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August 22, 2013

Timberlane superintendent sets goals for second year

PLAISTOW — As Timberlane Superintendent Earl Metzler prepares to start his second year on the job, there is one word he is focused on for the district: accountability.

Whether it’s students, teachers, administrators, school board members or himself, Metzler, 49, is making sure everyone knows what is expected of them this year.

“There will be no surprises and no excuses,” said Metzler, who was hired last August after serving as principal at North Quincy (Mass.) High School. “We want to improve teaching and learning.”

To do that, Metzler is asking each school to present an action plan with attainable goals to be reached by the end of the school year. Timberlane School District will have action plans starting this year, which will be released next month, while Hampstead School District will begin in the 2014-2015 school year.

“I want the high school and middle school to look at having vertical teams from grades six to twelve,” he said. “We want a consistent learning approach. They aren’t just two separate buildings, we want them working together.”

At the elementary level, he is looking to change things as well.

“I want them to test less and teach more,” he said. “I want to give the opportunity for teachers to be more creative and to take a look at programs, and let them know that programs don’t teach children, teachers do. We don’t want them just relying on programs.”

There will also be quantitative goals as well, from scores on SAT and New England Common Assessment Program tests to retaining students throughout the district.

So far, Metzler’s vision of the district has pleased School Administrative Unit 55 Board members. They voted in May to extend his contract through 2017 and increased his salary by more than 3 percent. Metzler will make $134,225 this school year.

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