Superintedent's fate up for new board vote

The schools superintendent's contract extension is on the agenda for Tuesday.

Published: Monday, January 19, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 19, 2004 at 2:50 a.m.
The superintendent of Alachua County schools will find out Tuesday night if she will remain the district's leader through 2005.
A contract extension for Mary Chambers has been placed on the meeting agenda for the second time since October, when the board voted 3-2 to delay the vote on a contract extension until each board member completed a performance evaluation of Chambers.
The contract that board members are expected to discuss is a one-year extension of the one Chambers signed last year, which is set to expire in September. If approved, she would continue to receive her current yearly salary of $131,040.
She also receives a monthly supplement of $300 for in-county travel expenses. In her annual performance appraisal, completed at the end of 2003, Chambers received mixed grades.
Two board members praised her leadership, but the other three cited critical areas where improvement was needed. Board member Barbara Sharpe, who supported extending Chambers' contract in October, criticized how the superintendent and her staff handled last year's school rezoning process, differing from the other four board members.
Chambers, 46, who previously worked as assistant superintendent of business and finance, was appointed superintendent in October 2000.
In the past two years, Chambers had courted the top jobs in three other counties, but last week she told The Sun she did not plan on applying for any other superintendent jobs in the near future.
In other issues on Tuesday night's agenda, the School Board will hear two possible amendments to the school district's attendance zoning policy.
One is a public hearing for an amendment that would allow the district to provide for zoning exemptions to high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors who were rezoned through the new student assignment plan adopted Dec. 2.
The other is the first reading for a measure aimed at capping the enrollments at each school, meaning students who move into zones of already crowded schools could be reassigned elsewhere.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Kirby-Smith Center.
Douane D. James can be reached at (352) 374-5087 or

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