Oak Harbor School District superintendent earns a passing grade

The school board gave the superintendent a glowing evaluation, calling his performance excellent. He received “distinguished” — the highest rating — in several categories, including working closely with families and others in the community.

Lance Gibbon may be the head of the Oak Harbor School District, but he still gets a report card.

This year, he could hang it on the fridge.

The school board gave the superintendent a glowing evaluation, calling his performance excellent. He received “distinguished” — the highest rating — in several categories, including working closely with families and others in the community.

“We are extremely pleased with the job he’s done so far,” said school board President Peter Hunt.

The school board also proposed giving the superintendent a 5.7 percent raise for the next school year. If it’s approved during the next board meeting, Gibbon would earn $155,177. He also would receive an annual annuity of $11,324 and $250-a-month travel allowance.

The superintendent didn’t receive a pay raise last year because it was too early to make judgments about his performance, Hunt said.

“We were reluctant last year,” he said. “We didn’t have measurable results.”

Since Gibbon took the superintendent job in 2013, standardized test scores and graduation rates, a key focus of the district, are up. The number of students who graduated from Oak Harbor High School in four years rose from around 76 percent in 2012 to just under 85 percent last year. The state average in 2013, the most recent year available, is 76 percent.

Last year, the district added iGrad Academy, a program that allows students who dropped out to complete their degrees by taking online classes. When students who need extra time are added into the mix, the high school’s graduation rate sits at 87 percent.

The board praised Gibbon for going to “great lengths to ensure that communications with parents and the community are as seamless as possible” and advocating at the state and federal level for policy changes and money for capital needs.

“Dr. Gibbon possesses both a long-term vision of where he sees Oak Harbor schools in the future and the ability to devise practical steps toward achieving this goal,” according to the evaluation. “He works tirelessly in all facets of the superintendent job and never allows an opportunity to improve student learning to slip by.”

Gibbon was hired in 2013 after serving six years as Oak Harbor’s assistant superintendent.

That same year, voters approved a $7.35 million levy that pays for teachers and support staff, technology upgrades, textbooks and more.

Gibbon’s wise spending of that levy money is partly why the district is doing well, Hunt said.

Gibbon is the former principal of Fidalgo Elementary School in Anacortes and a former music teacher at the Lake Washington School District. He earned a doctorate in executive leadership and superintendent credentials from Seattle Pacific University.

Gibbon’s oldest son graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 2014 and his younger son will be an eighth grader at Oak Harbor Middle School next fall.


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