Education commissioner’s contract up for renewal

The employment contract of Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan is up for renewal next month but the evaluation tool that will be used to measure her performance and guide the Board of Education whether to keep her or not has yet to be completed.

Board member Galvin Deleon Guerrero asked his peers yesterday to schedule another special meeting so that they could work on the evaluation tool and come to a decision before Aug. 19. The new comprehensive evaluation tool intends to assess the commissioner’s effectiveness on the job. The commissioner is the sole employee of the board.

Sablan was hired as education commissioner in August 2008 and was given a four-year contract that will expire on Aug. 19 this year. She receives an $80,000 per annum salary.

Sablan described yesterday the four years she had served the position as “a great opportunity.” She feels very honored that she is serving PSS at a level where she can listen to parents and teachers and work directly with students.

Without specifically citing the accomplishments PSS has had under her leadership, Sablan told Saipan Tribune that she is very proud and happy of what she has done for the system this past four years.

In an interview with fiscal and personnel affairs committee chair Tanya King on Tuesday, she said the evaluation tool for the commissioner is expected to be completed in the next three weeks.

With the ongoing fiscal challenges within the system, King could not say if the board will adjust the commissioner’s salary.

“We really need to be cognizant and that issue [COE salary] has not been brought to the table,” she said.

Once the evaluation tool is finalized, Deleon Guerrero said evaluation proper will be conducted by the board prior to the renewal of the COE’s contract. BOE chair Marylou Ada reminded her peers that Sablan’s contract will soon expire.

Saipan Tribune learned that the instrument and process to be used for the COE evaluation is aligned with the evaluation tools and process developed for the entire system’s personnel.

Besides the COE, all PSS teachers and administrators will also be evaluated using a new performance evaluation system beginning this school year 2011-2012.

The Education Board formed the ad-hoc committee that created the evaluation tool for the commissioner in May 2011.

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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