Noonan hired back for three more years |

Noonan hired back for three more years

by Scott Neuffer

With a substantial record now in full view, Douglas County School District Superintendent Lisa Noonan asked school board members for another three years of employment – and got just that.

On Tuesday, after deeming Noonan’s performance in the last 12 months as “highly effective,” trustees voted unanimously to extend her current $127,500-a-year contract until June 2016. Noonan did not request any increase in pay, but board members left the option open should pay raises for all employees return in the future.

Previously, she had volunteered to take a salary reduction of $2,500 as part of district-wide budget cuts, dropping her annual salary from $130,000 to $127,500.

Outgoing trustee Randy Green said that calling Noonan back for a follow-up interview in 2010, after support for two other candidates had fizzled, was one of the best decisions he ever made as a board member.

“You are a superintendent who deals with issues,” he said. “You are not a superintendent who has issues.”

Noonan, the former chief academic officer of Washoe County Schools, was hired in the summer of 2010 to lead the district after the divisive departure of her predecessor, Carol Lark.

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The board’s evaluation of her recent performance consisted of three weighted categories: results (50 percent), major efforts and perception (each 25 percent). On a sliding scale of 0-5, Noonan scored 4.12 in results, 4.17 in efforts, and 4.45 in perception – a combined average score of 4.21.

In a presentation to the board, Noonan highlighted some of the district’s accomplishments during her oversight: the implementation of Common Core State Standards; the Striving Readers grant proposal, which resulted in $3.1 million in federal funding; and the development of a new Douglas High School that will accommodate ninth-graders in 2015.

She also pointed out that 100 percent of schools last year made Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind. Although the federal law is in the process of being replaced with the Nevada School Performance Framework, the last year of the program still showed DCSD students making strides in core subjects.

“We made AYP at every single school, and not many school districts get to say that,” Noonan said.

However, she said she’s not comfortable taking credit for academic successes, instead crediting administrators, teachers and other employees who have been working hard. She said being superintendent means sitting before the board and “taking responsibility when something goes wrong.”

Trustees agreed in “nailing down” Noonan for another three years so she won’t leave.

“You have been good for Douglas County, and very good for Douglas County students,” said board member Cindy Trigg, “and that’s what counts.”

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