School extends superintendent’s contract

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ Staff Writer

The Clovis Schools Board of Education extended Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm’s contract until 2009 on Tuesday, but postponed salary and benefit negotiations.

Those terms will be settled during the annual budgeting process, which usually occurs in April, board members said during Tuesday’s school-board meeting.

Seidenwurm’s annual salary is $128,500, according to a copy of her old contract.

“We feel like she really has a vision for the district and she has a heart for the students,” board member Lora Harlan said. “She has a feel for where the community needs to go.”

The extension preceded the June 2008 expiration of Seidenwurm’s contract. That contract was voided and a new contract was extended, Harlan said. Such a move is routine when a board approves of an administrator, Harlan said.

“We want to keep her on board,” she said.

In a January staff evaluation, Seidenwurm received high approval ratings overall. Of 258 respondents, 76 percent rated Seidenwurm’s overall effectiveness as meeting or exceeding expectations. Respondents indicated her greatest needs for improvement were in building rapport with staff and understanding the role and problems of individuals.

Seidenwurm moved into her position in April 2005.

Since her appointment, she has pushed some controversial initiatives.

Last year, her recommendation to consolidate two Clovis elementary schools, Bella Vista and Lincoln-Jackson Arts Academy, was approved and implemented.

Recently, she led an administrative proposal to create a ninth-grade academy. Board members approved the concept in January, and it will be implemented in August.

A long-term goal of the superintendent’s is the creation of a vocational-technical high school.