Okemos Public Schools board extends administrator contracts

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By Bingqing Mao
The Meridian Times

The Okemos Public Schools board unanimously voted to extend several administrator contracts through June 30, 2017.

Each administrator is evaluated annually. The contract between the board and administrators provides that, based upon satisfactory evaluation and other criteria, an administrator’s contract shall be extended an additional year, not to exceed a total contract term of two years.

At March 23’s meeting, Board Member Catherine Ash went over how the board evaluated administrators. She said that all evaluators would get the same outcome, for they worked so closely with each other and knew them well.

“Every one of our administrators will be considered effective or highly effective, ” said Ash. “I have to tell you that there is no administrative team that can hold a candle to this significant administrative team. There is an amazing group of individuals that are truly instructional leaders.”

Then Ash gave a deeper and more specific explanation to the public and recommended all for contract extensions.

Ash said, “I think the biggest attribute is (that) they establish the collaborative environment, where they can problem solve, decision make, and teachers feel safe to be innovative. And all positively impact students’ learning, and that’s the outcome.

“They are in partnership with parents and families, they are guided by all of our children, and they constantly focus on the best for our children. That’s how they make their decisions. They are strong, talented, and really willing to get passionate for educating with excellent skills.”

At the end of her speech, she said that she felt more proud to be a part of a district that had such a qualified administrative team which would sustain the excellence of the Okemos Schools.

Amy Crites, the board member, also expressed her admiration, and she stressed Jody Noble, the principal of Chippewa Middle School, in particular.

Crites said, “I am very impressed about Jody Noble, the ability to kind of melt right into the system.She was so kind and she was always here. I was really appreciated that the selection process and her being a part of team. ”

Amy Lothamer, another board member, highlighted Heather Pricco, the special education director at the district.

“She has been in her position very long, and I think she is really brought the community together, and I see a lot more positive comments from our parents,” said Lothamer, “She is always available and really has engaged with parents and kids, and makes sure they get what they want.

“All of these administrators same characteristics: well-organized, open, knowledgeable, accessible and effective. ”

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