May 14, 2015


PLAISTOW — SAU 55 Schools Superintendent Dr. Earl Metzler received his own report card from the SAU School Board last night, and it shows the board’s  confidence in Dr. Metzler has grown year over year.

“I am very appreciative of the overwhelming support from the board as it speaks to their recognition and understanding of the actual work required to bring improvement, especially in the areas of accountability and rigor, to both school districts. It’s the real work; not a popularity contest, ” said Metzler.

The superintendent was evaluated by the SAU 55 board in four areas: leadership and managerial ability, community relations, business and finance, and personal/professional qualities. The evaluation was based on a comprehensive list of goals for the 2014-2015 school year set by the SAU board. Many of the goals dealt with curriculum, budget preparation, transparency, as well as capital improvement and strategic planning.

Dr. Metzler received an overall rating of 8.27 out of 9 for his performance this year, a score that has grown annually since 2013. This year, he had early success with many of the board’s goals, including negotiating cost savings in food service, staff reductions, and managing the district’s budget surplus — money that is unspent by the school district and returned to the Hampstead and Timberlane district towns to offset future school taxes.

SAU 55 Board Chairman Peter Bealo said he has “thoroughly enjoyed” working with Dr. Metzler over the last three years.

“The SAU 55 Board overall thought his performance to be outstanding, and I can only echo that belief, ” said Bealo, who also represents Plaistow on the Timberlane School Board. “I have seen tremendous growth and new opportunities in academic programs, particularly within Timberlane where I serve, and I have seen a new level of accountability in all levels of the organization. On all levels, the bar continues to be raised.”

The high marks came with a salary increase for Dr. Metzler. The board increased the superintendent’s annual pay with bonus from $145, 369 for 2014-15 to $155, 050 for 2015-16.   These numbers include a bonus of $5, 369 in July 2014 and $5, 600 for July 2015.

Here is a breakdown of Dr. Metzler’s ratings:

    • Overall: Dr. Metzler’s rating increased from 7.79 out of 9 in 2013 to 8.27 this year. His three-year average is 8.03.
    • Leadership and managerial ability: In 2015, Dr. Metzler received an 8.41 out of 9. Over the past three years, this rating has increased year over year.
    • Community relations: Dr. Metzler received an 8.29 for his work in 2015, increasing from 8.09 the previous year.
    • Business and finance: Dr. Metzler showed the greatest growth in this area, according to the SAU board evaluation. The board gave him an 8.07 out of 9, increasing from 7.80 in 2014 and 7.37 in 2013.
    • Personal/professional qualities: Dr. Metzler received a rating of 8.18, with a three-year average of 8.56.

“Quantitative data like this provides me the opportunity to self-reflect and self-select professional development that will assist me in continually improving in all areas, ” Metzler said.

Dr. Metzler was one of only four New England school superintendents accepted into the 2015-2017 American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent Certification Program. He expects to receive this prestigious national certification next year.  The program focuses on sharpening the skills of successful superintendents, with emphasis on business skills, finance, board-superintendent relations, and crisis management.

When asked how this certification will benefit the school districts, he stated, “National certification will provide me powerful professional development that will help root me, both personally and professionally, in leading the two school districts for many years to come.”

SAU 55 serves both the Hampstead and Timberlane Regional School Districts. Timberlane serves almost 4, 000 students from Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow, and Sandown in grades Pre-K to Grade 12.  The Hampstead School District serves about 1, 350 students in grades Pre-K to Grade 12.

The SAU board is made up of 14 representatives from both the Timberlane and Hampstead district school boards.

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