Clovis schools boss gets extension

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis Board of Education added another year to school superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm’s contract.

Board members voted unanimously Tuesday to extend her contract to June 30, 2010. Seidenwurm was hired on as the district’s superintendent in 2005.

“I’m pleased that all five of my board members voted to extend my contract,” Seidenwurm said. “We have an extremely positive working experience, which is what the school district deserves.”

Seidenwurm’s current salary is $134, 925.

Board President Max Best said the extension comes with an adjustment of her salary that will happen after school budget officials decide what percentage to increase the salaries of teachers. He said the decision will be based on education funding levels the state legislature set in the last legislative session.

Seidenwurm said she will not accept a compensation adjustment at a higher percentage than what teachers receive.
Best said the board meets every year to evaluate the superintendent’s contract, preferring to have its superintendent under contract for two years.
“On behalf of the school board, I think tonight’s vote expresses a strong level of confidence the school board has in the superintendent and the direction she’s taking the school district,” he said.
Board members filled out a superintendent evaluation form in its Feb. 12 meeting. Qualities the evaluation assessed included Seidenwurm’s relationship with teachers, the community and the board, and her proficiency in business and finances. The evaluation is broken down into 78 questions.

Board vice president Lola Bryant referred all questions about Seidenwurm’s evaluation to Best. Best declined comment on the evaluation, citing it as a confidential personnel matter. Seidenwurm said she hadn’t thoroughly studied the results yet and would share the evaluation results with the CNJ at a later date.

“We really like her enthusiasm for education and the support she gives our teaching staff and the excitement you see in her eyes when kids excel,” Best said after Tuesday’s meeting.

Seidenwurm said she scored well in the evaluation but will meet with board members later to discuss areas of improvement.

“I feel that my evaluation from the board is always fair and has always been positive,” she said. “But however positive my evaluation is, there is always room for growth.”

In other business board members:

• Decided not to renew an eight-year-old exclusive beverage contract with PepsiCo Inc.
Seidenwurm said school administrators believe they could get better deals on sponsorships for events from other beverage companies if the school relinquishes its exclusive contract. The contract will expire at the end of June.

“We’ve had a lot of queries from Coke already,” said Gene Bieker, Clovis schools executive director of operations.

• Approved donating an old baseball scoreboard from Bell Park to the city. Bieker said the city will use the scoreboard for a new baseball field the city is building near Spencer Field.