The Washington School Board has approved a one-year contract extension for Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer.

The extension keeps a three-year contract intact for VanLeer who was named superintendent in January 2009. Her new contract extends through the 2016-17 school year.

Scott Byrne, board president, said the contract extension is a vote of confidence for the superintendent.

“We value Lori’s leadership,” Byrne told The Missourian.

The board met in closed session prior to last Wednesday’s meeting to discuss the superintendent’s review and contract.

Each board member filled out an evaluation document, scoring VanLeer in the areas of school board relations/governance; district/community relations; instructional leadership; human resources; and finance.

VanLeer also provided board members with information illustrating the work she has been doing in each of the areas.

With the extension approved, Byrne said he wants to review language in the agreement which he plans to do over the next month.

VanLeer’s salary will be determined after the salary schedule for all certified staff is approved this spring. Her current salary is $145,567.

VanLeer Pleased

VanLeer told The Missourian she is pleased with the contract extension.

“I appreciate their faith in me,” she said. “The board gave me a lot of good feedback and we talked about different areas of growth for the district.”

VanLeer joined the Washington School District in July 2003. She took over as superintendent in January 2009.

She is the first full-time female superintendent in the district’s history and believed to be only the sixth since the district became larger through consolidation.

VanLeer served as assistant principal at Washington High School from 2002 to 2006. She then served as assistant superintendent of human resources from 2006 to 2009.

Before coming to Washington, she taught health at Union Middle School for four years and coached volleyball at East Central College. Her first seven years in education were at Pacific High School as a P.E./health teacher and department chair. She also ran the volleyball program at Pacific.

She holds a doctor of education leadership from Maryville University, earned her secondary principal certificate and Master of Science degree in education from Southwest Baptist University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Southwest Missouri State University.

VanLeer resides in the Union area with her husband John, a teacher and coach at Pacific High School, and their two sons.