Wareham superintendent awarded 2 percent raise, performance rated 'proficient'

Nov 2, 2017

Wareham Superintendent Kimberly Shaver-Hood, now in her fifth year in the position, received her public evaluation and a 2 percent raise at the School Committee meeting Nov 1, bringing Shaver-Hood’s salary to $161,568. But not before some debate on her salary increase.

The superintendent is the only town employee who receives a public evaluation, said Chair Judy Caporiccio. Shaver-Hood was graded on a scale of 100 by each member of the board, with an average of around 83 points out of 100. At last year's evaluation, she was given an average score of 85.

Caporiccio gave her the highest score of anyone on the board, with nearly 90 points.

“I have observed the superintendent in so many settings throughout the year,” Caporiccio said. She said Shaver-Hood is “tireless and well-rounded” with a knowledge of curriculum, finance, legalities and the community.

Vice-Chair Geoff Swett was somewhat more critical, scoring the superintendent at 80 points.

“It’s in many ways a thankless job,” he acknowledged. But though he’s excited about what is being done in the district, Swett said the data doesn’t back up the plans.

“Something isn’t working,” Swett said. “Just how patient should I be?”

Swett cited low state test scores and dropping graduation rates, along with a “dramatic increase” in dropout rates.

“Many of those variables are well beyond the control of the superintendent, and yet they indicate something,” Swett said.

The thing that troubles him most is the lack of accountability within the school district, Swett said.

“I see and I hear some very exciting things going on, and yet I don’t have the student performance results to say that those are having the kind of impact that they should,” he said.

In his review, Swett said Decas Elementary “continues to suffer from a lack of consistent leadership” and that Minot Forest Elementary has more than 70 percent of students not meeting state expectations for proficiency in ELA and math, 20 percent higher than state average.

The middle school, Swett continued, “has demonstrated inferior student growth scores in math for over a decade.”

He said the high school is a “bright spot,” but added the student population is shrinking “in part because of the inaccurate perception that it suffers from the same achievement problems as the other schools.”

Committee member Mary Morgan, formerly an early childhood coordinator for the district, gave Shaver-Hood the lowest score of 74 points. Morgan said she believes the superintendent should put early childhood education first and that other programs should follow it so students have a good foundation.

“I really think that it was done in a backwards manner,” Morgan said.

Since Shaver-Hood’s average score is considered in the “proficient” range, the committee could vote to give her a salary increase between 1 and 3 percent. Caporiccio suggested a 3 percent raise, but then recommended a 2 percent raise after her first suggestion wasn’t embraced by the board.

Shaver-Hood’s 2 percent raised passed 4-1 with Morgan voting against.

An extended contract with Shaver-Hood will be voted on by the School Committee at the Nov. 15 meeting.

To read the superintendent’s full evaluation from School Committee members, visit WarehamVillageSoup.com.