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Schools chief earns high marks

Medford School Superintendent Phil Long has earned a mostly excellent evaluation for his work in the past year, with the school board singling out his ethics, organizational management and leadership growth as outstanding.

The Medford School Board evaluated Long's work against nine standards, including leadership, policy, communications, curriculum planning, instructional leadership, labor relations and human resource managements, and found it excellent. The ranking scale ranged from unacceptable to outstanding, with excellent being the second highest rating.

It also evaluated his progress on six goals: advancing the district's mission, directing projects, improving support systems, promoting healthy relationships with the board, developing effective communications and growing in leadership skills. He was ranked excellent on five of those. The board pointed out his attendance at conferences and seminars and work advocating for education funding at the Legislature in awarding him an outstanding rating on leadership growth.

A letter signed by all board members saluted Long for his role in keeping school construction on schedule and on budget, negotiating employee contracts and dealing with economic challenges. The letter also praised his focus on curriculum development and updating district policies. He also was commended for his handling of a case of a South Medford High School teacher who wanted to carry a weapon at school and a near-drowning incident after a special-education student wandered away from Jacksonville Elementary.

— Anita Burke