Benton Harbor Area Schools superintendent opts-out of annual review

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Benton Harbor Area Schools board of trustees started its annual review of Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker.

But the board says she has chosen to not be a part of the process after being placed on leave weeks ago.

Dr. Walker is still suspended but she was allowed to come Monday.

Officials say she opted not to.

The original timeline for this evaluation process would’ve seen Dr. Walker give a self-evaluation on her performance and present evidence to support it to the board.

The next step would’ve been for trustees to review that evidence at a meeting on Wednesday and then submit an evaluation of the superintendent on March 7.

In her absence, the Wednesday meeting has been canceled but the board will still complete an evaluation on schedule.

That rep from the state commented on what this could mean for Dr. Walker.

“My own belief is that it could have a negative impact on the overall scoring, because part of it just the nature of governance and that’s why the process has evidence built into it,” said Donna Oser from the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB).

The board decided it will move forward.

Her performance will be based on these criteria: governance and board relations, community relations, staff relations, business and finance and instructional leadership.

If Dr. Walker receives a poor review from this board, MASB could provide developmental plans to help the district.

But the board of trustees would still have the final say in Walker’s contract.

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