Frankfort Independent Schools Superintendent Dr. Houston Barber received an "exemplary" evaluation from the FIS school board at its Monday meeting.
“I’m happy to report Dr. Barber received exemplary status for all of the standards that were used to do the evaluation,” board Chairman Jina Greathouse said.
“It was a really outstanding evaluation, and we're proud of the work Houston is doing for us and hope it continues through the virus and beyond the virus.”
The board also approved a one-year extension of Barber’s contract, extending it through 2024.
“Thank you, amazing. I appreciate it,” Barber told the board. “I’ll say this, it’s a team effort, so for me to take credit as part of this evaluation — I understand I’m leading the effort — but it’s everybody surrounding me and our team and our community and your push.
“I take that when I get evaluated like that, it’s our team getting evaluated like that. That’s something I feel very passionate about sharing.”
Barber's annual salary is $125,000. The current contract runs through June 30, 2023, and it includes an extension clause, pursuant to state statute, that allowed the FIS school board to add on one year after completion of the first year of the contract. The extension will run through June 2024, and Barber's salary will remain the same.
A prepared statement from the board said it assessed Barber’s performance against standards outlined in the Superintendent Professional Growth and Evaluation System.
SPGES is broken down into seven domains — strategic leadership, instructional leadership, cultural leadership, human resource leadership, managerial leadership, collaborative leadership and influential leadership.
Barber’s performance received a unanimous rating of exemplary, the highest of the system’s four triers.
Among positives mentioned in the prepared statement were Barber’s “steady, strategic, collaborative approach to navigating the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19,” and having 100% of the class of 2020 graduate with college credit.
“In praising Dr. Barber’s exemplary leadership, the board was also unanimous in calling for an acceleration of the district’s work on equity,” it said in the statement. “We have asked Dr. Barber to create an equity scorecard with data that points to track over time the achievements and opportunities of students based on income, race, English language proficiency and special education status.
“In addition, we’ve asked Dr. Barber to prioritize with urgency the hiring of racially diverse staff which is critical to the equitable education of our students.”
Barber said the district is working to improve equity.
“For us to move to another level, we have to dig deeper and we’re going to continue to do that,” he said. “As you mentioned, we’re going to work hard at our equity scorecard piece and we’re going to work really hard at evaluating how we get staff that reflects our own student population and supporting our students.
“I do think we have a lot of momentum. We continue to grow. This is a special place. I intend to be here as long as you’ll have me, until the end of my career.”
In other business, the board approved 14 bids on Phase 3 work at F.D. Wilkinson Gymnasium.
John Hagan Codell with Codell Construction, the Phase 3 construction manager, said the plans and specifications were broken into 14 bid packages, and 55 bids were received.
Codell recommended, and the board approved, taking the low bid on 13 of the packages. The low bid that was not approved was for a flooring system that was not an approved system in the specifications. The next lowest bid was approved.
Barber said the bids came in at $3.8 million, and the projected cost had been $4.5 million.
The board also accepted the special inspection proposal from L.E. Gregg for $15,532 and a bid of $41,900 from Environmental Demolition Group for abatement, and approved the revised BG1 from John Hogan Codell.