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West Fargo School Board: Flowers receives high marks after first year

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education Fargo, 58102
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

Dr. David Flowers has accomplished quite a lot since being hired as West Fargo Public Schools' superintendent on April 30, 2010.

After his annual review Monday by the West Fargo School Board, it would seem he's doing everything right, too.

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A questionnaire given to Flowers for a self and district evaluation was assessed and anonymously commented on by board members, who gave glowing praise for Flowers' performance as head of North Dakota's fastest growing district.

Member Kay Kiefer summed up the collective observation of the board in two sentences: "We hired the right person. We want him to stay," she said.

While both the school board and Flowers were happy with most aspects, such as the progression of the strategic plans and continual involvement of the community, there was one area that both sides agreed needed change.

Although no action was taken, it was agreed that additional support staff for the superintendent was needed in the near future, specifically to help facilitate communication both among school staff and community members.

At the moment, the board said, Flowers is getting spread too thin, and is reaching the point of having too many commitments.

"How many committee meetings do you really need to attend?" board member David Olson asked.

Some of the job duties of the West Fargo superintendent are to serve as school board spokesperson, as a liaison between the staff and board, and as an advocate and collaborator between the district and the rest of the state. With the recent passing of the bond referendum and, therefore, recent wave of construction projects, a need for communication has never been greater.

"We still do not have a mechanism in place for regular communication in a variety of formats with internal and external publics," Flowers wrote in his review. "At some point, I would ask the board to trigger a position or major portion thereof to dedicate more time to this important effort.

The last time talks of adding support staff was brought up, it was quickly quashed by the public. Now, however, the board is reconsidering adding support staff for Flowers.

"You can't just add teacher and classrooms" without adding administration," Kiefer said.

Also during Monday's meeting, the board received a co-curricular report from Athletic Director Curt Jones.

For the most part, the district's programs are "very healthy," Jones said.

The report found that during the last school year, 1,923 students in grades 7-12, or 63 percent of the total student enrollment, participated in at least one co-curricular activity.

Taking into account of students who participate in more than one activity, there were 684 individuals who participated from grades 9-12, he said.

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