The Jefferson County Board of Education put into writing what several in the JCPS community have been thinking for months: Superintendent Marty Pollio is doing a good job.
Pollio, who has been permanent superintendent for over two months, received an accomplished overall ranking from the board Tuesday night — the second highest ranking possible.
The board’s standard yearly evaluation covered Pollio’s first year, including his months as interim superintendent following the former superintendent Donna Hargens’ resignation last year.
“The board is extremely confident in Dr. Pollio’s ability to move the district forward,” the board wrote in the three-page evaluation. “He has greatly improved internal culture and has harnessed support for public education during a divisive and turbulent political climate.”
The board ranked Pollio’s performance on seven benchmarks. Pollio scored exemplary, the top ranking, for cultural leadership. The evaluation says the board has noticed “vast improvements in the district’s culture over the past year,” highlighting the creation of the district’s racial equity policy.
He scored accomplished on four benchmarks: strategic leadership, instructional leadership, collaborative leadership and influential leadership.
The board gave Pollio a developing — meaning he is growing — ranking on two benchmarks: human resource and managerial leadership. He didn’t receive the lowest ranking, growth required, in any of the benchmarks.
“Thank you for your support,” Pollio said in a short remark after board chairwoman Diane Porter read the full evaluation in the meeting. “We’ve come a long way” over the past year, he said, and thanked the board for their teamwork.
JCBE isn’t the first to praise Pollio’s work, even in face of mounting criticisms of the district. Parents, teachers and community members have voiced support of Pollio in light of a potential state takeover.
Even interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis expressed approval of Pollio in his takeover recommendation letter.
“In a short period of time, (Pollio) has demonstrated urgency and a willingness to engage KDE and other groups and resources to begin the process of improving the management, governance and performance of the district,” Lewis wrote in April.
The district requested a hearing to challenge the takeover recommendation. The hearing date has not been set yet.