At their meeting Monday June 22, 2020, the Cabell County Board of Education conducted its yearly evaluation of Superintendent Ryan S. Saxe. Following is the Board’s official statement regarding the evaluation:
“The Cabell County Board of Education met on June 22, 2020, to complete the required annual evaluation of the Superintendent of Cabell County Schools, Mr. Ryan Saxe. The board followed the procedures laid out in Policy 5309 and used a state approved evaluation instrument.
The board met to review data and other documentation to determine the progress made toward achieving the four main goals as presented by Superintendent Saxe at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. The four goals reviewed included the areas of Achievement and Growth, District Operations and Long-Range Planning, Organizational Excellence, and Communication and Engagement.
There is evidence of academic improvement and growth, improved attendance rates, higher graduation rates, and a large increase in the number of students participating in CTE programs. A major accomplishment of this administration is the recent announcement that Cabell County Schools will be providing “one-to-one” technology for every student with the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.
Another major accomplishment includes the completion of the ten-year Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP). The plan is a result of stakeholder input and collaboration with a broad cross section of our communities. The CEFP document will provide a framework for the projects to be addressed in the upcoming school bond election to be held on August 22, 2020.
The Board of Education once again was provided with a balanced budget that prioritizes support for improving academic outcomes for all students. Audits prove that our school system continues to be run in a financially sound way. There is total transparency and accountability in the use of taxpayer funds.
There are multiple examples of major improvements in communication and engagement through social media platforms, improved school and district websites, stakeholder surveys, and increased interaction with parents and community members through on-line and in person meetings. Superintendent Saxe makes himself readily available to speak with community groups and faith-based organizations. Superintendent Saxe has reinvigorated community participation and interest in our school system.
Based on evidence presented and an open dialogue with the superintendent, we conclude that Superintendent Saxe has made significant progress in all four target goal areas and has earned a designation of “Exceeds Goal” in each and every standard listed in the evaluation document.
The outbreak of COVID-19 demanded leadership skills untested until now. Cabell County Schools quickly became the leading county in the state in setting up a virtual learning program for all students. Our teachers, counselors, service personnel, and school administrators worked together to plan a quick transition to a virtual instruction program.
The CEP meal program converted to a system of transporting meals to countywide delivery sites without missing a single day. The entire Cabell County staff came together for the children. Employee volunteers came forward and worked for weeks preparing and transporting meals. School service personnel, teachers, and administrators including, Superintendent Saxe, worked side by side bagging and packing lunches. This demonstration of teamwork and dedication to the well-being of our students was nothing short of amazing. The COVID-19 crises brought to light the fact that every Cabell County Schools employee is “essential” to meeting the needs of our students.
Not only did Superintendent Saxe lead his team and this district through the uncharted territory of COVID-19 with patience, skill, and success, he also led the school system through a year-long process to assess capital needs and produce a plan for the future of our school facilities. A special bond levy election to address these much needed capital improvements will be held on August 22, 2020.
As part of the evaluation process, it is important to provide guidance and expectations for the superintendent as we move forward. We expect Superintendent Saxe to stay abreast of the efficacy of virtual education, especially as it may become our primary teaching modality. Secondly, we expect our superintendent to become knowledgeable about blended learning models, any of which may become necessary as we enter an increasingly uncertain future. We expect our superintendent to be a great manager, skilled at community relations, actively engaged with students, families, and staff.
We expect our superintendent to be a life-long learner who will continue to pursue a high level course of study resulting in gaining relevant knowledge and advanced certificates or degrees. We expect our superintendent to become an expert on learning in the post-pandemic world so that we can continue to offer a world class education to the students of Cabell County Schools.
In conclusion, the Cabell County Board of Education has determined that Superintendent Saxe has performed his duties in a professional, innovative, and transparent manner. We commend him for the outstanding team he has assembled and his positive, energetic leadership style.
As we approach the unknown of this new school year, we stand ready to work with Superintendent Saxe and every employee in our county to make decisions that will best meet the safety, academic, social, and emotional needs of our students in dealing with the challenges of the future.”