ST. NICHOLAS - The Mid Peninsula School Board recently evaluated district Superintendent Mary Brayak and determined she has exceeded expectations in all areas.
Brayak was evaluated in seven different areas: relationship with the board, community relations, superintendent/ staff relationships, business and finance, educational leadership, personal qualities, and achievement of goals determined by the board of education.
Keeping the board informed, providing background information, and throughly answering any questions from the board were all criteria for a high rating in the board relationship category.
"She keeps the board so well informed, and we're able to make the best decisions for the district. We've never been so informed," said board member Delores Englund.
Brayak also needed to invite board participation in district activities, encourage teamwork and board development, accept board input, and participate in forming goals and policies.
She was also evaluated on her ability to establish goals for action with the board and work to reach those goals. A major goal of the board was a positive trend in student achievement, which could be measured by standardized test data and other standards set by the district.
Brayak also worked with the board to manage finances. This required her to recommend budgets and budget revisions, find outside sources of funding, and work with administrative staff to fairly distribute funds and keep a balanced budget.
"She's safe and smart, which is why we're at a good spot with our budget," said Englund.
The evaluation is an annual requirement and Brayak will not be receiving a raise. Her total salary and benefit package is $51,487 and includes compensation for her roles as superintendent, elementary school principal, director of student services, and coordinator for special education.
"I wear a few hats, and that's kind of the direction that education is going," said Brayak.
Brayak's relationship with staff extended beyond the administrative level. Besides recruiting competent staff and promoting sound collective bargaining, Brayak was required to foster a spirit of teamwork and communicate with staff.
How Brayak communicated with groups outside the school - such as parents, civic groups, and governmental units - was also key to her excellent rating.
"She works hard to establish the proper lines of communication as far as parent teacher relations," said Englund.
Promoting education is more than just focusing on student achievement and developing curriculum in the Mid Peninsula School District. Brayak was also required to project a strong leadership image and be enthusiastic when carrying out her duties.
Englund believes Brayak goes above and beyond giving tours to prospective students and parents - something that is important for the district because of the options families have with School of Choice.
"She does a great job with it," said Englund.
Brayak also had to have certain personal qualities including a sense of humor, tact, assertiveness, emotional control, and composure in the face of criticism.