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BOE renews Wilson's contract

Superintendent’s new deal tied to school performance

BOE renews Wilson's contract

BOE renews Wilson's contract

Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson

Meeting Thursday night, the Bulloch County Board of Education renewed Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson’s contract for two years, boosting his salary by $20,000 the first year and promising another $10,000 the second year, if measures of progress are met.
Previously $135,000, his salary as chief executive of the 15-school, 10,000-student system will be $155,000 in the first year of the new contract. It will rise to $165,000 the second year, subject to a review, before March 31, 2015, of “the system’s progress toward agreed-upon initiatives,” the contract states.
Board members unanimously approved the new contract after an extended closed-door session at the end of Thursday’s public meeting. Wilson stepped out of the closed session while board members discussed his contract. No reporter was present when the session ended.
“The board was unanimous in its decision to renew Mr. Wilson's contract,” Board of Education Chairman Maurice Hill said in a statement emailed from the board office Friday. “We have a strategic plan in place, and the board supports this plan and Mr. Wilson’s implementation of that plan. This was a key basis for our decision.”
Wilson had been the Bulloch County Schools’ chief financial officer for 16 years and was assistant superintendent of business and finance when the board selected him as superintendent from a field of 33 applicants in June 2012. His initial contract would have expired this July, and the new contract will run from July 1, 2014 until July 31, 2016, unless renewed.
The school system has roughly 1,350 employees and its budgets this year total more than $93 million, including a $68 million general fund.
Strategic initiatives
“Strategic Plan 2020,” developed with public input from a series of meetings in January through March 2013, was unanimously adopted by the board in October. It is available on the district’s website, The plan established a motto, “Creating responsible citizens for colleges and careers,” as well as a vision statement, a mission statement, goals and themes.
The goals include preparing students for college and career opportunities, developing a highly effective and diverse workforce, increasing “stakeholder engagement” by working with the community, contributing to economic development and being cost-effective.
Under the goals are measurable objectives and finally, specific initiatives or projects.
A digital copy of the superintendent’s new contract, released Friday, includes a final page labeled Exhibit A and titled “School District Initiatives and Criteria for Determining Progress.” But below that are a series of blank lines like ruled paper.
Which initiatives will be used in the superintendent’s evaluation is still to be determined, Wilson explained in a phone interview. But they will be taken from those in the strategic plan. One example of the initiatives, which he did not select and which may not be one of those used, is implementing Common Core Georgia Performance Standards to prepare students for certain standardized tests. Another is developing a plan to motivate students to earn industry credentials or take career-specific tests.
As a “performance-based” contract linked to the strategic plan, this is a new type of superintendent contract for the Bulloch County Schools, Wilson said. The board’s review of his job performance will include both subjective feedback on what members think of his work and objective measures of what has been done on certain initiatives in the strategic plan.
The board deserves credit, Wilson said, for an approach that holds him accountable to the community’s expectations.
“I’m appreciative of the fact that they’re committed to holding me accountable for the things that they want to see done, and that they’ve said in the strategic plan, because that puts is all working together in the same direction,” Wilson said. “There is reciprocal accountability and support.”
This spring, he and the board are to agree on which initiatives are critical and establish a timeline and benchmarks for progress.
Meanwhile, Wilson said he is thankful to the board, appreciative to the community for the trust put in him and excited to start another two years as superintendent.
“I’m honored to serve this community and to be given this opportunity to lead this school system forward,” he said. “This community has the potential to become a role model not only for the state but for this nation in terms of being a progressive community, what we want to call a college- and career-ready community.”
As with teachers and principals, a substantial portion of Wilson’s salary is supplied by the state.
Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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