Gilbert tapped to lead school division

Dean Gilbert (center) was appointed as the new superintendent of Patrick County Schools during a meeting of the Patrick County School Board on Monday. Gilbert is flanked by board chairman Brandon Simmons (left), and vice board chairman Walter Scott (right).
Current and incoming members of the Patrick County School Board congratulated Dean Gilbert, who was tapped to lead the school division beginning in January. From left to right: Ryan Lawson, incoming Peters Creek District and Annie Hylton, of the Peters Creek District; Shannon Harrell of the Blue Ridge District; Brandon Simmons, chairman and of the Dan River District; Gilbert; Walter Scott, vice chairman and of the Smith River District; Michelle Day, of the Mayo River District and Amy Walker, incoming Mayo River District representative. Walker and Lawson are set to take office in January.

By Debbie Hall

Dean Gilbert was selected by the Patrick County School Board and school board members elect to serve as the new superintendent of schools.

The board unanimously adopted the resolution appointing Gilbert effective Jan. 1, 2020, and ending June 30, 2023.

Acting Schools Superintendent Dr. J. David Martin, said the selection was based on a profile created by community input. He also noted that school board members elect were involved in the selection process.

Before Brandon Simmons, board chairman, finished reading the resolution appointing Gilbert to the post, many of those attending the meeting clapped, whistled and otherwise expressed their satisfaction.

“First of all, I appreciate the confidence,” Gilbert said, addressing the board for the first time after his appointment.

Gilbert, 52, and a Patrick County native, recognized former superintendent of schools Judy Lacks, noting that she mentored him when he initially began his career. “I’m glad she was able to come” to the meeting, he said.

A long-time employee in the division, Gilbert added that most all of those in attendance were familiar with his background and with him.

“I know a lot of people in the room. I’ve known you for a long time, and yes, I am old. So, I’ve been around” and held “a lot of different” positions, he said.

To those in attendance, Gilbert said, “I know all the administrators. I’ve known them a long time and I look forward to great things. We’re already doing great things in Patrick County and I look forward to furthering the school division as well as helping Patrick County.”

His contract with the board states, in part, that he will “fully and completely inform the board of any and all information that is relevant to the functioning of the board;” and that “the board and its individual members will promptly refer all criticisms, complaints, and suggestions concerning the Patrick County Public Schools or its employees to the superintendent or his designee for investigation, study, review and recommendation.”

Gilbert will be paid an annual salary of $120,000, according to the contract. His annual salary increases will “equal no less than the average increase approved by the board for

instructional personnel for the corresponding fiscal year,” unless he has received an unsatisfactory performance evaluation.

The contract also stipulates that Gilbert will be paid a 5 percent annuity payment for each year that he receives a proficient or higher evaluation, beginning in June, 2021. He also will receive the same amount of annual, personal and sick leave as 12-month administrative employees.

The division also will provide Gilbert a board owned vehicle for use on school related business only; a Smartphone device and service; Gilbert will be entitled to participate in an insurance plan on the same basis as 12-month administrators; his membership in the Virginia Association of School Superintendents and the American Association of School Administrators.

Additionally, and providing the budget allows, the board may pay for membership in other applicable professional organizations and for attendance at appropriate professional meetings held at the local, state and national levels.

According to the terms of the contract, Gilbert will be evaluated within 60-days of beginning in the new position. His contract may be renewed within six months before it is scheduled to end.

 

 

 

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