BELDING — When Sara Shriver was selected as interim superintendent of Belding Area Schools one year ago, she stated, “I never want to stop learning and if I can help and be part of a solution here, then I want to do it.”
When she was promoted to superintendent last December, she described her situation as, “a very welcome opportunity that I didn’t see coming.”
On Monday evening, after members of the Belding Area Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to give her a new three-year contract, Shriver said she wanted nothing more than to thank the people who have helped make her position in Belding an enjoyable one through her first year.
“My administrative team has been absolutely wonderful and helpful and I could not continue on in this position without their help,” Shriver said. “This board has also been wonderful to work with and sometimes I hear across the state from colleagues that, that is often not the truth. This board is great to work with in terms of their learning curve and teaching me as well.”
Shriver was evaluated on her performance over the past year at a special board meeting June 10. Each of the seven school board members totaled a score in 15 categories that were weighted from 5 percent to 25 percent. The combined weighted score from each board member was then averaged together to derive the final score for Shriver’s evaluation.
Shriver scored a 87.95 out of 100, giving her a “Highly Effective” rating, the highest of four ratings.
Board President Tom Humphreys said it was due to Shriver’s high evaluation that the board decided to give her an extension of three years as superintendent.
“This past year she was essentially running on an addendum to her previous duties,” Humphreys said. “I can tell you that she received an excellent review of her performance and this will be an official superintendent’s contract.”
Shriver’s salary will remain unchanged at $118,500. Her three-year contract will begin July 1 and end June 30, 2016.
“Mrs. Shriver and the board agreed that essentially the same compensation package was warranted given the financial constraints of the district,” Humphreys said. “We wanted to make sure we gave her an extended contract to show our support and confidence in the work that she has done over the last year and will continue to do.”
Shriver will also continue to act as the district’s director of instruction and technology.
“I will be thrilled to continue on as the director of instruction and technology,” she said. “I love school improvement, state and federal programs, and curriculum.”
According to Shriver, a transition plan has been set into motion to have Middle School Principle Joel Olson assist as the director of technology and High School Assistant Principal Leslie Mount as the district assessment coordinator.
“Actually, all of the administrators have taken on additional duties so that we maintain the integrity of our programs while saving a little bit of funding as well,” she said.
Board Vice President Timothy Flynn echoed Humphreys’ sentiments, stating he believes Shriver will continue to do work diligently for the district.
“I’d like to reiterate the fact that this was probably the most comprehensive superintendent evaluation that I’ve been a part of in my time on the board,” Flynn said. “I want to thank you for your efforts. I’m very excited about the opportunities that we see emerging in the district and the direction the district is heading in.”
Shriver said she will now continue to look forward into the future at Belding Area Schools.
“It’s been a very good experience and I’m looking forward to next year,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed my time here at Belding.”