Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Superintendent Theresa Battle received praise from the Board of Education this month in a performance evaluation reviewing her first year in the role.
At a meeting this month, Board Vice Chair Eric Miller commended Battle’s leadership during the 2019-2020 school year, which he said brought challenges most superintendents might face over the course of a decade.
“The Board knows that her calm leadership, values-driven decision making and commitment to community engagement were essential for that success,” Miller said, added it was “a year like no other.”
Battle joined the district last July, only a matter of days before a consultant’s report recommended the closure of three schools at the end of the school year.
In November, voters passed a new operating levy for the district, however, as predicted, Battle and other officials still needed to find new spending reductions this spring to close funding gaps and cover revenue losses related to declining enrollment.
With three schools closed, a complex web of decisions surrounding the school buildings and other district facilities remain on the table.
In other words, school board meetings were lasting several hours even before the COVID-19 pandemic launched district operations into uncharted territory.
According to a summary of Battle’s evaluation, she’s met or exceeded the Board’s expectations every step of the way.
In particular, the Board found Battle’s work to strengthen school-community relationships, align resources towards their strategic direction and increase her knowledge of the state’s financial reporting requirements had exceeded expectations.