Reviews mixed for Toso’s final evaluationJamestown Public Schools Superintendent Bob Toso again received mixed reviews in his second formal evaluation this year by the Jamestown Public School Board at Monday’s meeting.
By: By Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent Bob Toso again received mixed reviews in his second formal evaluation this year by the Jamestown Public School Board at Monday’s meeting.
The nine School Board members are allowed the opportunity to rate and make recommendations to the district’s top administrator twice a year by North Dakota Century Code.
This was the final formal evaluation Toso will undergo as superintendent. He will retire in June after 12 years as an administrator with JPS.
“The relationship I have with the board is not positive, and I’ll just say ‘it’s done’ and we’ll leave it at that,” Toso said Tuesday.
For the second review in a row, board member Roger Haut continued to harshly criticize Toso with unsatisfactory remarks. Haut is the only member who had all unsatisfactory remarks in the categories he answered.
Other than Haut’s comments, Toso’s performance before he leaves the district was generally rated well.
Toso was rated satisfactory in organization and management of board affairs in an appropriate manner with eight in favor.
“Unsatisfactory in Webster’s definition is not good enough to be accepted. When it comes to schools/children, my standards are extremely high. I believe that Bob still needs work in openly communicating with the board and establishing a TRUST level with all board members. Trust is earned, not given,” Haut wrote.
He then went on to say he received his information from The Jamestown Sun, instead of Toso informing him.
All other board members disagreed in the written evaluation.
“Mr. Toso continues to perform the affairs of the district in a professional and proficient manner,” wrote Greg Allen, board member. “During this legislative year Mr. Toso has kept us up to date.”
Reviews from the board on Toso’s planning, development and implementation of strategies for school finance were more mixed. Five members voted him satisfactory and four voted him unsatisfactory.
“There appears to be inconsistency in the availability of dollars and a large amount of wiggle room,” wrote Shelly Jystad, board member. “I do not pretend to understand all budgetary issues or processes, but I believe we receive inconsistent messages and partial information regarding budget issues.”
Those who rated Toso as satisfactory used fewer words.
“Bob has always been fiscally conservative and has kept the board informed of the potential costs on a variety of issues,” wrote Gail Martin, board member. “He does a good job of reminding the board of ‘one time’ purchases vs. ongoing expenditures.”
Board members found Toso satisfactory 6-3 on how he administers human resources and external affairs programs.
Heidi Larson said Toso was satisfactory in this section but wrote in a district with 10 buildings that communication could always be improved.
Haut said there is a fear among stakeholders who wish to express concerns.
“Patrons continue to feel threatened or intimidated to bring concerns forward, fearing retaliation,” he wrote.
The final category is how effective Toso is working with the School Board.
The majority rated Toso satisfactory, two voted him unsatisfactory and Terry Anderson, Terry Ostlie and Haut did not answer in this category.
“Nothing more needs to be said in this area,” wrote Martin. “Bob tried, the board didn’t. He can retire with great confidence knowing that he did all he could do.”
Next week the School Board will meet twice with the AdvancED for discussions about the district. One item brought up at previous meetings was the public perception of the board, which scored low in a survey from stakeholders.
“I guess the board has to make some improvements in the way it conducts business, in its demeanor, and that’s what I talked about at the end of the evaluation,” Toso said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com