The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 2, 2007


RSC gives Superintendent Brenda Finn high marks

The Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) commended Superintendent Brenda Finn for her "strong and positive leadership" at her annual performance evaluation, and voted unanimously on October 23 to give her a 5.3% increase in total compensation.

Finn is superintendent of both the regional school district (grades 9 to12) and the Concord School district (pre-K to grade 8). Besides the integrated preschool located in the Ripley Building, she oversees three Concord elementary schools, two middle schools and the regional high school. In the summer of 2006, Finn signed her second three-year contract. It included a base salary of $160,414 with an additional $20,000 to be put into an annuity, another $2,000 for life and disability insurance and $2,500 for travel to meetings and conferences.

RSC Chair Michael Fitzgerald presented the results of the evaluation, which had been shared with Finn by letter on September 25. The evaluation is based on accomplishments and interactions with the RSC over the previous year. The RSC may opt to seek input from faculty as well.

The evaluation letter listed several milestones reached during the 2006-2007 academic year, including: new three-year contracts with the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) and Concord teachers; the selection of a new CCHS principal, improved facilities including new athletic fields at the high school, and the preparation, presentation and passage of the school operating budgets. Fitzgerald said, "You and the strong management team you have assembled have made such achievement possible."

Finn was evaluated in several areas. In her relationship to the Regional School Committee, Fitzgerald said, "Brenda keeps the committee informed on issues that demand our attention, such as budgets, fields and Adult and Community Education, thereby allowing for informed decision making."

In terms of educational leadership, Finn was commended for her focus on improvements to student learning, on class size, and for the introduction of new academic offerings in science at CCHS. The RSC evaluation said, "We thank you for your indefatigable attention to the ongoing improvement of an already superior school system."

Finn was complimented for skill in communications, public relations and general management. Under budget management, the evaluation states that Finn provides "comprehensive and accessible documentation on fiscal considerations. The school budgets have become increasingly transparent, and the credibility of school requests remains on the rise."

It was only in the area of personnel management that any room for improvement was mentioned. The RSC noted that connections to the faculty "create a shared sense of mission and ownership in the work of the [school] systems. More regular and visible presence in the buildings should be a goal for the 2007 - 2008 school year."

In the evaluation, Finn is described as "ethical, articulate and energetic, with a sense of integrity, direct and uncompromising, hard working to a fault and [a person who] establishes high standards for the administrative team, teachers and particularly for students." The RSC thanked Finn for "the tremendous energy, enthusiasm and expertise she brings to work each day," and hoped they would have the opportunity to continue working with her for "many more years." RSC member Peter Fischelis added, "We owe you a great deal of gratitude."

Finn said the accomplishments had much to do with the administrative team and she named each one and their department of expertise. "It's never about one person. It's a small group that changes things. We work as a team It's been a wonderful professional experience."

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito