene community. While there are many challenges facing school districts across the state, his leadership has helped 4J to identify, prioritize, and deliver on critical issues and opportunities to better meet the needs of our students. His commitment to student success is clear throughout his work. We are fortunate to have Dr. Balderas leading the district now and into the future.”

An overview of the board’s assessment of the superintendent follows.

 


 

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

Alicia Hays, Board Chair
June 5, 2019

The Board of Directors of Eugene School District 4J has completed its annual performance evaluation of the superintendent, Dr. Gustavo Balderas. Now completing his fourth year, Superintendent Balderas continues to demonstrate success in his role and the board commends him for his job performance.

The board’s annual evaluation of the superintendent’s work included an assessment of overall performance as well as performance on five key goals established at the beginning of the year, aligned with the 4J Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan.

Dr. Balderas continues to demonstrate excellent leadership for the district and for the Eugene community. While there are many challenges facing school districts across the state, his leadership has helped 4J to identify, prioritize, and deliver on a number of critical issues and opportunities this year. His commitment to student success is clear throughout his work, including his focus on identifying opportunities where the district can change and improve with practical strategies to target our limited resources to better meet the needs of our students.

Goal 1: Educational Excellence with Equitable Access and Outcomes for Every Student
Dr. Balderas is always student-focused, bringing the discussion and work back to what is in the best interest of the students and community we serve. He has addressed a number of longer-term structural challenges in a way that impacts the overall system for student success, such as ensuring instructional time is equitable across all schools at all levels, tackling the district process for curriculum adoption, incorporating data tracking systems and supports to ensure 9th graders are on-track for graduation, and working to develop clear paths for improving alternative high school outcomes.

Goal 2: Multiple Pathways to Student Success
Dr. Balderas has consistently and comprehensively sought out opportunities to support student success across age ranges, interests and abilities. He has been a champion for early learning opportunities, and for maximizing new state high school success funds to create more career and technical education (CTE) options in the district. With an eye to doing the best for 4J kids by leveraging resources through partnerships, he has intentionally worked with other organizations with a countywide focus to identify opportunities to share resources and create more opportunities for all students.

Goal 3: Communication and Connection with Community
This year has provided many important opportunities for community engagement, including the passage of the bond measure and the resulting planning for new schools and investments, curriculum adoption, and legislative focus on school funding. Dr. Balderas does an excellent job of connecting with the community across various groups and organizations, and is widely seen as an instrumental contributor at both the local and state level. These community relationships and an increased focus on outreach in advance of issues have helped the district’s ability to shepherd important changes across all initiatives.

Goal 4: Diverse World-Class Workforce
Dr. Balderas has done an excellent job of crafting a plan to ensure that every classroom has a high-quality, effective teacher, supported by high-quality, effective administrators and support staff. He has fostered strong connections with colleges developing future teachers, and his focus on equity and inclusion in staff recruitment has been important in ensuring that our staff reflects the diversity of our students. Additionally, he has set a strong standard for performance evaluations to ensure all staff receive consistent and timely feedback, and overseen the development of teacher and administrator mentoring programs with an eye to retaining staff and maximizing their success.

Goal 5: Stable Sustainable Stewardship
Dr. Balderas has had success in improving the financial stability of the district, including increasing reserves to a healthier level to weather future challenges. This year he has realigned fiscal managers across the district, and has worked with programs and schools to address past practices around carryover to provide a more clear and transparent view of district resources. He has been able to direct targeted funds to address emerging issues in the district such as transitioning the nutrition program to in-house management, reducing the largest class sizes, and supporting student behavior needs, despite continuing challenges with state funding.

Administrative Performance
Dr. Balderas is known for being accessible to students, parents, staff, board members and the larger community. He represents 4J well in the community, serving on numerous community boards and committees. He is kind, professional, and respectful of roles and responsibilities, and maintains a strong sense of accountability and responsibility for his work and the work of his staff. He has worked with the board to ensure a strong working relationship with members, and is an excellent partner in governance.

For the next year, it will be important to continue and expand efforts to develop and effectively use the equity tool with fidelity; focus attention on a strong vision and systems approach in special education; ensure support for strong communication, community engagement and outreach planning; further support a diverse staff and mentor upcoming district leaders; prioritize transparency and communication on financial issues; and clarify and communicate the strategic framework to help staff, families and community members understand how different initiatives all link together in support of the larger plan.

In conclusion, the board feels fortunate to have Dr. Balderas leading the district and anticipates his continued success in his next year in this role.

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