The Anacortes School board recently gave Superintendent Mark Wenzel high marks in his annual performance review. The board commended Dr. Wenzel and the district for continuing to meet and exceed expectations, while juggling several high-priority initiatives.
Throughout the school year, the school board evaluates the district’s performance based on evidence presented by the district around five district goals. A summary of the average rating is shown below, on a scale of 1 to 4, with a 4 being “distinguished.”
- E-1 Quality Instruction: 3.83
- E-2 School Ready: 3.25
- E-3 Transition Ready: 3.1
- E-4 College and Career Ready: 3.9
- E-5 Community Interaction: 3.8
The results of these evaluations are combined with a review of the Superintendent’s performance in regards to his leadership plan for the school year to determine an overall evaluation. In addition to the scores above, the board noted the following accomplishments:
- Completing the first phase of the high school project (Rice Field) on budget, while finalizing design documents and securing bids for the rest of the project
- Working with staff to complete a visioning plan for the new 6-8 middle school, including community outreach, while addressing facility requirements to accommodate 200 more students next year
- Successful 1:1 technology initiative, with the deployment of devices across the district and accompanying professional development
- A strategic planning effort that brought together 28 community members and students to help shape a vision and goals for Anacortes schools
- High levels of trust and communication between the board and superintendent
The board noted that the district is making gains in creating a top-tier education system for our students, led by Wenzel’s strong vision that has made a difference in our schools. The board also noted their appreciation for all our staff and their commitment and hard work.
Board members highlighted Wenzel’s strong communication, community engagement and ability to make hard decisions as evidence of effective leadership. Board member Marilyn Hanesworth also pointed to strong listening skills and an ability to revisit decisions that may have had unintended consequences.
One example was the development of policies for the new Rice Field, including usage fees. When community members reviewed the original proposal, they provided feedback that the fees seemed too high, especially with the field supported through local taxes with the approval of the school bond.
“Mark brought the group together, really listened to their concerns and worked with a team to revise the fee schedule,” said Hanesworth. “I really appreciate how he listened and took community feedback so seriously.”
Board members also stressed the district’s ongoing work and areas for growth and opportunity, including expanding access for social-emotional support, challenging budget constraints, and management of the high school construction project.
“We’re a district that believes in continuous improvement,” said Hogge. “While there’s always more work to do, this evaluation speaks to the strong performance this year of the superintendent. The community should be proud of the leadership of our schools, and the excellent work that our school staff do on behalf of Anacortes children.”