, 2014

Smart says school superintendent’s
planned evaluation not held; board
discusses contract extension instead

by Audrey Thomasson

KILMARNOCK—Lancaster school board member Bob Smart on Monday criticized the board for holding a closed session under the guise of conducting an evaluation of superintendent Dr. Daniel Lukich, when, in fact, he said they only discussed extending his contract.

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“No performance evaluation was conducted in the closed session on February 6,” Smart said. “Instead, the discussion and polling conducted in closed session had to do with an extension of the superintendent’s contract.”

Smart noted that Lukich has been employed by the board for over 19 months, and his contract requires the board to evaluate him and give feedback. Also, three months into the contract, Lukich was to establish annual performance goals which the board had one month to approve. However, according to Smart, that has not been completed.

“I am increasingly concerned that the board is nonfeasant in execution of the contract. In addition, there have been instances where the laws of Virginia and this board’s policies may have been violated and the superintendent has not been admonished. As well, the superintendent has taken actions in the name of the board without consulting the board beforehand,” he said.

Smart quoted state code that requires the board to vote in open session in front of a public body.

“Mr. Chairman, I hereby request the board fulfill the requirements of the current contract before voting to extend it.”

Smart also asked for an independent survey of community leaders and school district employees to assist the board in “our evaluation and decision regarding contract extension.

“There is no compelling reason for an early decision on contract extension...until the end of the year, six months prior to the termination date of the contract...,” he stated.

Chairman Alex Fleet did not take any action on Smart’s statement.

Board member Patrick McCranie took issue with a lack of communication.

“All I ask for is clear and transparent communication between all boards and central office,” he said.

However, during the public comments section, Kenya Moody criticized Smart for having nothing good to say about the superintendent.

“We don’t care if you like each other...we only care about our kids,” she said. “Put personal feelings aside and do for our kids.”

Community for our Schools organizer and former school board member William Smith told members he is currently conducting a survey of teachers because they did not speak up at the December meeting.

“A world of chaos is that way because of leadership or lack of...” said Smith. The survey is to evaluate the principals, central office and superintendent. Smith plans to present the results to the school board.

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