Lakeshore superintendent rated as 'highly effective'

Phil Freeman

STEVENSVILLE — Lakeshore school board trustees extended Superintendent Phil Freeman’s contract for three more years Tuesday after rating him as “highly effective” during his evaluation.

“Mr. Freeman continues to do an outstanding job leading Lakeshore Public Schools. We feel fortunate to have such a strong educational leader and student advocate at the helm during this critical time,” Board President Jason Beckrow said in a news release.

When contacted Wednesday by phone, Freeman said trustees gave him a 2.5 percent pay increase – bringing his annual salary from $144,000 to $147,600. 

During his evaluation, trustees said Freeman has had a positive impact on the culture of the district due to his high visibility, honest communication and focus on building positive relationships. Under his leadership, trustees said the district’s Career and Technical Education programming has grown and academic and extracurricular programs have continued to be strong.

“I am honored to serve as the superintendent of Lakeshore Public Schools,” Freeman said in the news release. “Our successes here in Lakeshore are due, in large part, to motivated leadership, a dedicated instructional and support staff and, of course, our wonderful students. Add to this the unwavering support of the community and you have the formula for continued success.”

Freeman was hired as superintendent in the fall of 2013. 

Other agenda items

Freeman said Wednesday school board trustees also approved a one-year contract with teachers through the Lakeshore Education Association, which includes a 2 to 3 percent salary increase for each step and an additional step at the top of the salary schedule.

“We added a step at the top so our senior people can get a raise,” he said.

In addition, trustees approved a $28 million budget for the 2019-20 school year. Freeman said the budget includes a 20-student drop in enrollment to 2,750 students and a $200 increase to $8,071 in the foundation allowance the district receives from the state for each student.

He said the increase in the foundation allowance is a guess because state legislators haven’t approved a budget for schools yet.

“It’s a conservative estimate based on what we’ve heard coming out of Lansing,” Freeman said. 

He said trustees approved taking $300,000 out of reserves to balance the budget. 

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