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School boards renew superintendent contracts in Enumclaw, White River districts

The Enumclaw and White River school boards gave their superintendents the thumbs up and renewed their contracts with few if any changes.

In Enumclaw, the School Board approved Superintendent Mike Nelson's contract at its May 16 meeting.

During an earlier review, the board gave Nelson high marks in all five designated areas as well as the three goals it set for him. The board praised Nelson for his grace, perserverance and ability to maintain an optimistic attitude during economically and academically challenging times.

As the district continues to face financial challenges from the state, the board thanked Nelson for his leadership in once again accepting no changes in compensation for the third straight year.

"We appreciate that very much," Board Member Nancy Merrill said.

"We're excited and happy with your work," Board President Chris VanHoof said. Nelson runs the district efficiently, has been able to maintain programs with a dwindling fund balance, and makes learning a focus, VanHoof added. "I can't envision anyone doing anything more in the community or for kids."

The board noted it's the little things Nelson does that shout. They cited his handwritten notes to students and staff and his Undercover Boss series where he worked side-by-side with a groundskeeper, classroom teacher and food service worker to learn more about those areas.

"The board is confident in the direction we're going," VanHoof said. "There's been a lot of work invested in it and we appreciate it."

"The district is improving and it's not an accident," board member Tim Nickson said.

Nelson said it is a privelege to serve the  students, staff and community where he was raised. He commended the board for its leadership and direction and said it's time to recommit to the vision.

With several distractions behind them, it's time to build programs with the strength to sustain changes into the future, Nelson said.

The White River School Board plans to ink Superintendent Tom Lockyer's contract in the coming weeks. He too, due to financial constraints, will forego any changes in compensation.

Like his Enumclaw counterpart, Lockyer received high marks from school board members.

"We are pleased with the direction and position of our district, both academically and fiscally, and acknowledge Mr. Lockyer’s leadership in these accomplishments," Board President Denise Vogel wrote. "We also appreciate his commitment to excellence in his capacity as Superintendant of the White River School District and his foresight in regards to placement of district personnel."

The board noted its pleasure and commended Lockyer for the work he is doing with regard to student learning and achievement.

The board was delighted with his work in curriculum, instructional practices, staff collaboration and communication.

The board is also pleased to see math, reading and science scores on the rise at all grade levels.

His work to develop and enhance ties in the community to foster positive relationships was also noted.

Among some of the other goals, the board gave Lockyer high marks for his ability to develop and implement practices to recruit, retain and support high quality staff.

"We also acknowledge the hard work done by him, his staff and administrators in keeping us in a position of fiscal stability," Vogel noted. "We look forward to a productive coming year and thank him for our continued positive relationship."

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