First-year La Grande School District Superintendent George Mendoza received a two-thumbs-up job performance review Wednesday.

The La Grande School Board gave Mendoza high marks in its annual superintendent evaluation. A portion of the evaluation was based on the results of a questionnaire filled out by board members.

“In your first year as superintendent, the results of the questionnaire show a high level of praise and support,” Merle Comfort, chair of the La Grande School Board, said in a letter he read at Wednesday’s school board meeting.

Comfort said the board gave Mendoza high marks for his efforts since day one to communicate with a wide range of people in the school district.

“You have reached out to staff, parents and community members to learn their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the La Grande School District,” he said to Mendoza. “The entire board unanimously feels communication is one of your greatest strengths.”

Mendoza’s efforts to communicate include the creation of an eight-page school district newspaper, La Grande Pride, which comes out on a regular basis. The newspaper focuses on many aspects of the district, including the accomplishments of its students, programs, security and upcoming events. Comfort said the board appreciates the work Mendoza has done to create La Grande Pride.

The board also gave Mendoza high marks for his support of the school district’s Professional Learning Communities program, which was implemented about six years ago by previous superintendent Larry Glaze. The PLC program brings teachers together to help students succeed via data-driven instruction.

“Our district has worked hard developing PLCs and your leadership continues to foster this culture,” Comfort said.

See complete story in Friday's Observer