Board Work Session Agenda/Minutes 8-23-14

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August 23, 2014 Board Work Session
1:45 pm – MNMS Library
650 Brandywine Drive
State College, PA 16801



       District Goals Moving Forward




August 23, 2014 Work Session Minutes

1:45 p.m. - Mount Nittany Middle School Library

650 Brandywine Dr.

State College, PA  16801


I.          CALL TO ORDER

Ms. Fishbaine called the Work Session of the State College Area School District Board of Directors to order at

1:45 p.m.  There were no changes to the work session agenda.


Board members present: Amber Concepcion, Penni Fishbaine, Scott Fozard, David Hutchinson, Jim Leous,

Ann McGlaughlin, Jim Pawelczyk

Board members absent:  Dorothea Stahl, Laurel Zydney

Board Secretary: Mary Jenn Dorman


Superintendent: Robert O’Donnell

District Personnel: 

Guests:  Geoff Davis



District Goals Moving Forward

Mr. Davis noted that board members would be looking at district goals, a set of expectations, strategic goals and how they inform leadership as they move forward.  Most strategic planning is now limited, and he asked board members to think in a timeframe of three to five years.  Mr. Davis led the board members in the following exercises:

      Want to ACHIEVE in the next three to five years as a district

      Want to PRESERVE

      Would like to AVOID

      Would like to ELIMINATE

Board members offered many and various responses in all the four categories.  Mr. Davis asked them to think about three to five Board Strategic Goals the district should consider that would also help the board and superintendent as to where they are as a board.  With thinking of three to five goals, he asked them to think of what could be accomplished in the 2014-2015 school year.


Dr. O’Donnell added a little more than a dozen items to the ACHIEVE list created by board members.  It was decided to start with the superintendent’s list. 


Mr. Leous left the work session at 2:23 p.m.


Board members took the superintendent’s goals to implement and then Mr. Davis led the group in an exercise to help the superintendent prioritize.  Mr. Davis went around the table multiple times having board members write an item on a sticky from the lists.  When grouped, the top categories formed: 1) Finance, 2) Planning, 3) Programs, and 4) People.  He asked what the theme was from these four categories, the strategic use of resources, and need to realign and align.  An action statement would work better than a theme.  The following action statements were developed:

      Align Resources with District Priorities

      Invest in Our People

      Invest in Our Students

      Invest in the Future

Board members noted to have the right people, right process, right strategy, and right amount of time for board knowing when things are coming to them, the progress, and the end point would be very helpful.  The


superintendent would not be doing all these items himself, he has 1,300 people backing him.  They spoke about Dr. O’Donnell’s list being a wish list but it actually came from several discussions with the administrative team and cabinet members.  The superintendent will say what each means, will really look at, bring back to the board, and then decide what they want to achieve in these areas.  The board will set the bar.  Thinking will be done this way in the three to five year period.  Board members ranked the four action statements in order of importance:


      People - including community

      Future - looking into the future



Mr. Davis noted he felt they had a good end product. There would be a draft for the superintendent,  he would review, and then he would bring that back to the board for a yes or no.


With board members input, Mr. Davis noted a list of actions that came out of this session, what was accomplished, acknowledgements, and possible improvements.  All were satisfied with the session.



Ms. Fishbaine adjourned the work session at 3:23 p.m.


Submitted by,



Mary Jenn Dorman

Board Secretary