The man who has led the Dillingham School District for the last 3 years will stay on the job for another year.
Bill McLeod took over as the Superintendent of the Dillingham City School District in 2010. Before coming to Dillingham he had worked for the Annette Islands School District, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, and in Elko Nevada. His contract was set to expire at the end of this fiscal year but Monday night the Dillingham School Board voted to offer McLeod another contract. McLeod accepted a one year extension through the 2013-2014 school year. He says,
"I'm excited about next year because we are two and a half years through a 5-year plan put in place when I first arrived."
Initially the Dillingham School Board offered McLeod a 3-year contract but he chose to just re-up for 1-year. McLeod says,
"I'm 65 years old and I'm in good health. I still enjoy what I'm doing but you never know what life has in store next year. I want to be in a position that I have the flexibility and the Board has the flexibility to make a change."
As McLeod noted the Dillingham City School District is in the midst of a 5-year educational improvement plan that includes a specific focus on improving reading and math proficiency. McLeod claims the School District, its teachers, and students are making improvements every year. He says,
"A couple of key things for us it to focus on language arts. We wanted to make sure that kids are proficient by grade 3 and we have seen steady and sometime dramatic improvement."
A review of the available data shows that reading proficiency among the Districts 3rd graders improved from 55-percent in 2005 to 86-percent in 2012. 3rd grade writing proficiency increased from 54-percent in 2005 to 77-percent last year while 3rd grade math proficiency increased from 59-percent in 2005 to 77-percent in 2012. The decision to rehire was made during a special School Board meeting that was held Monday night. The vote in favor of rehiring Bill McLeod as the Dillingham School District Superintendent was 4-1 with the one no vote coming from long-time School Board member Kim Williams.