This month, our Superintendent Spotlight is Lynn Watkins who has served as superintendent of the McKenzie Special School District for seven years!
When asked about successes in his district, Mr. Watkins was extremely proud saying, "We are one of only two districts to twice earn exemplary status." He also spoke about their peer evaluation program that has been great for the district's teachers. "We require each of our teachers to do three peer evaluations a year. They schedule a time to observe a lesson with three of their peers. Our principals have the option of scheduling these across grade levels and subjects. We ask them to share what they liked and what they might have done differently." Mr. Watkins told how this was a great way for his teachers to see that "we are all in this together," and he has even had teachers thank him for the opportunity. The program has allowed the district to support teachers with less experience through the help of multiple experienced teachers, in addition to their formal evaluations and mentoring program.
Mr. Watkins also shared about his favorite part of being superintendent, saying: "My office is next to our elementary school. Each morning I go to the front lobby and welcome the students as they enter. Elementary students are very honest. The smiles and personalities are genuine. I see in them a child that is happy to be in the place we are providing. I see children that want to be challenged. I see students that are excited about what the day will bring. It makes me feel good about what we do."
Fun Fact About Mr. Watkins: He actually grows his own garden, and makes pickles, relish, and salsa from homegrown vegetables. He also makes a mean homemade BBQ sauce.