Board passes on deciding Davis’ contract

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 11, 2001

NATCHEZ – The Natchez-Adams School Board on Monday held off on publicly evaluating Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis’ three-year performance.

&uot;That is not something for a board member to discuss openly like that,&uot; said Kenneth Taylor, school board president.

Because the matter involves personnel, Taylor said he could not comment on whether he was pleased with the job Davis was doing or if Davis was meeting the board’s goals for a superintendent.

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&uot;That is a matter for the board to discuss,&uot; he said.

But Taylor did say he thought that Davis wanted to continue his work in Natchez, and he had no problem with that.

&uot;As far as I know he has a desire to stay in Natchez and I support his desire to stay,&uot; Taylor said.

The board must make a decision on Davis’ contract on or before Feb. 1 or it will be extended for one additional year.

But with the uncertainty, Davis said last week that he has inquired into about five other superintendent positions outside Mississippi.

&uot;I was kind of surprised to see that in the paper (Sunday),&uot; said Dale Steckler, the school board’s most recent member.

But Taylor said he understood Davis’ actions.

&uot;He’s a person waiting,&uot; Taylor said.

No matter what Davis thinks the board would decide, &uot;any prudent person&uot; would look into other possibilities, Taylor said.

As to how it judges Davis’ performance as superintendent, school board member Don Marion said the board did not have a formal list of superintendent goals until it approved a list of objectives for the district at a recent meeting.

The goals also reflect the board’s expectations for Davis.

&uot;The goals for the district and the goals for the superintendent would be the same thing,&uot; Marion said.

One reason for drafting goals was because Davis requested it, Marion said.

Davis said in previous years, the board evaluated his performance annually.

Even though Davis said he always scored high on his evaluation, the board used a generic evaluation form that was not specific to the district.

Having goals in place specific to the district will help better evaluate his work, Davis said. &uot;I knew what I needed to be doing, but I didn’t know if I was meeting their objectives – their expectations.&uot;

This way, Davis said district officials say they would know what the school board wanted from them &uot;up front.&uot;

Since Steckler has only been on the board one month, she said she has not had much chance to evaluate the situation. But when it comes time to make a decision, she thinks each board member should make an independent decision.

&uot;Each one of us are individuals who should have our own opinion and evaluate him on a fair basis (in) accordance with how we think education should go,&uot; in the district, she said.

Due to the uncertainty over his contract, Davis has said he is looking into other job opportunities. &uot;I am considering all of my options and I like Natchez,&uot; he said.

School board members, Dr. Norris Edney and Camille Jackson could not be reached for comment Tuesday.