In his first year as superintendent, Thomas Tucker helped Douglas County School District pass its first bond and mill levy override in 12 years. He championed for an increase in teacher pay. He suffered alongside his communities through the district's first deadly school shooting.
“What's been accomplished in a year's time is remarkable,” school board President David Ray said at an Aug. 6 board meeting, when the board unanimously approved Tucker's yearly evaluation. “You empowered people, specifically that had become fearful for a period of time. You brought them back and said, 'We trust you, we believe in you.'”
In the overall summary of his evaluation, Tucker is praised for his “exceptional performance” and “extreme professionalism and skill through the number and intensity of issues that were dealt with.” General considerations, such as improving the overall marketing and communication of the district and bridging relations with the local teachers' union, the Douglas County Federation, were also outlined in the evaluation.
At the first board meeting of the new school year, Tucker outlined his vision for the year ahead, which includes the rollout of a districtwide strategic plan, more social-emotional learning opportunities, the retention of quality teachers and the alignment of curriculum across the district.
“This is about providing a framework, a better understanding of how we are going to go about ensuring that our students and staff have a deep understanding of curriculum,” Tucker said to board members and his cabinet members.
Tucker's five goals for the next year are as follows:
• Provide a safe, respectful and welcoming learning environment that fosters a climate of support and respect and instills a sense of community among its students, families and staff.
• Foster a thriving and compassionate community of students and adults whose performance and well-being are fostered by an intentional focus on evidence-based social and emotional learning.
• Clearly articulate and support academic expectations with an appropriate curriculum that includes content, scope and sequence.
• Provide a school environment for staff, teachers, students and families that are inviting, accessible, safe and secure.
• Collaborate with the district's human resources department to recruit, develop, support, retain and celebrate high quality educators.
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